Baby Food Recipes Your Toddler Will Love

……….and the rest of the family will LOVE too!

Brought to you by Heinz

Can you believe the youngest member of our family (The Hurricane) is now 15 months old?

He is fast, agile, never sleeps and eats like a champion!  In a busy family he has no time to be fussy and eats what we eat.

Now I know you are really here for the recipes but first a few things about meals for our youngest member.

  • He has 14 teeth (so even chunky meat is a breeze)
  • All recipes have to be great for the whole family as I don’t cook him separate meals.  He eats what we eat, when we eat.
  • Majority of meals must be able to be eaten independently using either a fork, spoon, or fingers. This encourages fine motor, hand eye coordination and speech skills (little speakers grow strong jaws and agile tongues when they are eating chunky foods)

So what do we eat?  Here are some of our favourite Toddler approved, family friendly recipes.

 

OUR FAVOURITE RECIPES

Oven Baked Salmon with Asparagus and Broccolini.

Salmon is one of those wonder foods and “the hurricane” can’t get enough of it! Bake it in the oven over some slices of lemon and covered in foil.  Steam broccolini and asparagus.  These are two easy vegetables to cook and for little hands to hold!

 

Pumpkin and Tuna Penne

Grate Pumpkin.  Sauté it in a fry pan with some olive oil and then add a tin of tuna.  In a pot boil the pasta.  We choose Penne as it is easy to stick a fork into or if all else fails, fingers!  Combine the Pumpkin and Tuna mixture with the pasta,  squeeze some lemon over the top and a serve with a bit of chopped parsley.

 

Ravioli with Meatballs

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 4.54.28 PM

This is one of my favourite last minute meals.  I always keep a container of ready-made ravioli in the freezer.  You can actually cook it in the pot from frozen, no defrosting necessary.  I also make a double batch of meatballs (pork mince with fennel is our favourite) and keep some in the freezer.  Cook the meatballs in some crushed tomatoes and here is the trick, add a jar of Heinz Beef and Vegetable Casserole.  Trust me it’s delish and a great way of adding some hidden veggies!

Beef Burgers

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 4.52.14 PM

Who doesn’t love a burger!  We love to have a “create your own burger bar” with everyone choosing their own toppings!  The hidden secret is in the muesli!

Ingredients

  • 200g lean beef mince
  • 2 Tbsp Farex® Muesli with Apple
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated carrot
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated peeled apple
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg

 

Method

Combine Ingredients to make small patties and fry or BBQ.

Sandwich Sushi

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 4.55.23 PM

Great for our bento lunch boxes and snacks on the run the sushi sandwich options are endless! Simply cut the crusts off bread, give it a quick roll to flatten.  Lay out your ingredients on the bread, roll and cut!   It looks fancy but it really is not.  These are great bite size snack for a toddler to grab but also fit perfectly in a school lunch box.

 

Banana Pikelets

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 4.51.29 PM

After school and on the way to extra curriculuar activities or even at home in his high chair whilst Mummy has her coffee, Banana pikelets are a winner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp bi-carbonate of soda
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup natural yoghurt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, finely sliced
  • 1x 120g pouch HEINZ® Strawberry & Vanilla Custard

Method

  1. Combine flour and bi-carb in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, yoghurt and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  1. Pre-heat a frying pan over medium low heat. Spray with oil and spoon tablespoons of mixture into pan. Place a slice of banana on top of each pikelet. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side.
  1. Serve pikelets with a dollop of Heinz® pouch and favourite soft fresh fruit.

 

As much as we encourage independent feeding for our toddler sometimes circumstances call for a quicker, cleaner option.  Especially for on the plane (oh boy, feeding children when travelling can be a thing of nightmares) I love the baby food pouches especially ones filled with ingredients I wouldn’t normally buy like a great way to explore some new flavours without the mess and fuss.

With a little preparation and creative thinking feeding a toddler doesn’t have to be stressful and messy! With a few key ingredients it’s easy to create meals that your toddler will eat and the whole family will love. Check out the Heinz website and Facebook page for more tips and recipe ideas!

