Feeding the Family
Once my baby reached 12 months of age and was able to eat most of the things that an adult can eat, I was keen for all of us to start eating the same things together at dinner. This meant changing how I cook as I’ve always been rather generous with my spices and seasoning. However, a big plus was that it meant only having to cook one meal!
Some things I find helpful when cooking for a toddler
When I’m making something freezable, such as a stew or casserole, I always make extra and freeze the leftovers in baby-sized portions. These can then be defrosted and reheated for lunches later in the week.
I’m very wary of salt and salty foods. The government recommends that between 1 – 3 years old, a child should have no more than 2g of salt per day. I never add salt to anything I’m cooking, including the cooking water for vegetables and pasta and I give my daughter unsalted butter and avoid salty foods like bacon. I also only ever use homemade stock or water as most ready-made stocks and stock cubes are incredibly high in salt.
Cooking with a baby in tow can be a bit stressful (particularly when they’re tired and hungry!), so, to keep my daughter entertained, I’ve put the travel cot in the kitchen and use it as a playpen. It means I can still chat and sing to my daughter so she doesn’t get grumpy, but allows me to get on with my chores. I’m also planning on getting a slow cooker soon so that I can cook in peace whilst she has her nap, thereby eliminating the need to sing nursery rhymes and do ridiculous dances around the kitchen whilst I’m cooking….
Some simple meal ideas
- Salmon fillets baked in foil parcels served with boiled potatoes and steamed runner beans
- Griddled Tuna Steaks served with brown rice and steamed broccoli
- Family Frittata (see below) served with salad and crusty bread
- A simple meat and vegetable stew.
- Lamb Tagine served with rice or couscous (recipe to appear in future post).
Makes enough for 2 greedy adults and a toddler or 2 adults and 2 toddlers.
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 medium-sized courgette, cut into bite sized chunks
350g potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
10g parmesan cheese, finely grated
generous pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
Fry the onion gently in a little olive oil until soft. Add the red pepper and courgette and continue to cook gently. Meanwhile, steam the potato cubes until just soft (so they still hold their shape) for approximately 10 minutes. When the pepper and courgette are soft, add the potatoes, sprinkle over the paprika and stir gently.
In a large measuring jug or mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs together with the parmesan cheese. Add the cooked vegetables to the eggs and mix well. Pour the eggs and vegetables into the frying pan and cook very gently for approximately 30 minutes or until most of the egg has set. Finish off under a hot grill. Allow to cool slightly then cut the toddlers portion into bite size cubes