BabyLed Spreads: Review

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Baby-led weaning seems to be the in thing at the moment: giving babies from 6 months finger foods to feed themselves right from when the weaning journey begins.

It’s not something we’re doing with Oscar – for various reasons. We started out with porridge and pouches of purée, but now at 8 months old, at every meal time we try and make sure he’s got both something for us to feed to him, and some finger food to explore by himself.

What’s important to us is that we know just what’s gone into everything we feed him, which is why his breakfasts tend to be homemade spiced fruit purées mixed with natural yoghurt, and lunches and dinners are a mashed up version of what we’re having where it’s possible, and dishes that we’ve batch cooked and frozen for him when it’s not.

I’d got a bit stuck in a rut, though, which is why when I was given the opportunity to try out the range from BabyLed Spreads, I jumped at the chance!

About BabyLed Spreads

Keith, the founder of BabyLed Spreads, followed a similar mixed weaning approach with his daughter Eden. He and his wife struggled, though, to come up with a creative range of dishes that gave her the nutrients she needed, and that were quick and easy to prepare.

That’s where the idea for BabyLed Spreads came from: a range of healthy and versatile spreads designed to complement foods like toast, jacket potatoes and pasta that babies – and indeed toddlers – are likely to be eating anyway.

There are six flavours in the range: Ricotta & Bean; Avocado, Red Pepper & Tomato; Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea; Red Lentil & Sweet Potato; Green Pea, Rocket & Dill; and Carrot, Apple & Hummus – and we were sent a jar of each of the six to try…

 

BabyLed Spreads - the range

 

There are some recipe ideas on the website – but I quite fancied coming up with my own ideas to see what Oscar thought – and here’s his verdict…

Our thoughts on the BabyLed Spreads range

The simplicity of the BabyLed Spreads branding matches their ethos: each jar includes only natural, healthy ingredients with no artificial preservatives. They can be eaten either hot or cold, so we decided to give both a go – and obviously I had to do a little taste test on each before feeding them to Oscar too…

Green Pea, Rocket & Dill – Fishcakes

First up, the Green Pea, Rocket & Dill spread, which had a lovely chunky texture. The overriding flavour was definitely the dill, and the addition of lemon juice gave it a bit of a tang that I thought would work well with fish.

The fishcakes were simple: I just oven-baked a cod fillet in foil with a little of Oscar’s milk to keep the fish moist, then flaked and mixed with mashed potatoes, stirring in the contents of the jar before shaping into mini fishcakes small enough for him to hold, and baking for around 15 minutes.

 

BabyLed Spreads - fishcakes

 

The spread added texture, flavour AND moisture to the fishcakes, and they were a definite hit!

Carrot, Apple & Hummus – Savoury Porridge Fingers

The slightly sour tang from the tahini and lemon in this little pot was tempered nicely by the sweetness of the carrot and apple, and it had a traditional hummus-like consistency too.

Knowing how much Oscar loved porridge, I experimented with a savoury oat-based lunch with this one – savoury porridge fingers. I soaked 3 tbsp of oats in 3 tbsp of his normal milk for a few minutes till soft, then stirred through the contents of the jar. I then pressed the mixture into a microwaveable dish, microwaved on high for 2 minutes, then left to cool enough for him to eat. I then cut the mixture into fingers for him to feed himself – another hit!

 

BabyLed Spreads - Porridge Fingers 1

BabyLed Spreads - Porridge Fingers 2

 

Ricotta & Bean – Couscous and Tomato Sauce

OK, this was a lazy meal on my part. I’d previously made a massive batch of homemade tomato sauce but had no protein to accompany it…so I stirred through the Ricotta & Bean jar, and mixed the whole lot with couscous.

Again, the texture was great – the beans were mashed rather than puréed, there was a creamy tanginess from the ricotta and lemon, and an extra dimension from the added dill and parsley – the former more than the latter.

He polished this one off too – the empty bowl and that grin on his face say it all…

 

BabyLed Spreads - Ricotta & Bean Couscous

 

Avocado, Tomato & Red Pepper – Sandwich

Oscar’s still not that great with bread – while he loves gumming down on it, he has a habit of getting it stuck to the roof of his mouth rather than swallowing…

I’m persevering, though! This time, in the form of a sandwich – the Avocado, Tomato & Red Pepper spread mixed with cream cheese, spread over wholemeal bread and sliced into easy-to-manage fingers.

Great flavour here too, and nice and creamy thanks to the cannellini beans and avocado – in all honesty, I probably didn’t need to add the cream cheese. Again, there was a lemony tang to this jar – and the overriding flavour was mostly red pepper.

 

BabyLed Spreads - sandwich

 

Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea – Broccoli and Cauliflower Curry

Having not previously had a great deal of well-spiced meals, I was intrigued to see what Oscar thought of this one! I decided to turn it into a curry: cooking broccoli and cauliflower until soft, chopping into manageable pieces, and mixing with the spread and some natural yoghurt.

 

BabyLed Spreads - Curry

 

He looked a little unsure at first, but soon enough, the bowl was empty. The flavour was spiced but not spicy – plenty of cumin and cinnamon, the latter adding a touch of sweetness.

 

We also received a jar of the Red Lentil & Sweet Potato spread, but this was the disappointment of the batch, sadly: there was far too much thyme in there, giving it a musty flavour that I didn’t want to feed to the baby…

Overall, though, I think the BabyLed Spreads are a great idea – they’d also work well as a dip for veg or breadsticks, spread on toast, to top jacket potatoes – and just generally to add a hit of flavour to dishes you’re making for your baby without making your recipes overly complicated. A little jar of spread goes a long way, and we’re still working our way through the batch of fishcakes that I made and froze!

They’re certainly something I’d consider buying, as they encouraged me to think more creatively about what I was feeding Oscar, without needing to make a ridiculous amount of effort. And at £6.50 for 9 jars or £12 for 18 jars, they’re not too badly priced either – especially when you consider that some of the pouches of baby food retail at £1.50 each…

If you want to find out more about BabyLed Spreads, take a look at their website, where you’ll find their story, more info on the product range, recipes, other reviews and more!

 

Please note: these spreads were received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the company did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

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