My top three batch cooking faves – for toddlers

All these recipes are great for batch cooking, as you can just double or triple what you would normal cook and freeze them. I put them into small containers, let them cool and then freeze them. Then throughout the week I will just get them out when I am making Hallie’s lunch or you can take them out the night before and pop them in the fridge.

Hallie’s ‘Toddler’ Curry

  • Courgette
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • (Optional chicken)
  • Coconut milk
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Korma paste
  • Baby chicken stock cube
  • Rice

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Hidden Veggies Sauce

All your toddlers fave & not so fave veggies pureed up into a lovely sauce for pasta or potatoes.

  • Courgette
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Celery
  • Leek
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrot
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Vege stock cube – low salt

Bolognese sauce

A classic, and again pureed as Hallie doesn’t like the mince texture

  • Mince (beef or even turkey)
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Tomato puree
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Low salt stock

Time savers! Leaving more time for playing and getting out the house.

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Need for speed: be healthy with the microwave

There is so much more to microwaves than frozen micro meals. I moved away from the microwave for a while, before I had a toddler and didn’t need to cook quickly, all day every day! But now I am back and loving the microwave! My toddler LOVES food, I cannot express how much, and if it isn’t available as soon as she is hungry, let’s just say the Hulk has nothing on her. So with that in mind I started to use the microwave more.

I would say the most important thing for parents when cooking for their children, is that it is healthy, and I don’t think people associate that with a microwave – but that is wrong! A lot of recipes you find online for the microwave, such as ‘mug recipes’, are American and have their microwave timings, but we can recreate these in the UK! We have great microwaves that now offer healthy options, such as steam combination cooking, which boasts the steam to preserve vitamins, therefore making them a healthier option – more info @ microwaves in the UK by Panasonic.

I was watching This Morning not long ago, and they had a chef demonstrating healthy meals in a mug, cooked in the microwave! Holly admitted her mother cooked all their meals using the microwave including a whole chicken! This got me thinking back to my mum doing the most fluffy scrambled eggs in the microwave, a lightness you just can’t get in a pan!

We had a few common microwave faves;

  • Scrambled eggs with butter and milk yum!
  • Jacket potatoes – my sister won’t even eat one that has been in the oven as she prefers the texture from a microwave.
  • Frozen vege – this is so much quicker and you can add a small knob of butter for that extra bit of yum!

However, if I was to use the microwave more, I had to broaden my horizons and find some more recipes that worked for our family. Some of our new faves are;

  • Microwave quiche (in a cup) – eggs, ham, milk, cheese, spring onions? peppers? whatever you fancy, throw them in the mug and cook for a couple of mins – great breaky idea.
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For this crustless quiche I used 2 eggs, splash of milk, pepper, cheese, spring onion, tomatoes & parsley

  • Fish & vege parcel – wrap them up in greaseproof paper, season and let them cook for at least 5 mins (or until done)
  • Microwave sweet potato crisps (or other vege, maybe kale?) – slice, toss in a small amount of oil & pop them on greaseproof paper, then cook until crispy.

All quick, easy and nutritious! What microwave recipes do you swear by? Share them below…

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Hallie’s Veggie Paella

I love making Paella as it can be as easy or difficult as you like! Tonight I chose the easy way and made a simple veggie filled paella for adults and toddlers.

You’ll need…

1 onion, 2 peppers, hand full of green beans, 2 cloves of garlic, oil, paprika, parsley, salt (a little), pepper, reduced salt vege or chicken stock, paella rice (100g per person) and peas. Chicken and chorizo is optional but very yummy.

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Chop up and onion, a couple of peppers, a handle full of green beans, a couple of cloves of garlic and a dash of oil and throw it all in a pan. Stir until the veggies start to soften slightly. (For a meat version I would also add in diced chicken and chopped up chorizo).

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Stir in some paprika and parsley, with salt and pepper (not too much for the youngsters), then add in your paella rice, I would say around 100g per person should be fine. Stir it in for a few minutes and let it take on the flavour.

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Add in the stock, a reduced salt vege stock cube or chicken. For a four person paella you will need around 1.2 Litres of stock, I normally add a quarter at a time and see how it goes. Don’t forget to add in your peas round about when you have added half your stock.

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Let it bubble gently away until all the liquid is absorbed. Don’t let the rice get too soft though! You want a bit of bite.

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Then you’re ready to serve! Yum!

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Whenever I tell people this problem I am having with my 14 month old, they say I am so lucky, and in a way I am. Hallie will eat pretty much anything, which is great, the problem is she won’t stop eating it.

Hallie has a really balanced diet and trust me she is definitely getting enough food (if not too much), but there is just no filling her. Every mealtime begins with cries as I am preparing her food, I have even starting doing her lunches in the morning so they are ready to go. I have tried healthy snacks in the day, but this just makes things worse, if she has a snack at 10:30/11am she just cries as it wasn’t enough and she wants her full lunch, this is the same in the afternoon also.

At the end of mealtime I hold my breath hoping tears are not going to follow after her three course meal…

I would love to know if anyone else has this problem or any advice? At the moment I am just going with it, as I figure she must need it. She is a sturdy 14 month old, but she isn’t by any means overweight. She also still has a bottle at night, but has lost the two in the day, so maybe just needs more to cover this. As I say, meal ideas and snack ideas aren’t the issue as she loves it all! I have to eat my lunch at the same time or I end up sharing it, even if she has had hers.

It is quite funny at times and cute, but my gosh those tears are wearing me down! My friends are always surprised at how much she eats, she sits next to their children playing with her food and can eat an adult portion!

Anyway, moan over, she eats and she is healthy so I can’t complain too much. I just feel I am a bit alone with this as everyone else seems to have the opposite problem?!

Oh well, she is one on her own that’s for sure.

If you have come across this, comment below! Would love to know what you did etc…

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I consider myself lucky that Hallie is not a fussy eater. She loves food and lots of it! However I have made her a couple of baby curry’s and she hasn’t been too keen. Well today’s adaptation was a success, so I thought I would share it, make as much or as little as you like…

Hallie’s Curry 

  • Courgette
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • (Optional chicken)
  • Coconut milk
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Korma paste
  • Baby chicken stock cube
  • Rice

Yummy!

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