Give your baby half of a muffin. The piece must be too large for him to put in his mouth. He should hold the muffin in his hands and gum it, baby-led weaning style.
250g pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled, deseeded and cut into 5mm cubes (to give about 175g flesh)
175g wholemeal flour
100g self-raising flour
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped (leave out if you’re pregnant)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 medium eggs
225ml semi-skimmed milk
75ml vegetable oil
150ml natural yoghurt
50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Sneak vegetables into your child's diet the quick and easy way!
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, (fan 200°C), gas mark 7.
2. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases and set aside.
3. Put the pumpkin, flour, thyme (if using), bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and pinch of salt in a large bowl. Give them a quick stir together and then make a hole in the centre. Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then add the milk, oil and yoghurt and mix until combined.
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the centre. Mix together using as few stirs as possible (otherwise you will make the muffins too dense and heavy). The mixture will be quite wet – this is fine.
5. Divide the mixture evenly into the 12 muffin cases. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and bake in the centre of the oven for 20–25 minutes. Test they are cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of a muffin – if it comes out clean, the muffins are ready.
6. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool just a little as these muffins are best eaten warm. The muffins do stick to the paper cases when hot, but are easier to remove once they are a little cooler.
Eat during pregnancy: Pumpkin is high in iron, which helps to develop your baby’s brain. It is also important in preventing anaemia.
This recipe was adapted from How To Be A Better Cook by Lorraine Pascale (£25, HarperCollins). Photography by Maja Smend.