Toddler Munch

At this stage, you should start trying to eliminate the purees and blends entirely, unless of course your child has had previous problems with either chewing, swallowing or digestion. You know your child better than anyone, so just because others are now giving whole foods, doesn’t mean you must – remember it is something to work towards. Big Quack did nothing but choke on everything you gave him but it didn’t mean we gave up, we just took everything slower… and watched him like a hawk at every meal time!

Oatmeal breakfast biccies

These are a perfect mini treat at breakfast time and they also serve a purpose for you too!  As they nibble on these delicious breakfast biscuits, you have a couple of spare minutes to get ready in the morning

You need:
4oz/100g self raising flour

4oz/100g porridge oats

½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4oz/100g butter or margarine

4oz/100g sugar

1 tablespoon honey

Method:
1.   Heat the oven to gas mark 4; 180C and grease a large baking tray with butter or margarine

2.   Mix flour, oats and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, then put to one side for later.  Place butter/margarine, sugar and honey in a saucepan and heat on low until the butter and sugar have melted.  Stir the concoction occasionally, then take off the heat and stir in the oat mix.  Beat the mixture together

3.   Add some flour to a clean work surface and also to a rolling pin and roll out the mixture to approximately 1cm.  Take your favourite cookie cutting shapes and cut out lots and lots of gooey, sticky shapes and carefully transfer them to the greased baking tray

4.   Cook in the oven for 10 minutes – but keep an eye on them as some ovens vary – you want them looking golden and delicious not burned to a crisp!!!

5.   Leave to cool out of the oven for around 5-10 minutes before removing from the tray and scoffing!  These biscuits will last for around five days if kept in an air tight container.  Or around three hours if your house is like mine!?

 

Veggie, chicken & potato patties

Sweet, soft and finger licking good; my husband and 9 year old also love these!

Makes 8 portions and can be frozen for up to 6 weeks – happy days

You need:
125g/4oz potatoes – peeled and chopped

125g/4oz parsnips – chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ onion finely chopped

1 carrot – peeled and grated

125g/4oz boneless chicken breast – cut into chunks

Large knob of butter

Flour for coating

Method:
1.   Bring a large pan of water to the boil, plop in the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender

2.   Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken and continue to cook through for 10 minutes until cooked through

3.   Drain the potatoes and parsnips and mash with half the butter until smooth.  Chop up the chicken, onion and carrot in a blender and mix with the mooshed vegetables

4.   Scatter the flour on a plate.  Form the sticky mess of a mixture, form around 24 walnut-sized balls and squish to a flat little pattie and use the plate of flour to coat each side.  Heat the remaining oil and butter in a frying pan, add the balls and sauté until golden.  Eat hot or cold and love them either way

 

Fish, cheesy mash and spinach

Wholesome and healthy; it’s a great idea to get your little one into fish and serve at least once a week; the cheese balances out the fishy taste and you can always add some chives or parsley to create a whole new taste explosion

Makes 6 portions and can be frozen for up to 4 weeks – happy days

You need:
175g/6oz cod, plaice or hake – filleted and skinned

3 tablespoons of milk

1 bay leaf

Knob of butter

125g/4oz potatoes – peeled and chopped

Large knob of butter

1/2 bag spinach

Cheesy sauce:
20g/3/4oz butter

2 tablespoons plain flour

175ml/6fl oz milk

65g/ 2 1/2oz cheddar cheese – grated

1 teaspoon of fresh parsley or chives – chopped

1/2 bag of spinach

Method:
1.   Preheat the oven to 200 degree’s (gas mark 6) place the fish into tin foil and place on a baking tray

2. Spoon over the milk and dot with butter. Wrap the fish with the foil and place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked through

3. Add the potatoes to a boiling pan of water with a pinch of salt

4. Meanwhile make the sauce; create a roux by melting the butter and stir in the flour. Once combine gradually add the milk whisking all the time. Cook on a low heat until you have a smooth sauce

5. Turn the heat up until the sauce begins to boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer stirring constantly for one minute

6. Add the spinach to a boiling pan of water and keep on high

7. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Finally add the herbs

8. Drain the spinach and chop finely

7. Drain the potatoes, add a knob of butter and mash. Pour over the cheese sauce, add the spinach and combine

6. Ensuring there are no bones in the fish flake the cod into the cheesy mash and serve immediately

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Root veggie chippies

Transfer the standard high fat, unhealthy chips for these vegetable chip options freshly prepared and better than frozen oven baked!  Will create 8 portions – more than enough for all the family

You need:
1 orange fleshed sweet potato – scrubbed

1 large potato – peeled

1 parsnip – peeled

1 carrot – peeled

Oil for deep frying

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Method:
1.   Using a deep pan, add vegetable oil deep enough to pop a small handful of vegetables in at a time

2.   Slice all the vegetables wafer thin and carefully plop into the oil one vegetable at a time in small batches and fry until crisp and golden – by all means cook enough so you can have a little taster!?  Just incase!

3.   Carefully remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.  Sprinkle a crack of black pepper and sea salt over them and serve once cooled

 

Smoked haddock, broccoli and sweet potato

The sweetness of the potato with the strong flavour of haddock is an excellent option for little palettes to sink their teeth into. As they get older you can make a cheese sauce and pour over the flaked fish, serving with chunks of sweet potato or sweet potato wedges 

You need:
150g smoked undid haddock – filleted

100g/4oz broccoli

150ml full fat milk

150g sweet potato – cubed

1 leek – very finely chopped

10g butter

30g cheddar cheese – grated

Method:
1.   Place the fish in a small saucepan, pour over the milk and bring to the boil.

2.   Reduce the heat to a simmer and pop a lid on. Pouch for approximately 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through

 

3.   Remove the fish from the pan and mash with a fork whilst removing any bones. Set the remaining milk to one side

4. Add the broccoli to a pan of boiling water

4.   Cook the potatoes and leak in boiling water for around 15 minutes until soft. Drain the potatoes, leek and broccoli, combine in a pan and mash with some of the remaining milk, using more if necessary. Add the butter and cheese, stir in the fish and serve
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Banana & mango yoghurt dippers

This recipe will make 8 puddings; perfect on a summers day or as a fruity finish to a chunky dinner.  Ideal

You need:
1 banana – cut lengthways into four pieces

¼ mango – cut into chunky strips

Icing sugar mixed with a small sprinkle of cinnamon

Natural greek yoghurt with honey

Method:
1.   Preheat the oven to 110C/ low gas.  Line a baking tray with greased paper, layer the strips of fruit on and bake for around 1 hour

2.   Remove the fruit from the oven and allow to cool; then carefully peel off from paper.  Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.  Serve with a blob of yoghurt and dip away