Since I wrote about weaning it’s made me think about what recipes we always go back to as my little girl grows up. And I must first confess I have a bit of an addiction to favouring recipes I can happily freeze and then have ready soon as we walk through the door on nursery nights.
As I said in my weaning post, I never really went in for really super smooth purees. I think lumps make things interesting for them. So it’s not just the taste and colour – it’s the texture too that they can engage with. The three purees that my wee one would cross a room to get to were (once I started mixing flavours):
- pear and parsnip
- peas and fresh mint
- sweet potato and broccoli
Parental advisory warning – health visitors don’t tell you this but sweet potato (and banana and avacado come to think of it) all stain like you wouldn’t believe. Just a bit of advance warning…
There’s a great book and blog of one mum who worked her way through the alphabet of vegetables with her toddler that I found quite inspiring. But no, I hadn’t heard of a fair number of them – will be good when I get bored though!
Stews and soups
In my recipe book, I’ve noticed a bit of a trend around the time DD started moving onto solid(ish) foods. I started using sweet veggies to tempt her into going for savoury things. These are a few easy (read lazy) recipes:
- Tomato and red pepper soup – basically just roast red onion and peppers together and throw in tomatoes for the last bit (can leave out tabasco)
- Fish stew – this one calls itself a moroccan tagine but basically what I love is how quick it is, as it’s simply a tomato sauce with olives in that you poach the fish in at the end
- Veggie paella – a good excuse to use up veg in your fridge that doesn’t look too beautiful. Great colours and textures, and you can use frozen veg just as easily.
Meatballs – there is a lovely meatball recipe from the hairy bikers diet recipe book of all places! It uses grated carrots where the italian meatballs recipe was very cinnamony and wrapped each meatball in a piece of bacon. So I started with the hairy meatballs(!) as the carrot made them more moist without much sauce, then moved onto the others when I thought she could enjoy playing with bits of bacon a bit more.
Sweet potato wedges – with a bit of rosemary (dried or fresh) and olive oil roasted up these are a great staple.
Breakfasts and snacks
Here’s one tip – if you buy frozen fruit that’s all frozen up individually you can just grab a handful the night before and use them either as:
- flavouring for yogurt or porridge, or
- heated a bit with a small amount of water as a non-sugary jam so it reduces down a bit.
Found this lovely raisin and bran breakfast muffin recipe from Annabel Karmel if you struggle to get breakfast accepted!
Malt loaf – sticky but oh so tasty! Have you got any recipes for toddlers you’d recommend? Would love to hear what worked best for your little one!