Category Archives: Family Meals

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes

It’s been a hot week, needing summer food. These salmon and spinach fishcakes hit the spot. Yes you have to put the oven on to cook them but they can be prepared ahead of time and then served hot or cold. They also freeze well, I always mean to make extra for this purpose but then the kids eat them all!

I must admit to my brain needing a kick start to come up with ideas for summer food. My family aren’t huge salad lovers, so all those beautiful salads that my mind fancies have to take a step back. It is like digging up buried treasure, deep in the recesses of my dusty brain were recipes I haven’t made for well over a year. This was one of them. The hardest part about these is getting the breadcrumbs on them, which really even my toddler can do. In fact, maybe next time I should get the kids to cook these and sit down with a cuppa. 

The salmon provides a great source of omega 3’s needed for brain development and cognitive function, heart health and reduction of inflammation. They can be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and depression. It is recommended that we eat 2 portions of fish a week of which one should be healthy. I try to ensure my family get 1 portion a week in their evening meal and it is usually salmon that we favour. I’ve used tinned salmon for ease in these, to save extra faff and cooking.

Spinach is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc. Using frozen spinach again saved cooking and I find it easier in dishes like this. Frozen spinach is such a versatile and great ingredient to have on standby. If you don’t have frozen spinach in your life, go and get some. 

So the iron and omega 3 content also make this recipe a great one for pregnant ladies and for toddlers. A great family meal, one where you can cook just the one meal for all. I served ours with courgetti cooked in the wok with lemon juice and garlic, plus homemade coleslaw. 

 

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
389 calories
23 g
105 g
13 g
42 g
3 g
293 g
232 g
1 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
293g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389
Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
21%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 105mg
35%
Sodium 232mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 1g
Protein 42g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
4%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 500g potatoes, skin on for extra fibre and for speed
  2. handful of frozen spinach (I used 4 lumps)
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 2 tins salmon
  5. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  8. 1 tbsp fresh chives
  9. seasoning
  10. Breadcrumbs or polenta (see below)
Instructions
  1. Wash the potatoes, cut into small chunk and boil. Add the frozen spinach for the last few minutes.
  2. When soft mash the potato and spinach, leave to cool.
  3. Mix in the salmon, mustard and lemon juice, parsley, chives and seasoning.
  4. Now comes the fun part, shape into patties with your hands.
  5. Roll in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Now you can leave these to chill until you want to cook, freeze them or cook straight away.
  7. Cook at Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes.
Notes
  1. I used bought breadcrumbs for the family, as they were in the cupboard and then I used cornmeal for my own fishcakes to make them wheat free. The picture above is of my wheat free fishcake with the polenta crumb.
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calories
389
fat
13g
protein
42g
carbs
23g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

 

Eating out with young children.

Eating out is meant to be a relaxing, delicious event, yes? Well, when you have young children it isn’t always the case. My husband loves to eat out, I find that I need to be in the right mood. Eating out with my tribe of kids (Miss K age 6.5, J-boy aged 3 and Etty just 1 yr) requires a military operation of packing bags, finding shoes, brushing hair, finding toys and by the time everyone is in the car I’m ready for a nap. I am the one that has the noisy kids that will not sit still and talk politely, the one everyone looks at, I like to think they are looking over and thinking how adorable my children are, but I’m probably deluded!

So here are my top tips for eating out with small people:

    •  

    • Leave them behind! I’m only half joking. If you want a calm, relaxing meal where you can hold an adult conversation then having a child-free meal could be the answer.
    • Choose somewhere that is family friendly. Somewhere that it is ok to make noise, to make a mess and to get down from the table. My kids do not sit still and they need something to look at, somewhere they can talk noisily and somewhere they can walk/jump/dance around. For us Sainsburys cafe, community cafe’s and Wagamama’s are a hit.

 

    •  

    • Check the menu before you go. Is there food suitable for the whole family? This doesn’t have to mean a children’s menu as such, just a balanced meal option your child will enjoy. There is no satisfaction over ordering a meal and your child refusing to eat it. A starter, a selection of side dishes or sharing an adults meal between a couple of children can work well. In fact, my children are not fans of the standard nugget and chips children’s fare. When the adult meal arrives and looks yummier they are not impressed and just eat mine. There go my prawns. 
    • Set the expectations. I tend to explain before we set out where we are going, how I expect them to behave and what type of food we will be ordering. I then repeat it when we get there.
       
