Once you’re beyond the first days of weaning, meat becomes an important element of your baby’s diet. Most mums start by introducing chicken, as its mild flavour tends to be appealing to newly weaned babies. But from there, you can move on to other meats, such as pork, beef and lamb. All types of meat are a good source of protein, needed for your baby’s growth and development, but red meat is also high in iron, which your baby needs for energy.
The texture of meat can be challenging for young babies, especially those without teeth, so you’ll want to choose tender cuts, cook it until it’s soft, and, perhaps, puree it to a consistency that is easy to eat. And while it’s great to introduce your baby to a variety of meat dishes, avoid giving salty meats, such as bacon and sausages to under-1s, as their kidneys can only cope with a tiny amount of salt.
Here’s our pick of the best beef, pork and lamb recipes, suitable for babies from 6 months to 11 months
A 10-minute, veg-packed pork-mince dish – with apricots for a subtle, sweet flavour. Suitable from 6 months.
Courgette and sweet potato, with apple and pork mince and a little dash of cinnamon. Suitable from 7 months.
Pork mince, with potato, carrot, green beans and a pinch of dried sage. Suitable from 7 months.
A super-quick baby-friendly lamb casserole with rice, peppers and tomatoes, that makes enough for the whole family. Suitable from 8 months.
The classic family favourite, with minced beef, carrots and tomatoes – and cut-a-bit-shorter spaghetti. Makes enough for 6 servings. Suitable from 9 months.
A traditional dish of stewing lamb and veg, with sliced potatoes on top. Suitable from 9 months.
A hearty feed-the-whole-family beef dish, flavoured with herbs and topped with potato dumplings. Suitable from 9 months.
A slightly spicy dish made with lean pork, veg and baked beans. Suitable from 9 months.
A lovely tangy, fruity pork stew that goes deliciously with couscous. Suitable from 9 months.
There are 5 different veggies in this quick and easy stir-fry. Suitable from 9 months.
This lean-beef dish is packed with veg and flavour and some delicate cumin spice. Suitable from 9 months.
A tasty curry with dried fruits, a touch of spice and coconut milk. Makes enough to 6 to 8. Suitable from 9 months.
Mango and lemon give a deliciously exotic flavour to lamb mince. Suitable from 10 months.
14. Shepherd’s pie
A simple, baby-friendly version of the traditional family favourite. Suitable from 10 months.
15. Minty lamb stew
A lovely, fresh-tasting stew of lamb, potato, peas and carrots with a sprinkling of chopped mint. Suitable from 10 months.
The slow cooking time makes the beef, flavoured with parsley and thyme, really nice and tender. Suitable from 11 months.
A tasty twist on lasagne, using slices of tomato instead of pasta sheets. Suitable from 11 months.