You can also find our list of 100 Kids Bento Lunch Ideas HERE

Image Credits –

henizforbaby.com.au (Pikelets and Beef Burgers)

taste.com.au (Sandwich Sushi)

recipe.com (Ravioli)

A Sparkly Festive Season with Riccadonna

As the school year drew to a close and the festive season was nipping at our heals, my friends and I decided we desperately needed to get together to celebrate and debrief, the year that was 2012.  That is one of my favourite things about the festive season.  It provides plenty of opportunities and excuses to celebrate with family and friends!

Just as we were organising dates and venues (my place) an email arrived.  From who else but RICCADONNA!  Seriously I kid you not!  They were hoping that I could “Taste Test” a few of their varieties of wine!  Who am I to begrudge them my professional opinion on all things wine? But of course I will need some assistance to perform such a task.  So call the girls, lets have a taste test party!

Yes I could have just invited the girls over, thrown the bottles on the table and tasted away, after all as busy working mums we just appreciate any time to enjoy a wine together.   But I had been wanting to try so many versions of wine and champagne cocktails and this was the perfect time to do it!

The Featured Guests – Asti, Allegra, Rose

We had three RICCADONNA ladies to work with.  Asti, Allegra and Rose.   With some simple ingredients added to the table we had our very own Wine Cocktail bar!

Drinks Bar is open! 

I set this up on our dining table away from little fingers.  I placed the glasses on one end, then drinks and then some little additive extras. How on earth I have lost the ice buckets is beyond me but this would definitely work better with the wine in ice!  This way guests can create their own favourite cocktail.  We included

  • Strawberries
  • Mixed Berries
  • Berry Granita(Simply blend a cup of your favourite berries
  • with two teaspoons of sugar and freeze)
  • Mint
  • Orange Juice
  • Wild Hibiscus Flowers (these are available at your local liquor store and dress up any drink)
Be sure to include tongs or spoons for each selection and if your super organised label each selection.  I added tacky but cute Christmas wine glass charms! Although we loved adding a few of these ingredients to our drink I had some other great reader and guest suggestions; 
  • Lemon Sorbet
  • Lime Slices
  • Mango Sorbet
  • Fairy Floss!
  • A sugar cube with a drop of bitters on it 
  • Pomegranate
So what was the verdict?

Wild Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail with mint leaves, easy!

ASTI – a light, fruity and naturally sweet sparkling wine.
The sweetest of the three, this has been a long time favourite of mine.  It is refreshingly sweet, but be warned it goes down a little too easily and quickly! I love mine just on it’s own or with a wild hibiscus flower in the bottom for special occasions.
ROSE – a light red, sparkling, fruity wine that make the perfect accompaniment to sweet treats and special celebrations. This was the favourite of guests!  It is sweet, light and perfect for anyone who loves a bit of pink in their life.  Perfect with strawberries but to be honest I loved this one just as it is!  This was my Christmas day drink of choice and was perfect for a glass by the pool. 

Champagne Strawberry Sorbet Recipe from Eat Drink Love.com

ALLEGRA – an elegant, full-bodied semi-dry sparkling wine (because you’re sweet enough just as you are!) full of fruity and floral aromas.  I love a sweet wine but if that’s not for you, Allegra is.  This was delicious served with a berry granita! Simply place a teaspoon or two of the granita in the bottom and then top with Ruby!  This also helped keeps our drinks cold a little longer on an unbearably hot Summers day.  
 
 
These three wines have become good friends of ours over the festive season and we have the Asti chilling as I speak ready for New Years celebrations, aka a night in with the family at home! 
What is your favourite wine or champagne cocktail suggestion?
I was gifted these bottles from the Riccadonna range, but was in no way paid for my opinion.  All “taste testing” was done by myself and guests for FREE!!! 

Day 5 ~ Marshmallow Magic ~ My Christmas Elf Cooking

Soft and Sugary and Sweet the Elf is ready to play a little Marshmallow Magic!  Little Marshmallows make a perfect sugary bubble bath for your elf!  This series is not just about learning but about fun too!  So time to get into some christmas cooking!

