Tag Archives: family meal ideas

When your 4 year old cooks dinner…

One of the best things about having kids is knowing that one day they will cook you dinner… well tonight it kinda felt like that happened. The J-boy just got stuck in and took me by surprise. I’m pretty sure this boy is going to be a great cook.

So if you need some encouragement to get your littlies in the kitchen helping you cook, here it is. He has been helping me cook since he was able to stand from his cooking “tower” and he seems to have picked up some tips along the way! My children have all loved helping me cook, at times I’ve certainly wished they didn’t want to help me – it can take twice as long, be noisy and messy, but it teaches them a great life skill and a love of good food. I’ve also found it a good way to get them trying foods too.

Fish fingers are one of the ways my family do not just eat, but really enjoy oily fish. I like to get a portion a week into our meals. Oily fish are good sources of the omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) as well as providing vitamin A, Vitamin D,  iodine, selenium, protein and calcium.  If you don’t like salmon other oily fish includes:  mackerel, pilchards, fresh or frozen tuna, trout, crab, whitebait, herring, sardines.

 

Omega 3’s benefits include:

  • Reduction in the risk of heart disease. May protect the heart and blood vessels from disease.
  • Supports healthy development of  baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Brain function – may help  maintain good memory and also for the prevention and treatment of depression.
     

     

 

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.
beta
calories
494
fat
12g
protein
15g
carbs
81g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Heathy Pasta Carbonara

Carbonara is one of those meals that my husband adores, but being full of cream, (which I don’t like and it doesn’t like me), I never make it.  Then I felt inspired. Somehow in the midst of sleep deprivation these idea pop into my head. It was a pile of spirallised courgettes and carrots that gave me the idea. I had prepared them ready for a stir fry but they started talking noodles to me, which led to carbonara. It may have been due to eating out and reading a pasta/pizza style menu the night before 😉

With a well stocked kitchen this was a literal doddle to make. It took 10 minutes from start to finish as I had the veggies prepped already. One of those meals you can prep ahead and then cook in a flash. Even better I had a little toddler helper who really enjoyed all the beating of the eggs, the stirring and big bonus, he ended up eating a fair bit of carrot as we cooked.

Dietitian UK: Toddler cooks Healthy Spag carbonara

I used rice noodles because I fancied them and they are so quick to cook! You could of course use spaghetti. I didn’t add the parsley to this batch but it would make a great addition, as would bacon!

Dietitian UK: Healthy Spag carbonara

Heathy Pasta Carbonara - Gluten free
Serves 4
A healthy take on spaghetti carbonara
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
309 calories
40 g
198 g
10 g
14 g
4 g
261 g
445 g
5 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
261g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 309
Calories from Fat 88
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 4g
22%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 198mg
66%
Sodium 445mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 40g
13%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
134%
Vitamin C
30%
Calcium
22%
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. 1 large courgette
  2. 2 large carrots
  3. 60g mushrooms
  4. 100g green beans (I used purple ones)
  5. 150g Rice noodles
  6. The sauce
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 2 tbsp greek yoghurt
  9. 1 tbsp cream cheese
  10. 50g parmesan
  11. plenty of black pepper
  12. bunch of fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Spiralise the courgette and carrots.
  2. Chop the mushrooms and beans.
  3. Cook the noodles, in the last 3 minutes of cooking add the veggies.
  4. Whilst it cooks, whilst the eggs, add in the yoghurt and cream cheese.
  5. Drain and turn the cooker off.
  6. Quickly add the sauce to the pasta and stir in, the eggs will cook in the residual heat. Stir for a few minutes.
  7. Add plenty of pepper, the parmesan and the parsley.
  8. Serve with parmesan if wanted!
beta
calories
309
fat
10g
protein
14g
carbs
40g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto.

Risotto, it’s a staple in our house. I love the way you can reinvent it each time you make it. Weaning baby 2 has also remined me how it’s completely suitable for everyone in the family. He has been loving risotto from his first taste of it at 6 months old. So if you want a meal you can cook that everyone will enjoy, try this out. This is real food and tasty food.

Dietitian UK: Baby Eats Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto

Today’s variation includes salmon for extra omega 3 goodness and monounsaturated fat. I always pack whatever we cook with plenty of veggies. The courgette was grated as my toddler “is not keen on courgettes mummy”…. but it also adds extra vegetables without you really noticing they are there.

Here is the 3 1/2 year olds portion… she like risotto alot.

Dietitian UK: Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto: toddler portion.

And the husbands portion – hence all the cheese, the man is a cheese monster…

Dietitian UK: Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto

 

Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto
Serves 4
Packed with vegetables and omega 3's, a super healthy, tasty dinner suitable for the whole family.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
414 calories
31 g
75 g
15 g
36 g
4 g
455 g
537 g
8 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
455g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 414
Calories from Fat 134
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 4g
20%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 75mg
25%
Sodium 537mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 8g
Protein 36g
Vitamin A
306%
Vitamin C
48%
Calcium
27%
Iron
15%
* 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 carrots
  2. 1 onion
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 200g risotto rice
  5. 50ml white wine
  6. 300ml chicken stock
  7. 400g salmon fillets
  8. 1 courgette, grated
  9. 50ml semi skimmed milk
  10. 50g parmesan
  11. 40g quark
  12. 200g spinach
  13. pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop the carrots and onions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and sweat the onions and carrots for a few minutes.
  3. Now add the rice and stir to coat in the oil, leave for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, and stir, bring to a simmer on a medium heat.
  5. When most of the wine has been cooked out add the stock, about 100ml at a time. Stir frequently whilst it cooks as this helps release the starch from the rice and stops it burning on the bottom, plus it gives you a good arm workout 😉
  6. About half way through the stock additions add in the cubed salmon and grated courgette.
  7. When you have added all the stock, it's time to add the milk and let it cook out too.
  8. Now add the quark and grated parmesan.
  9. Finally stir through the spinach and allow it to wilt, and season.
beta
calories
414
fat
15g
protein
36g
carbs
31g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/