       

 

  • Pack a bag. Toys that you can play with at the table, colouring bits, stickers, a book and snacks. I always have something to tide them over until the meal
    arrives in case it is a long time. You know you don’t want a grouchy, tired child on your hands.
  • Do not expect them to be perfectly behaved. They are children, they are meant to be noisy, they are meant to be active, they are meant to have fun. If you are ready for them to be this way then it is a nice surprise if they do sit quietly!
  • Breath and remember they are only young for a short, short time. Enjoy the moment and relish not having to wash up and leaving the mess behind. 

“This too will pass, so enjoy the moment”

 

 

Vegetarian Moussaka and going meat free for a week.

This week we went Vegetarian for National Vegetarian Week. As a family we always have at least 3 meat free meals a week, so this was a good chance to unleash some new recipe ideas. To be honest I don’t think the family really noticed the lack of meat, though they would do if carried this on for a few weeks. I love vegetarian meals and would probably be one if I wasn’t cooking for the whole family. Eating more plant based meals is better for the environment, a more sustainable way of eating and has some fabulous health benefits too.

Our week of vegetarian meals:

Vegetarian Moussaka, Leek and Stilton Risotto, Courgette and Lentil Lasagne, Vegetable egg Stir fry rice, Quorn Bolognaise and Roasted Veggie Pasta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moussaka is something I’d seen a variation on in a gluten free recipe book that I’ve had hanging around for ages. I used soya milk to make it lactose free for my boy – omit the cheese to make it dairy free. A few adaptations made this a super simple meal that is going to stay on our meal list.

 

Vegetarian Moussaka
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
494 calories
81 g
19 g
12 g
15 g
4 g
509 g
124 g
13 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
509g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 494
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 19mg
6%
Sodium 124mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 81g
27%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 13g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
30%
Vitamin C
35%
Calcium
24%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 1 large aubergine
  3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 tbsp white wine
  6. 150g mushrooms, chopped
  7. 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  8. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  9. 1 tbsp chopped chives
  10. 1 tsp paprika
  11. 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
Sauce
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 1 tbsp cornflour
  3. 400ml soya milk
  4. 40g grated cheese
Instructions
  1. Slice the aubergine, onion and garlic.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil on a medium heat.
  3. Add 2 tbsp white wine and the mushrooms, cook for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, puree, chives, paprika and rice.
  5. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes whilst you make the sauce.
  6. Heat the oil, add cornflour and turn the heat low.
  7. Add 1/3 soya milk and stir well, add the rest of the milk and increase the heat to medium, carry on stirring as the sauce thickens.
  8. Layer the rice mix with the aubergine, then the rice and the aubergine.
  9. Top with the sauce and sprinkle the cheese.
  10. Cook in the oven at Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes.
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calories
494
fat
12g
protein
15g
carbs
81g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Chocolate Granola Baked Apples

Granola is one of those foods that I could easily eat quite a lot of, though I tend to not eat it as a cereal but add it to dishes. I love the crunchiness and the variety it gives to transform your simple fruit and yoghurt into something more exciting. However granola is usually high in sugars and the amount of fruit, nuts and seeds is surprisingly low. If you have the time you could of course make your own, but you have to watch it carefully when it bakes. With my current tribe of small people I would be sure to burn it! 

So I was most delighted to be sent a pack of granola to try out, especially when it was chocolate granola. Such a hard life. 

Lizi’s granola is something I’ve recommended to some clients in the past due to it’s low sugar content and low glycaemic load (GL). The GL is a measure of how much a portion of a food affects your blood sugars. The GL for this granola is 6.6 for a 50g serving. Generally a low GL foods is one under 10 and you want to keep your GL to under 100 per day. So this granola is definitely a good option if you want a not too sweet, crunchy hit with a chocolately taste. It uses dark chocolate (which I love), some may say there is the added benefit of polyphenols and antioxidants but at only 5% dark belgium chocolate you won’t be getting much per 50g serving.

Here is how we enjoyed the granola – baked apples with chocolate granola. Instantly renamed big gruffalo crumble by the toddler boy. He calls any fruit crumble a gruffalo crumble, completely my fault for starting that one. 

