This baby and toddler recipe for meatballs is fairly quick and easy with the added bonus of having secret vegetables. They also make great finger food.
Servings: Enough for two grown ups and two baby portions
- One pack of pork mince – I use the low fat version
- A small courgette
- A handful of spinach
- One tablespoon of hoisin sauce
- One tablespoon of soy sauce – I use the reduced salt version
- A sprinkling of sesame seeds
- Pasta – or you can serve with noodles or mashed potato
1. Blend the courgette and spinach until finely chopped (invisible to the eye of a baby!)
2. Tip into a bowl with the pork mince, sauces and sesame seeds – mix well.
3. Form into meatballs – as big or as little as you’d like:
4. Place them in a baking dish and put into the oven at 180 degrees.
5. Cook for 20 minutes – flip over half way so they brown all over. If they’re bigger in size, they may need an extra five minutes. Always cut one in half before serving to make sure they’re cooked throughout.
6. Meanwhile cook the pasta before serving together.
7. Enjoy! This dish was so popular at our house, my baby ate two portions!
This cheesy pasta recipe for babies and children is super easy and fast. Vital for when you’ve only got a limited nap-time window to get a million things done.
The best thing is that if you have cheese, milk, butter and pasta (for me, household essentials) then you’ve got yourself a meal in just 10 minutes. The sauce is also cheesy and gooey which goes down an absolute treat.
This recipe is loosely based on carbonara but you can add whatever you’ve got in the fridge into it. If you’ve got bacon and mushrooms then that’s great. But you can swap for ham or chicken and most vegetables. Today, I had bacon, a leek and a pot of sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge.
Enough to make two generous portions. I have a
greedy hungry baby!
* a handful of pasta – any variety whether baby pasta, dried pasta swirls or spaghetti or fresh pasta if you want to practically halve the cooking time.
* a rasher of bacon – cut off the excess fat and slice into small pieces
* around two tablespoons of chopped leeks
* three cherry tomatoes, chopped
For the cheese sauce:
* 10g butter – real butter is great but you can use any butter or margarine
* 10g flour
* 4fl oz milk
* 10g grated cheese
1. Boil the pasta in a pan and simmer until cooked.
2. Pan fry your bacon and any vege in a drop of olive oil until cooked. My choice of leeks, bacon and tomatoes was done in about five minutes but if you’re using chicken, you may need up to 10 minutes.
3. Place the butter, flour and milk in a relatively non-stick pan and heat. Whisk it VERY frequently until it comes to the boil.
4. Lower the heat and leave it bubbling gently for about five minutes. Give it a whisk occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking on the bottom and to keep any lumps at bay.
5. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese.
6. Drain the pasta, throw in the meat and vege then pour over the sauce. Give it a stir and then you’re done.
If your baby loves fish and chips but you’re feeling a bit guilty about feeding them deep fried food, this home-made healthy alternative is perfect.
Fish (based on baby food goddess Annabel Karmel’s recipe):
- 100g of white fish (cod, plaice, sea bream, sea bass)
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 1-2 slices of bread
- 1 egg
- tablespoon of cheese
- tablespoon of fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or dill work well)
- 2 potatoes
- a drizzle of olive oil
Method (Preheat the oven to 200C):
1. Peel and slice your potatoes into chip shapes.
2. Bring to the boil in a pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Drain well and turn them into a dish so they’re spread out. Pour over the olive oil and toss.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven until golden for about 40 mins. Turn them half way.
5. With about 15 mins left to go, slice your fish into fingers (buy the fish without skin otherwise you’ll need to de-skin. Unless you’ve got white-skinned plaice which you can leave).
6. Sprinkle your flour on a plate.
7. Beat an egg in a bowl and line it up next to the flour.
8. Whizz your bread, cheese and herbs in a good processor and lay on a plate next in line.
9. Heat a small dollop of oil in a frying pan to a medium heat.
10. Pat your fish piece in the flour to lightly cover, dunk in the egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs before putting it in the frying pan. Repeat for all the fish.
11. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side…then serve with the chips.
My baby likes steamed broccoli or carrots with these but choose your favourite vege.
We all do our very best to keep our babies happy. But I was forced to draw the line and curtail one of my baby’s simple pleasures this winter; blueberries.
I was delighted last summer at all the fresh fruit that baby was devouring. Yes I’ll admit I was a little bit of a proud smug-o; how wonderful that she loved fruit so much, she’d never need any junk food. Well that soon came back to bite me on the butt.
Baby had a particular passion for blueberries. In fact it was borderline obsession. She’d gorge on up to a whole punnet a day. At the time, I didn’t even think of the price – it was only 99p so why would I begrudge a tiny baby so much happiness for less than I’d pay for a cup of tea.
Then, winter hit. And with it, the end of the British blueberry season. The punnet price slowly rose 10-20p a time to £3 and later peaking at £3.50 – for a tiny punnet! Me being a super whizz mathematician (pah to baby brain), worked out that if I fed her blueberry habit, it would cost in the region of £90 a month. Needless to say, we had to cut back. We then had to face the withdrawal – we were suddenly without our temper kryptonite as I no longer had a constant supply in a little pocket pot to create emergency distraction.
It took a bit of time, but we overcame the addiction. It may be a coincidence but her love of all fresh fruit started to subside with it.
But last week I was genuinely gleeful to discover that blueberries had plummeted in price to £1.50 a punnet. Blueberries arrived back on her tray and she casually nibbled on a few. Suddenly, she cried out for more. And more! Yep, she’s off the wagon and enjoying them more than ever. Strangely, all fruit has become more appealing to her again. And unfortunately for me, the content of the nappies have returned to a delightful stained blueberry colour. Still, at least I have my kryptonite back. I’m lucky to have it – would love to hear if you have one.