Cooking for Toddlers and Babies isn’t That Hard!

Meal time can be fun!

We as parents will never be happy. When babies don’t eat, we worry. When babies do eat we worry again because they don’t eat the right things. When they eat the right things, they eat too much or not enough!

One very wise doctor once told me: “Children will never starve themselves”. Needless to say, he told me this when I was complaining to him that my toddler daughter keeps throwing up food that was not pureed into the smoothest paste imaginable. ?She is 14 now, she did not starve. ?

I would love to share some recipes that my children loved eating when they were little. You can freeze these. One recipe that I still make is the spinach recipe and my children love it even now. I do, however, serve it with mashed potatoes and a fried egg but hey, they re eating spinach so I won’t  complain. ?Each of these would also make a great side dish and if your toddlers can help you cook these, even better.

See in The Dark Puree

6–7 MONTHS  MAKES 6 PORTIONS
COOKING TIME: 24 MINUTES
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock (see pages 124 and 125)
  • ¼ cup orange juice

Sauté the onion in the butter until softened. Add the carrots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the orange juice and puree in a blender.  Food fact: Carrots do improve night vision. They are an excellent source of beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, and one of the first symptoms of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness.

(Karmel, Annabel. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Babies)

Spinach and Pea Puree

6–7 MONTHS
MAKES 5 PORTIONS
COOKING TIME: 14 MINUTES
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

Combining spinach with a sweet-tasting vegetable like sweet potato is a good way to introduce it to your baby. You can also make this recipe with broccoli instead.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup washed and sliced white part of a leek
  • 1 large sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¾ cup fresh baby spinach (3 ounces), washed and tough stems removed

Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the leek for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened, then add the sweet potato. Pour in 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the peas and spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Puree the vegetables in a blender to make a smooth consistency for your baby, adding a little of the cooking liquid if necessary.  Food fact: Frozen vegetables like peas can be just as nutritious as fresh, since they are frozen within hours of being picked, thus locking in vital nutrients. Once cooked, they can be refrozen.

(Karmel, Annabel. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Babies)