My tactics for weaning young Cyrus has pretty much revolved around trying to feed him as much food as possible that we already eat.
Among his firm favourites are jujeh (chicken) kebab, which we discovered on a recent trip to London, and soothing Shir Berenj Irani (Persian rice pudding).
Shir Berenj is made with milk, “shir” and rice, “berenj” and I looked on as my sister-in-law made it for my young nephew in the family home while I was in Persia. It always looked and smelled delicious, so I decided once I was back in Blighty that I’d give it a go too.
I used to make it with honey, but since Cyrus can’t have that until he’s a year old, he’s on the honey-free version at seven months old. I cook it without any sugar and only lightly perfume it with rosewater. The rice is completely soft when cooked, but if your baby prefers their food pureed, then simply blitz it up in the blender after cooking.
The recipe below makes between four and six portions. It can be kept in the fridge for a day max. Just remember to let it cool before putting it in the fridge. You can also freeze it and defrost it at room temperature. The rice pudding is perfect on its own, but you can also add some pureed fruit into the mix for added taste.
Cyrus has this for breakfast, but it can be served at any time of the day. Ingredients: 1/2 cup pudding rice Aptamil Follow On baby milk Half a teaspoon of rose water Water Optional toppings: fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon for the young ones under a year old
For older children: You could include chocolate, rose petals or honey and fruit. Cooking time is roughly 32 minutes Method: Place the pudding rice in a bowl and wash through thoroughly before draining. Top up with more water and leave overnight to soak.
Next morning, place the rice in a saucepan and fill to the brim with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and let the rice simmer for 30 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is really soft, stirring every few minutes. Add Aptamil Follow On baby milk and half a teaspoon of rose water.
Ensure the pudding is cool before you serve on its own or with pureed fruit.