“Now my tummy’s beginning to rumble, my favourite food is gruffalo crumble”

Chocolate Granola Baked Apples
Serves 4
A quick, simple dessert that is great to perk up your midweek meals.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
166 calories
32 g
8 g
5 g
2 g
2 g
196 g
4 g
22 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
196g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 8mg
3%
Sodium 4mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 32g
11%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 22g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 apples
  2. 4 tsp raisins
  3. 4 tbsp granola
  4. 1 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut the apples in half and cut out the core, this will leave a hole you can now fill.
  3. Fill the apples with the raisins, dot with a little butter and press the granola over the top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with Greek yoghurt if wanted.
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calories
166
fat
5g
protein
2g
carbs
32g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 Disclaimer: This granola was sent to me to review, this is not a dietetic endorsment but simply my own views on it. 

 

 

Courgette and mushroom patties

I’m always after ways to get more veggies into the children and myself. Hubby likes to do his own thing at lunch, so I made these as a preparation for the toddler, baby and my lunches. They were fast to make and went well warmed up with a salad for lunch. Make a batch, freeze a batch and feel smug all week.

Courgette Patties 2

Courgette and Mushroom Patties
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
43 calories
6 g
17 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
53 g
34 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
53g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43
Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 34mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
3%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Spray olive oil x 5 squirts
  2. 2 courgettes, grated
  3. 5 mushrooms, grated
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  5. 1 beaten egg
  6. 2 tbsp parmesan
  7. 1/2 ball mozzerella
  8. 75g cornmeal
  9. 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6.
  2. Saute the courgettes and mushrooms in a pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Leave to cool a little and then mix in the other ingredients. It will make a thick batter.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased and lined baking tray. It will make about 12.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
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calories
43
fat
1g
protein
2g
carbs
6g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Courgette patties 1 

Chicken Satay Stir Fry

This week I’ve had a sudden creative burst and have been playing around with new recipe ideas. Typically not the best week for it as Miss K has had earache and tummyache, the boy is tired and the baby teething, but cooking and creating is one of my outlets.

I saw a recipe for chicken satay and it got my brain ticking. I wanted the satay taste with plenty of veggies and no skewers (imagine a 3 year old knight enthuisiast of a boy trying to sword fight across the table with his sister, I’d prefer not to visit A&E thanks). Initially I was thinking of cooking it on skewers and then removing them before serving, but that felt like an unnecessary step, plus someone was bound to want to help me with the skewer preparation part. I decided the 3 year old needed both his eyes, so went back to my roots and turned to my trusty wok.

The chicken was marinaded for a couple of hours (mixed up pre-school run) and I prepped the veggies at the same time, then popped them in a ziplock bag in the fridge, which meant this took minutes to cook. You could do this prep the night before and cook dinner in 10-15 minutes.

Dietitian UK: Satay chicken stirfry 1

I totally loved this meal, the rest of the family were all feeling a bit meh, so not feedback from them, except clean plates. This hit my peanut craving right on the head and the leftovers were great the next day with added avocado for lunch. I would add in actual chopped peanuts and have a serving of satay sauce on the side to drizzle over for extra finesse next time. Fresh coriander would also be a winner.

Dietitian UK: Satay chicken stirfry 2

 

Chicken Satay Stir Fry
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
358 calories
15 g
106 g
13 g
45 g
3 g
324 g
443 g
8 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
324g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358
Calories from Fat 110
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
19%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 106mg
35%
Sodium 443mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 45g
Vitamin A
73%
Vitamin C
250%
Calcium
7%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 500g Chicken Breasts
  2. 3 tbsp peanut butter
  3. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  4. 1 tbsp sweet thai chilli sauce
  5. 1 tsp sesame oil
  6. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  7. 2 tbsp water
  8. 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  9. 1 tbsp water
  10. 3 red peppers thinly sliced
  11. 200g sugar snap peas sliced lengthways
  12. Spring onions (optional I have onion dislikers in my family)
Instructions
  1. Mix the satay sauce, whisking the peanut butter, soy, thai sauce, sesame oil, garlic and water together.
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and coat with the marinade.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  4. Slice the vegetables and place in a Ziploc bag in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  5. Heat a wok with the coconut oil or you could use a spray oil.
  6. Add the chicken and cook on a medium heat for five minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1tbsp water to prevent it sticking.
  7. Now add the sliced vegetables. Continue to cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
  8. Serve with rice or noodles and extra satay sauce on the side.
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calories
358
fat
13g
protein
45g
carbs
15g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Family Mealtime Mayhem.

