Homemade stock is by far the best and will give your food a wonderful wholesome flavour. However it can be very difficult to find the time to make your own stock. This is where low-salt stock cubes are a great substitute! Using stock in your baby’s food will make your purées, soups, stews, curries and risottos taste much better. They are particularly important for giving a good flavour base when using little or no salt.
This is a question I get asked a lot on my Weaning Wednesday Q&A each week over on Instagram Stories. If you are not already using a low salt stock cube I would advice you to start. This way you can offer your family meals to baby as early at six months.
Salt and Stock Cubes in Baby Food
There are no stock cubes on the market that contain zero salt, so when buying for baby make sure to always look for low-salt versions. As a general rule, I suggest that everybody uses low salt stock cubes as this will help with the transition from baby food to family foods later on. Remember a baby under the age of 1 year can only have up to 1g of salt per day so it’s always a good idea to read the label before making up the stock and check the salt levels. Food labels may sometimes write ‘sodium’ instead of salt, so to find the salt equivalent simply multiply the sodium number by 2.5. When reading labels look for per 100g and stay within the following limits.
|TOTAL FAT||Less than 3g per 100g||Over 20g per 100g|
|SATURATED FAT||Less than 1.5g per 100g||Over 5g + per 100g|
|SUGAR||Less than 5g per 100g||Over 10g per 100g|
|SALT||Less than 0.3g per 100g||Over 1.3g per 100g|
Don’t be afraid to add stock to your baby’s food – when you consider how much your little one actually eats, a pinch of salt to your baby’s diet will do no harm as long as you stick to the recommended guidelines. As your baby grows and eats more adult foods, the intake of salt may also increase. To limit this, avoid processed foods as much as possible as they are often very high in salt. Homemade food is the best as you can control how much salt you put in.
So why not add flavour to your baby’s meals and try out the recipes below that use stock cubes.
Orzo with Peas and Parmesan
A healthy and delicious Orzo recipe that is suitable for baby and family. Perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the week!
A nice vegetarian alternative to regular Bolognese, this Lentil Ragu recipe is full of healthy goodness your little ones will love. Serve with pasta shapes like Fusilli or Penne for a tasty baby led weaning snack.
Vegetable and Lentil Puree
This Vegetable and Lentil Puree recipe is a great way of introducing iron into your child’s diet and it remains a firm favourite in my house. Easy to prepare, you can blend for younger babies or leave it as it is for babies who can handle texture.
Hidden Veg Risotto
Creamy and delicious, this Hidden Veg Risotto is a great way of sneaking in some extra vegetables into your little one’s diet. Simply adjust for your weaning tot by blending to the desired consistency.
Pea and Prawn Risotto
Another delicious recipe that uses stock, this Pea and Prawn Risotto is a healthy and nutritious family meal that’s perfect for your weaning baby.
A warm and filling meal, this Chicken Casserole is perfect for the whole family. It can be blended up and served to your baby from six months. Alternatively mash and shred the meat.
Ready in just 20 minutes, this Seafood Paella recipe is perfect to introduce fish to your baby. Adding fish to your baby at least twice a week will ensure they go onto eat it regularly from 1 years of age.
Our Weaning Advice page provides information and advice on weaning your baby. It includes recipes, tips, and articles on a variety of topics related to weaning, such as introducing finger food, adding herbs and spices to baby food, and healthy snacks for your baby, and lots more