Some baby food literature recommends waiting til this point to bring on the eggs etc, and some recommends banning eggs and nuts until at least one year. However, Billie has been happily chomping back eggy delights for a few weeks now. I chose to dive in - she also loves the cashew, brazil and almond nut paste I have been mixing with her tofu and ricotta.
This recent research report, American Academy of Pediatrics- Allergies, suggests there are no known advantages to delaying the introduction of these foods, although I did wait til she was 8 months for the nuts and 8.5 for the egg whites. See my previous writing on this subject, An Eggy Affair . Peanuts are on next week's menu, before we hit America where peanut butter finds its way into everything. (Please consult your doctor if your baby has been deemed at risk of developing food allergies.)
"Although solid foods should not be introduced before
4 to 6 months of age, there is no current convincing
evidence that delaying their introduction beyond this
period has a significant protective effect on the devel-
opment of atopic disease regardless of whether in-
fants are fed cow milk protein formula or human
milk. This includes delaying the introduction of foods
that are considered to be highly allergic, such as fish,
eggs, and foods containing peanut protein. " American Academy of Pediatrics policy revision
To mark the return of Billie Bites, after a forced break due to over-use of my right arm (at first attributed to the computer but now deemed to be equally about carrying and manoeuvring an ever-growing baby) I am offering up my latest and most exciting vegetarian creation. You could easily make this gluten-free by swapping the flour for a suitable version.
Whenever we find ourselves looking at a cafe menu - less and less with Billie in tow - my eyes stop at anything corn fritter-related, or anything that sounds vaguely Mexican. So when we were sharing a late lunch at an Avalon cafe in Sydney last Sunday (can't recall the name sorry) we went straight for the gluten-free corn fritters served with salsa, fried egg, black beans and avocado. I have no idea how they made their fritters, but I was inspired by the array of sides.
Somehow I've never tried to make corn fritters, just busied myself becoming the best critic of other peoples' (chefs). So I'm pretty proud of these last minute numbers. No recipe book on the shelf offered me a guide, and I couldn't/didn't want to look on-line (kinda cheating anyhow) so this is what I came up with. And yes, Billie loved them. The second time round. So don't get put off if your baby at first refuses.
RICOTTA CORN FRITTERS served with BLACK BEANS, TOMATO AND CORIANDER SALSA and FRIED EGG
First soak/cook/pressure cook 1 cup black beans, aka Brazilian Beans. Or open a tin and heat before serving.
Finely chop 3 tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, bunch fresh coriander and mix with generous dash of olive oil and fresh lime or lemon juice. Add salt and pepper and set aside.
CORN AND RICOTTA FRITTERS
1/2 cup self-raising plain flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (could use plain flour or omit)
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs well beaten (use electric beater if have)
200g ricotta (fresh is best)
3 corn cobs, kernels removed uncooked
freshly ground black pepper
milk - 1/2- 1 cup (mixture should be very wet, not dry enough to handle)
Heat olive oil in cast iron fry pan. When hot, turn to low heat and spoon in dollops of fritter mixture and flatten. Cook for about 5 mins on low heat so cooks through, rather than just browning. Flip, flatten and cook for another few mins. Place in tray in warm oven while rest of fritters are cooked.
When ready to eat, fry up an egg per person and serve on top of fritters with large spoon of salsa above, black beans and avocado or sour cream if you have (we didn't).
Billie ate the black beans mashed with some ricotta, a fritter sliced into fingers and would have chomped on avocado if any were on offer.
Better run, as I am bashing this out in between changing nappies, whipping up Billie's lunch, and now my folks visiting from New Zealand await a tour of Sydney's finest winter offerings. It's great to be back...