 

“Soft and white and oh so sweet

These little goodies are so nice to eat!

But they make an even better bath

Dry me off and please don’t laugh!”

The elf is found having a bath in a bowl full of Marshmallows!  Or maybe he is head first inside a packet of marshmallows with some scattered around the packet!

 

What you will need:

  • Marshmallows in varying sizes
  • Recipe Card (PRINTABLE)
  • Fruit
  • Skewers

 

  • Ask children if they know what the marshmallows are! 
  • Sitting down in a circle give each child a marshmallow
  • Ask each child to take a turn to say one word that describes the marshmallow
  • Ask them to use their senses.  They can smell it, squeeze it, taste it, look at it!  Is it soft, sweet, pink, white, small, round, big, small.  Try not to repeat any words!  If you like you can record their answers!
  • Now look at the recipe card.  For younger students don’t tell them it is a recipe and read out the card.
  • Ask them to guess what it is!  A letter, a poster, a postcard?  A recipe!!!
  • Look at the different features of a recipe.
  • Now lets get cooking! Well creating at least as this recipe requires no cooking! In fact if you pre cut the fruit yourself it also involves no knives !


CHECK IF ANY CHILDREN HAVE ALLERGIES BEFORE UNDERTAKING THIS ACTIVITY

Recipe Card Marshmallow Skewers

 Want to really get creative?  Set their imaginations alight with mini skewers for the elf!

Copy the recipe above but use toothpicks and mini mallows!  They make a great lunchbox treat too!

This activity is really for fun but if you HAVE to find the learning in it…..

Maths: Quantities, conversions, addition (You will always find these concepts in cooking!)

English: Exploring a new “text type” and its features! (A Recipe)

This sweet treat has quickly become an after school favourite in our house!
I just know your kids will love it too!

Chocolate Reindeer Crackles!

I was running out of Christmas snack ideas!  Every year come November the endless run of Christmas concerts, picnincs and parties begin!  with the words “Bring a Plate” written accross most invitations, I was beginning to run out of Christmas food ideas!  This little guy was a creation for the Kindy Christmas Picnic.  Something chocolatey, delicious, easy to make and fun!

Combine 4 cups rice bubbles, 2 tablespoons cocoa, icing sugar and 250g melted copha in a bowl and stir until throurughly mixed!  I leave the coconut (that is usually in the recipe) out!

Spoon into patty cake papers.  Push two pretzels into the top as reindeer antlers.

Add some “MnM” or “Smartie” eyes and nose! Refrigerate and then EAT!

These were as delicious as they were cute and oh so easy!  You could make this one or two days ahead of time and refrigerate but any longer and the “MnM’s” start to loose colour!

So what is your favourite Christmas Treat Recipe?

 It only take a sec to vote for “My Pigeon Pair”!!! Just click the icon below!

Menu Plan Monday ~ The Asian Edition

We are huge fans of recipes coming from Asia.  Hubby (who does most the cooking in our house) lists Luke Nguyen as his favourite chef.   Maybe it was our honeymoon in Malaysia and Thailand or maybe it’s just that it is healthy AND delicious! The one catch is, Asian cooking can be expensive.  My suggestion is to once a grocery shop stock up on the basic sauces.   Coriander is easy to grow and used in a lot of asian recipes.  Grab some ginger when you grab your potataos and onions.  Start adding some new asian essential to your regular pantry archive!

Monday ~ Tofu Pad Thai

I struggle with vegetarian dishes.  We are a meat devoted family.  But I do love tofu!  Plus its good for you and this makes for a very budget friendly meal!

Tuesday ~ San Choy Bow

Ok so the ones in this picture are fancy and use witlof and prawns!  Our style is lettuce leaves and pork mince!  The kids love that these are like mini bowls!

Wednesday ~ Rice Paper Rolls

These are no where near as hard to make as they look.  The fillings are totally up to you we like chicken, noodles, carrot cucumber and coriander for the kids and prawns for Mum and Dad!  I always have my fingers crossed for left overs as they are great to take for lunch! 