Family meal times are in my house a whirlwind. In my mind we are all going to sit down, enjoy a tasty, hot meal, with some lovely conversation and in relative calmness. The reality is very different. At the time of writing this I have a 6 year old girl, a 3 year old boy and an 8 month old baby. You can probably imagine how an average mealtime goes, but I will give you a snapshot in the hope it nomalises the chaos that may also be in your home.

Dietitian UK: Family MealtimeMayhemTop Tips.

Mummy manages to find time to cook up a nutritious dinner, that in itself is no mean feat. Cooking at actual teatime  in our house is like navigating through a very choppy sea, on a pirate ship, with cannon balls being thrown at you. So when possible I try to cook straight after school or at lunchtime. I plan meals at least a day in advance otherwise my stress levels spiral upwards!

Mummy calls for someone to lay the table, usually meaning can my husband please come and do it. The reality is the 3 year old comes, upon prompting the 6 year old may join him. The table is quickly cleared by mummy (by cleared read – swept to one side or everything moved to the nearest worktop) and an assortment of cutlery is laid out. Certain people must have certain cutlery of course. Do not dare to give the 6 year old anything but a fork with a flower design on it!

Finally food gets to the table, some people sit down whilst it is hot, others straggle along later. Now comes the “How many times can we get mummy to get up from her seat” game. 

  1. There are no drinks.
  2. The table was laid with only forks and no knifes.
  3. The boy wants a different coloured plate.
  4. The baby has no bib.
  5. Someone wants pepper.
  6. A spillage needs a cloth.
  7. The cat needs putting out as he is trying to steal the babies meal.

 And so on…

The 6 year old refuses to sit with her legs round the front of her chair and sort of hangs off the side. The 3 year old refuses to eat with cutlery most of the time. Someone starts a song which leads to a both children singing different songs at increasing volumes until mummy shouts “No singing at the table”. The conversation darts all over the place from Daddy trying to pass on some business information, to what happened at school and what the boy’s dinosaur wants to do tomorrow. Throughout it all the baby sits there and cracks on with her meal, watching it all. 

 

Towards the end of his meal, my boy tends to need some encouragement with eating his vegetables, along with some feeding. Then he will find a free adult lap to climb into. The 6 year old takes her time, leaving her favourite bit of dinner until the end. After a while the baby will want a cuddle and feed so mummy can end up feeding whilst eating her dinner. By the end of the meal there are content children, a food covered baby and a lot of clearing up to be done.

So, even if you are a dietitian, mealtimes can be a negotiation process and far from perfect. That is family life. Family mealtimes are such an important time in our house though. A place where the family is all together, a time for sharing news, for role modelling manners, healthy eating, portion sizes, taking it in turns speaking and a time for fun as well. 

Here are my top tips for family mealtimes:

  1. Plan meals ahead of time. I do a rough plan for the week at the weekend but leave it flexible as life happens. My children get a bit of input into this, so I canvas opinions and try to cook things everyone likes.
  2. Set aside some food prep time. Chopping all the veggies in one hit for 3 meals can save you time on other days. I find it easier to chop a pile of carrots, butternut squash, peppers and pop them in a ziplock bag in the fridge to keep fresh.
  3. Getting the kids involved can feel like it takes more time and effort, but see it as a learning time for them. I have a boy who loves to help me cook and my girl is getting quite good at laying the table now. Find the jobs that they enjoy.
  4. Don’t expect perfect table manners. Do have some family rules. One of ours is “No phones at the table” (well you can take a quick instagram shot and that’s it).
  5. Role model healthy eating and portion control to your children, they will thank you for it later in life.
  6. Offer a range of different foods throughout the week. We sometimes talk about the food we are eating, where it came from, what it is made from and what it tastes like.
  7. Don’t force anyone to eat anything they don’t want to eat. 
  8. You may have to eat super early in order to fit with the children but I still think it is important to do this and it leaves you time for fruit and yoghurt later on.
  9. Enjoy the time you have together. It is precious. 
  10. Laugh in the face of chaos 😉

How to prepare yourself for weaning.

I love the adventure of weaning. The excitement of seeing your baby try something for the first time. Their facial expressions when they taste. The determination they have in picking up a food. The mess they make as they feel the texture. Taking photos of them, it’s all rewarding and funny in my eyes. 

