5 simple, healthy and delicious recipes toddlers will love!
The early years of a child’s life are most important in terms of brain and motor skills development. Add these five foods to your baby’s menu to boost her health!
Mums and dads, medical research has shown that what you feed your little ones in their early years is crucial for brain and motor skills development.
However, toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters. So how can parents make sure that their tots eat the nutritious food that is given to them? The trick is to make it yummy and appealing, too!
Here are five recipes for healthy and tasty, toddler-friendly meals that are packed with the right type of nutrients to boost your little one’s overall development.
1. Sweet and Sticky Plums Recipe for Babies:
Plums are nutritious, tasty and a great first food for baby. Not only are they sweet and juicy, they are also high in fibre and vitamins C and A, making them a great immune-booster and bowel regulator. The high fibre content in plums makes them one of nature's best remedies for constipation in babies, toddlers and adults. This recipe is suitable for babies from six months onwards.
Ingredients (For 2portions):
1 stick of clove
- Put 3 halves of de-stoned plums in a small pan, then add one clove stick, one cinnamon stick, 2-3 whole black peppers and one star anise.
- Pour in half a cup of water and let simmer over medium heat for 12 minutes.
- Once it is thick and sticky in consistency, remove pan from the stove. Once cooled, remove the whole spices and plum skin.
- The plums should be very mushy in consistency. If you wish, you can feed them to your baby without blending. If you want to create a puree, just add two teaspoons of water before blending. Serve the puree as it is, or add it to cereal or rice.
2. Semolina with Mashed Strawberries:
This is a delicious homemade breakfast dish for babies!
Semolina is finely ground wheat, and becomes beautifully soft when boiled. It contains fibre and is a great first food for babies.
Semolina contains protein and starch, as well as vitamins E, B1, B2, B9 and PP, and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium needed for your child’s healthy growth. However, do note that it also contains gluten.
Adding delicious strawberries to semolina makes it even more delectable to your little one. Also, berries, including strawberries, are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients (For 1 portion, from six months):
- Pour half a cup of milk into a pan. When it starts to bubble on the sides, add cinnamon, clove and star anise.
- Pour in the semolina and continue to stir till porridge-like in consistency.
- Top with mashed strawberries and serve.
3. Spinach Tart (6 servings):
This is a healthy dish, which is not only delicious but easy to make, too!
Spinach is a good food for your baby because it's packed with nutrients vital to healthy growth and development. It's a good source of vitamins A, K and C, and provides folate, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber and magnesium. Iron and zinc, in particular, are important nutrients for a baby.
700 g baby spinach
500 g pastry dough
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Heat oil/butter in a pan and sauté chopped onions.
- Add spinach, cooking gently until wilted but still bright green.
- Set the spinach mix aside to cool.
- Roll out pastry dough and lay it on a greased tart dish. Prick the bottom with a fork.
- Add spinach mix and top it with the grated cheese. Bake until the pastry is golden brown.
Your delicious spinach tart is ready for your toddler to eat once cool!
4. Easy Apple Pie
Kids love apple pie! It always makes for a popular dessert.
Apples are truly a wonder fruit, and they may be one on your baby's first foods. Some of the most important nutritional components of apples are fibre and flavonoids. Apples help boost your baby’s immune system and are good for the digestive system.
2 refrigerated pie crusts
- Preheat oven to 204 degrees Celcius.
- Place one of the pie crusts into a 9-inch pie plate. Brush with egg white (this prevents the crust from getting soggy). Let the egg white dry while you prepare the filling.
- Toss apples together with sugar and flour. Place the apples inside prepared crust.
- Place the second prepared pie crust over the apples, tucking the excess under the bottom crust. Now crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Cut 3-4 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the crust with any remaining egg whites (optional).
- Cover the pie loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, lower the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake another 30-40 minutes.
- Once finished baking, set pie aside to cool.
- Once cool, slice pie and serve with a glass of milk (or better yet, a scoop of vanilla ice cream!)
5. Carrot Soup
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, and make an excellent weaning food, as babies like their naturally sweet taste. Darker, older carrots contain more beta-carotene than baby carrots.
Your baby will love this delicious carrot soup!
Pinch of salt (can be omitted)
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 ½ cups water
- Heat 1 tsp butter in a pressure cooker, then add cumin seeds.
- Add finely chopped onions, ginger and minced garlic. Stir for 2 minutes. Add diced carrot and seasoning.
- Pour in measured water and bring to a boil. Pressure cook mixture over medium heat for 3 whistles.
- Transfer the cooked ingredients to a blender and blitz with some of the cooking water until smooth and shiny.
The carrot soup is ready for your baby!