 Thursday ~ Chinese Barbeque Chicken

Love a new take on the humble BBQ chook!  This is a great last minute dinner!

Friday ~ Thai Fish Cakes

 This is such an easy one!  Just throw it all in a bowl, mix it together, roll some rissole like patties and fry!  

Do you have a favourite Asian Recipe

All images are from my favourite food website taste.com

The Organised Housewife

Menu Plan Monday ~ The Fussy Eater’s Edition

“My Pigeon Pair” seem to be taking it in turns to play the role of the “Fussy Eater” in our household.  Just when one starts eating a variety of foods, the other returns to the macaroni and cream cheese diet.

I have been at my absolute wits end.  Well actually further then wits end (if that’s possible)  It is doing my head in! I am making three or four variations of dinner trying to convince everybody to eat!  Don’t they know there are children in Africa who would walk 100kms to eat this food!!!

So this week we are trying something new!  The wonderful Vegie Smugglers has entered our lives and this week all our meals are coming from Wendy Blume’s “Vegie Smuggler” cookbook.   If this doesnt keep them happy, nothing will!

Monday ~ Meat Free Monday ~ Vegie Bolognaise

I find it tough to include a “meat free” recipe each week, but it truly does wonders for our budget!  We are a huge pasta eating family and this new take on the traditional Bolognaise is right up our alley.  Make an extra batch and put in the freezer for next week!

 

 

 

Tuesday ~ Sausage and Lentil Rolls

On the look out for high fibre meals for the kids (and you) Lentils are extremely high in fibre.  Unfortunately they are seriously lacking from my kids diets because I am highly allergic to them!!!  But hubby has agreed to give this simple recipe a go for me!  They will also make great lunchbox treats!

Wednesday ~ Mini Frittata’s

My kids love egg based meals and have been known to eat quiche so I am hoping this one will be a winner.  Best of all I love mini versions of anything and these will also make great lunchbox treats!  I am making up an extra batch to freeze!

Thursday ~ Sausage Fried Rice

What child doesn’t love sausages!  This is a clever recipe to get “smuggle” some vegies into that sausage dinner!  I always use the rice cooker to cook rice for the kids as it makes it a little stickier and hence easier for them to scoop up on their spoons.  Just the same, get the messy at ready!

Friday ~ Salmon Pikelets

My kids LOVE salmon.  Unfortunately they particularly love the fresh and smoked variety which is very expensive.  Salmon is high in Omega 3 which is great for everyone especially kids! So this week our salmon recipe comes straight from a tin.  I am hoping to make them a bit smaller than the picture (bite size) so Little Miss A can eat them with her hands!!!  Oooh just thought how nice these would be with a dollop of Lime Aioli!

So that’s this week Menu Plan for my fussy eaters!  For all the recipes head to vegiesmugglers.com.au

Do you have a fussy eater?  Care to share your fussy eater tips??

Linking up with The Organised Housewife

Recipe of the week ~ Tiramisu ~ The Cheat’s Version


This is not your “authentic” tiramisu recipe.
Tiramisu traditionally has Marsala (alchohol) Strong Coffee and Raw eggs.
But to make it a bit more family and pregnant women friendly here is a cheats version!

These are not mine but don’t they look divine!

Ingredients
  5OOml  double cream
250g tub mascarpone

 

5 tbsp  caster sugar

 

Iced coffee milk.

 

175g pack sponge fingers (Savoiardi Biscuits)

 

2 Cadbury Flake Bars

 


What to do?

 

Whisk together the cream, mascarpone and caster sugar.
Pour your iced coffee into a shallow dish and dip the biscuits for a minute or two in the mixture.  Do not let them soak for too long!

 

Layer the biscuits and cream into a large dish or even individual dishes.
 Instead of shaving chocolate over the top just break a little of the flake chocolate bars over the top to serve!
Refrigerate for a few hours until the Tiramisu appears to have “set”
Enjoy!

Photobucket

Image Credit