Dietitian UK: How to start weaning

However there can be a level of stress in it too. What do I feed them? How do I start them off? How do I minimise the mess? What do I do when out and about? Which foods are best to give them?

So here are my “mum of 3” tips of what you need to get started. 

What you need to start with:

Bibs: I like to have the ones that cover as much of their bodies as possible! Long sleeved as great. It saves a clothing change after eating. You need at least 5 if you can. 1 per meal and 1 in the wash plus 1 in the change bag. It saves hassle to have more bibs around. Although a muslin folded into a triangle can be tied around your little ones neck as a make shift bib. Be warned the food stains may not come out! 

A high chair with a table: I’ve started 2 of mine off in a Bumbo with the tray attached. I like it as they have sat on the table and there is less chance of throwing food onto the floor. However it didn’t work for my boy as he wasn’t safe in the Bumbo. 

Dietitian UK: How to prepare for weaning 2

I don’t think that is any need for an expensive high chair. The Ikea Antilop white one is our fav. Wipe clean with hardly any nooks or crannies for food to get stuck in it is also portable in the car as the legs come off. This highchair fits out table well, however I like it away from the table for the start of weaning so I can prevent baby throwing food in my dinner! It is also found in lots of cafe’s so when you eat out baby feels like it’s a home from home.

A mat: having a plastic sheet, shower curtain or washable mat under the highchair saves a whole heap of clearing up. You can then pick it up, shake the bits of food off outside and put the mat in the washing machine when wanted. I have this one which I take to people’s houses as well (saves apologising constantly about their cream carpets!).

Plastic Spoons: These can be picked up cheaply from any supermarket. These are specifically designed for fit a babies mouth and are shallower than other teaspoons. Metal spoons are not suitable as if baby bites on them or pushes them further into the back of their mouths they could harm themselves. 

Plastic Bowls: Again easily picked up in a supermarket or online. Safe in a dishwasher, microwave and unbreakable as they will get dropped on the floor.  Having some with lids is useful for storing and transporting foods.

weaning-bits

Cups: If you can use an open beaker then that is the best way to encourage baby to drink. It is messy however as they can pour it everywhere! I like to use a combination of different cups. My favourite open cup is the baby cup as it is so small it is easy to hold and there is not much liquid to be thrown around!  Safe, easy to clean and approved by dentists. I also like doidy cups.

 Wipes: We use washable wipes, they just get thrown in with the normal washing. I have a tub that sits on my table with damp wipes in it. Everyone ends up using them for messy hands and faces. I’ve found cheeky wipes really good as they trap all the bits and wash well. 

Patience: baby may not be that interested and eat that much initially, which can be stressful. It is almost best to ignore them and let them get on with it, whilst keeping a quiet eye out for safety. Let them play, let them eat with the family, let them make mess, let them try and feed themselves. 

A plan: Not necessarily a spreadsheet of foods to try out, but some vague plan of what you are cooking and how you can therefore adapt it for baby. I often find it easiest to save leftover from the day before and give that to baby for lunch the following day. You don’t need to cook different meals for baby, but it can also be useful to have bits of food saved up to offer them or spare meals in the freezer.

Good books: If you want to do some reading up then the Baby led weaning book and cookbook by Gill Rapley are good and for some great evidence based information try ”Easy Weaning” by Sara Patience.

Foods to have ready: As babies are used to sweetness in milk I find it good to start with a mixture of a few sweeter foods such as fruit but also plenty of vegetables and starchy foods. 

Examples:

Breakfast : 

Porridge fingers (porridge cooked and left to go hard! I often some to last several days. It is sticky but easy for little fingers to pick up.

Toast fingers with butter, scrambled egg or hummus.

Eggy bread with vegetable sticks.

Weetabix with mashed banana.

Lunch:

Pitta bread in fingers with cream cheese and avocado.

Large Pasta shapes with roasted carrot and courgette strips.

Savoury muffins with cheese and cucumber.

Pancakes with steamed green beans, mushrooms and trips of chicken.

Tea

Risotto with a no/low salt stock

Roast dinner with no gravy

Potato wedges with broccoli florets steamed, sweetcorn and fingers of fish.

