Can I give my baby Christmas dinner?

Yes you can!

There are so many perfect seasonal foods at this time of year so there is no reason why your baby can’t join you at the festival table.

If you’re at the start of weaning winter vegetables are perfect. We know from the research that by offering bitter vegetables early in weaning babies are more likely to continue eating these well into their childhood.  It helps prevent fussy eating! The humble Brussels sprout has a star role here, but parsnips, carrots, swede and cabbage are all traditional Christmas dinner veggies and perfect first foods two.

If your baby is a little older and is having mixed meals why not make up her very own Christmas dinner. Combining turkey, potatoes and an assortment of vegetables is ideal! You could even add a tiny bit of cranberry sauce! You don’t need to cook your baby’s food separately, just take out their portion from your roasting tin before you add any seasoning. You also need to remember to avoid drizzling honey over your parsnips as babies shouldn’t have honey till they’re over 1.

The dark turkey meat is higher in iron, one of the critical nutrients needed during the second six months of your babies life, so do include this.

You can offer all of these these as finger food if you’re baby led weaning (and bread sauce makes an excellent dip) or mash or finely chop if your following traditional weaning methods.

It’s best to avoid gravy as this is very high in salt however you could thin down meals that are too thick using low salt baby stock or their usual milk. Stuffing is usually very salty too, as are pigs in blankets. 

Encouraging your baby to eat the same food as you or as similar as possible is really helpful too, this allows her to mimic you which is all part of learning how to eat.

When it comes to dessert, a spoonful of Christmas pudding isn’t going to do any harm. Ok yes, it does contain a little sugar but sugar itself is a simple carbohydrate and isn’t a problem as long as your baby doesn’t have a lot. Exposure to different tastes and flavours during weaning is equally important and Christmas pudding is one of a kind. If your baby has purees you can blend Christmas pudding with a little milk or cream or offer it as a finger food. The dried fruit in Christmas pudding is another source of iron and good for fibre too which can help with regular bowel movements.

It’s important to remember not to give chocolates or sweets to little ones, even if this this is just a treat, these don’t contain any other useful nutrients and because your baby’s sweet tastebuds are the most mature, they will leave your baby wanting more and encourage that ‘sweet tooth’.

And on Boxing Day? You can do it all again with leftovers. Just make sure to reheat till piping hot then allow to cool before serving to your baby to reduce the risk of food poisoning.