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If you’re like me you will be very conscious about what you feed your baby and the effect it can have on their health. Good nutrition is key to your baby’s development. Feeding your child a natural wholefood diet will set them up for life by providing the best foundation possible for their health and learning.
Baby’s first birthday or Christmas is an incredibly exciting time. The temptation to introduce artificially sweet foods may be high but these could lead to your baby developing a taste for sugar and can cause tooth decay.
Feeding your baby natural foods will ensure that no artificial sweeteners, colours, preservatives or additives are consumed, all of which have adverse health effects. You can celebrate baby’s special day with a healthy cake that is naturally sweet and contains no added sugar.
The main ingredients of this healthy first birthday cake or Christmas celebration cake are bananas and apples which are both sweet and good for baby. The fruit in this cake makes it really moist so it’s perfect for babies to eat.
Bananas are rich in potassium, a mineral that is necessary for normal growth, metabolising carbohydrates and promoting mental alertness by helping to deliver oxygen to the brain. Apples are very nutritious and provide a good source of vitamins A and B1 as well as being rich in pectin, a soluble fibre that helps to slow glucose absorption.
Healthy First Birthday Cake Recipe
- 2 large bananas
- 2 apples
- 2 tablespoons pure apple juice
- ¼ cup sunflower oil
- 2 free-range eggs
- 2 cups brown self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a cake tin or line with baking paper.
2. Wash and grate the apples (peel if desired).
3. Mash the banana in a bowl, add the grated apple with the apple juice and mix together.
4. Add the vegetable oil and stir into the mashed banana and apple.
5. Add the eggs and mix well.
6. Gently stir in the flour and cinnamon.
7. Bake at 180 C for 25 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
8. Remove from the cake tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
This cake is delicious on its own or it can be served with chopped fresh berries and drizzled with natural yoghurt.
Discovering and eating new healthy foods is also a great way to engage your baby in sensory play. Baby will love breaking this soft cake up in their fingers. There’s no doubt it will be smashed and squeezed before being eaten, it’s all part of the fun!
Lydia Oliver, Nutritional Advisor
I offer one to one nutrition programmes for breastfeeding, post pregnancy weight loss, weaning advice, weight management and health. Contact me.
Here’s my simple recipe for beef and vegetable stew, a hearty meal for the winter. Delicious served with a side of greens and some crusty bread to mop up the gravy.
- 400g diced organic Stewing Beef
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Potatoes
- 3 Tomatoes
- 2 small Red Onions
- 3 cloves Garlic
- Vegetable stock cube made to 250 ml water
- 300 ml Organic Passata (I buy this from Waitrose)
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Italian dried herbs
- Flour to dust
- Pepper to taste
1. Cut the beef into small pieces and lightly dust in flour. Add to pan of olive oil and fry the beef until brown on all sides. Transfer into a small bowl whilst the vegetables are prepared.
2. Peel and chop the carrots, sweet potatoes and potatoes into small cubes.
3. Wash and dice the tomatoes.
4. Chop the onion and garlic.
5. Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and beef.
6. Mix a cube of vegetable stock in 250ml boiled water. Add 300 ml of Passata to the stock mixture.
7. Add the stock, Passata, sprinkle of dried herbs and dash of Worcestershire sauce to the pan of beef and vegetables. Stir gently and leave on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
8. Transfer into an oven proof dish with lid and cook in oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender.
It’s less than four weeks now until the big event of the year and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Festive decorations adorn the shops and Christmas trees are a plenty. This year we couldn’t resist putting our Christmas tree up a little earlier than normal as Imogen loved visiting the Christmas trees in our local John Lewis store and we knew it would be a lot of fun to have one to decorate and admire at home.
So let’s deck the halls with boughs of holly. Here’s some festive inspiration for you and your family from the great range at John Lewis Home.
As the temperature is dropping these Winter Warmers will ensure you stay cosy over the next few months. It’s easy to brighten things up by adding a splash of colour and texture to rooms with the addition of Throws, Blankets and Bedspreads.
If you’re looking to decorate your little one’s bedroom or playroom there’s everything you need in the Children’s Room range with bedding, furniture, storage, curtains, cushions, towels and accessories.
It was around Christmas last year that we bought the John Lewis Classic Table and Chairs for Imogen to use for drawing and playing on. They’re beautifully finished and made from 100% sustainable lacquered rubberwood which is smooth and natural. This set has been used almost daily since we bought it plus there’s still plenty of room for growth.
You and your family will love indulging in a John Lewis Christmas Hamper. Christmas Hampers make perfect gifts, providing tasty treats for everyone and are wonderful for sharing with friends and family over the Christmas holiday. We received a John Lewis Christmas Hamper last year as a present and feasted on its contents for almost a week. It was truly delicious!