 

If you want to stock up online here is a little list of my recommendations:

 

Healthy Butternut and spinach lasagne

Vegetable lasagne is one of my all time fav dishes. Super comfort food, I was looking for a way to make it healthier, not too long in the making and pack it full of veggies. I may have done it 🙂 Cooking around a baby, a toddler and a chatty, needing attention school girl means cooking needs to be simple and quick for school night meals, I managed to do this one in stages. Butternut squash was prepped at lunchtime and left. Tomato sauce was prepped after school. It was all assembled during the afterschool ballet class then popped in the oven. WIN.

Butternut squash and bean lasagne 2

Plates were literally licked clean (mental note to work on table manners in our house) and everyone had seconds. There were, of course, fights over the cheese topping. It was one of those meals for me that I just wanted to keep eating. However I listened to my stomach. Sigh. Sometimes intuitive eating is not that much fun 😉

A great meal for upping the veggie content of your meals for the week, a meat free feast. 

Butternut squash and bean lasagne 1

Butternut and spinach lasagne
Serves 4
A not-so-complicated, delicious vegetable lasagne recipe
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
764 calories
137 g
19 g
9 g
38 g
4 g
868 g
519 g
19 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
868g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 764
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 19mg
6%
Sodium 519mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 137g
46%
Dietary Fiber 21g
86%
Sugars 19g
Protein 38g
Vitamin A
59%
Vitamin C
50%
Calcium
33%
Iron
33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium butternut squash
  2. 1 medium onion
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1/2 aubergine, chopped
  5. handful of chopped chives
  6. 400g chopped tomatoes
  7. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  8. black pepper
  9. 2 large handfuls of greens or spinach
  10. 400g tinned beans
  11. 8 lasagne sheets
  12. 100g half fat creme fraiche
  13. 150g cottage cheese
  14. 50g cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Peel, chop and boil/steam the squash until it is soft. Now blend in a food processor and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and saute in a pan. Add the crushed garlic. Add the aubergine and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped tomatoes and herbs, tomato puree and black pepper.
  4. Now slice the greens/spinach and add those to the sauce.
  5. Add the beans and stir well.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  7. Mix creme fraiche with cottage cheese.
Now layer it all up
  1. Butternut squash
  2. Tomato sauce
  3. Lasagne sheets
  4. Butternut squash
  5. Tomato sauce
  6. Lasagne sheets
  7. Creme fraiche and cottage cheese topping
  8. Top with grated cheese.
  9. Cook at Gas Mark 5 for 40 minutes.
beta
calories
764
fat
9g
protein
38g
carbs
137g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Fragrant Fishy Curry

Being half Sri-Lankan I love curry, it is in my genes to like curry. I’ve made alot of curry over my years of cooking, but never a fish curry. Not because I don’t like fish, it’s just it has always seemed like quite a delicate balance to get the flavours right. For some reason I’m a bit cautious about cooking fish/shellfish as I’ve also never cooked spaghetti mariana, another fav of mine). However I’m now a convert. This is one of my favourite ways to eat fish, added bonus being the kids lapped it up (the boy literally, we must work on table manners!).  I also love that this is SO easy to cook. It is completely not how I would normally cook a curry (curry powder is not my norm) but it made for a quick, midweek meal that was tasty and healthy.

I used salmon as I aim to get 1 portion of oily fish into the family dinners a week, but a white fish would work just as well.

Miss K “Mummy this is the best fish curry ever” 

 (Bless her, it’s the only one she probably remembers eating)

 

Dietitian UK: Fragrant Fish Curry

 

Fragrant Fishy Curry
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
285 calories
11 g
87 g
13 g
29 g
2 g
252 g
88 g
6 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
252g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285
Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
21%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 87mg
29%
Sodium 88mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 6g
Protein 29g
Vitamin A
47%
Vitamin C
148%
Calcium
7%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 1 onion
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. 1/4 inch freshly grated ginger
  5. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  6. 1 tbsp curry powder
  7. 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
  8. 2 tbsp desiccated or grated coconut block
  9. 2 peppers, chopped
  10. 450g fish fillets (I used salmon)
  11. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  12. coriander leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, salute the onions and add the mustard seeds. Cook for a few minutes over a low heat with a lid on. The seeds will pop.
  2. Now add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and cook out for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, grated coconut and some black pepper along with the chopped peppers. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes to get a nice sauce.
  3. Chop the fish into bite sized chunks and add to the pan, simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice, season and serve with rice and a scattering of coriander if you have any.
beta
calories
285
fat
13g
protein
29g
carbs
11g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/