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4 Healthy Recipes for Under 2s

We’ve all heard the stories of parents struggling to feed their children and we all hope it won’t happen to us. Eating habits are really hard to change once they’re ingrained and research by top nutritionists and child psychologists has shown that many food anxieties children experience actually begin with their parents.

Nobody wants this

We’re providing a mix of baby led weaning recipes and more traditional recipes for you to try. We’ll be writing about baby led weaning in another post soon so check in for that soon! Remember – whatever you’re cooking and however you’re feeding your baby: do not add salt, sugar or stock cubes directly to the food or cooking water. Too much of any seasoning could seriously harm your baby. The most important thing for your children is that they’re getting the right number of calories every day. So even if you think that all they eat is some form of mashed sweet potato, don’t worry. The calorie count is nutritionally more important at these early stages and many of the nutrients they need will be taken in through breast milk or formula.

So here are some easy, delicious and healthy recipes and ideas to ease your minds and make eating a more enjoyable experience for everyone!

 

Slow Cooking (suitable for 4 months+)

 

Slow cookers are fantastic to use for bulk cooking puréed or very soft foods for your first weaning experience. They’re also not too expensive to buy (you can get a lightweight and good quality one for about £20-25 e.g. this Morphy Richards 3.5 litre model.) You can put in any vegetables and cook on a low setting for anywhere between 4 and 8 hours to make healthy food that will freeze well and taste delicious. Remember if your baby is in the 4-6 month bracket you might need to make it runnier. 6 – 8 months will mean a bit thicker but still no lumps. You don’t want to introduce lumps until approximately 9 months.

 

1 – Vegetables: Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Frozen Beans and Peas

These can be done all together or separately depending on how adventurous or how many vegetables you want to eat.

 

Method:

 

Peel the butternut squash and sweet potato.

 

Your ratio for butternut squash and the frozen beans / peas will be:

500g of vegetable to 60ml of water

 

For the sweet potato it will be:

500g of sweet potato to 100ml of water

 

If you are doing the butternut squash and sweet potato together, split the difference and use 80ml of water.

Add your vegetables and cook on a low setting for 4-6 hours.

 

Feel free to add a quarter to half a teaspoon of any mild spices e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg or mild (NOT spicy) curry powder.

 

Mash it together at the end, store in portion sizes of 30-60ml and serve at just above room temperature (or warm).

 

2 – Fruit: Stewed apples and plums (ideally serve from 6 months)

It is not necessary to peel the apples and plums but you can if you are serving to a younger baby and you are worried about the texture.

 

Put the apples and plums into the slow cooker with water. Your ratio will be:

500g of fruit to 60 ml of water

 

You can add 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, cardamom powder or nutmeg to these.

 

Leave to cook on a low setting for 4-6 hours.

 

Use a blender once cooled and you’ll have your baby fruit purée. You can serve it with plain, full fat yogurt when your baby is ready for dairy, or mix it with mashed banana.

 

Baby led weaning

 

One of the leading voices in this is Annabel Karmel who has an incredible number of recipes and tips as well as a lot of knowledge on the subject! Definitely check out her website for some delicious ideas that are perfectly nutritious for your little one.

 

3 – Big, boiled vegetables (ideal for first foods)

 

This one might feel like cheating a bit but for first foods with baby led weaning you can go with any of these and know that you’re giving your baby natural and simple things to eat:

 

    • Steamed/boiled large slices or chunks of butternut squash, sweet potato, white potato, broccoli, courgette
    • Raw slices or chunks of peeled banana, avocado, ripe stone fruit
    • Boiled rice or pasta
    • Wholemeal toast fingers
    • A chunk of or grated cheese

Keep it simple and let your little one explore different tastes and textures for themselves.

 

4 – Baby Bitesize Fish Pie

 

You’re going to want to eat these too so make sure you do a double portion!

 

    • 1 baking potato
    • 1 standard supermarket sized piece of salmon (filleted – double check for bones!)
    • 1 tbsp frozen sweetcorn and/ or peas. Make sure you defrost these before cooking.
    • 1 tsp fresh chives, snipped into little strands
    • 30g mild-medium cheddar (mild for young weaners, medium for toddlers)
    • 1 small egg, beaten
    • a teaspoon of oil (chef’s choice)

Bake or boil the potato until soft.

 

Bake the fish at 180 degrees C for 12 minutes until soft.

 

Mash the potato and flake the fish.

 

Stir in all the ingredients to the mashed potato. and mould into small patties or croquette shapes.

 

Grease an oven tray with the oil and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Then try not to eat them all because you made them for your baby.

 

There are plenty more recipes available online and of course the most important thing is that your baby is eating what’s right and nutritious for him or her. That might be baby led weaning or it might be traditional weaning on to solid foods – as long as your baby is well fed and happy!

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