I am forever in the kitchen cooking for my family so I’m always up for new easy ideas that my kids will eat.
One of my new year’s resolutions for 2019 is to get on top of my weekly menu plan and introducing a new weekly dish for the kids. So this post from guest contributor Rebecca Dicioccio with some new menu ideas has certainly come in handy so I thought I’d share!
The salmon, egg and veggie muffins are on my menu plan for next week (with the egg replacer powder replacing the egg for baby cravings) and I’ll be baking my fish instead of frying it this week.
Struggling to come up with dinner ideas that the whole family can partake in? Are you always preparing separate dishes for you and your little one? Well, there’s no need to spend extra time in the kitchen preparing multiple meals when there’s plenty of great ideas that will please everybody.
There’s no shortage of super quick and delectable food ideas for you to add to your family cookbook. With a little preparation and creativity, you can create some incredible dishes every night of the week for you and your toddler to enjoy.
Each one of the following meals is guaranteed to taste amazing and please both your tummies.
Spinach and pea dhal
The mild curry spices in this dish are a great way to introduce your little one to curry flavours. It’s also super healthy, being an excellent source of protein, fibre and essential minerals. Top with brown rice, pita bread and a spoonful of natural yogurt for a full meal.
Fish fingers and wedges
Making this dish yourself ensures that you control the ingredients that go into it. Use natural, organic produce where possible, and be sure to bake rather than fry to minimise fat content. Choose your preferred fish – whether it’s salmon, barramundi or whiting – and cook in a breadcrumb and egg batter. Pair with some homemade wedges and a side of vegetables, such as peas or broccoli. This dish provides a good source of omega-3, potassium and antioxidants.
Cauliflower and sweetcorn fritters
Fritters are a tasty and easy-to-make snack that takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Combine egg, sweetcorn, cauliflower, spinach, garlic, onion, flour, milk, baking powder and oil in a bowl. Spoon the mixture into the frypan and cook on each side for about 1 minute. Let them cool a little before serving. Rich in protein, vitamin C and other essential nutrients, these fritters are the perfect snack for your toddler (you’ll love them, too). You can pair them with a source of protein such as chicken for a full meal. Tip: Freeze the leftovers for fuss-free snacks or meals in the future.
Beef and veggie balls
Who doesn’t love meatballs? For a hearty, wholesome meal or snack for your toddler, combine beef, onion, carrot, celery, egg and breadcrumbs and bake for about 25 minutes. Add a homemade tomato sauce and fibre-rich brown pasta and you’re set. This dish is a high quality source of protein, fibre and other nutrients.
Homemade chicken and veggie nuggets
With only a few wholesome ingredients, this recipe is easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser. It’s also egg, dairy and nut-free, so it’s perfect for kids with food allergies. It can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs. To make, prepare a bowl of mashed sweet potato. Combine with ground chicken, salt and onion powder (if desired). Form into balls, flatten slightly and cover with breadcrumbs. Then bake until golden brown. Feel free to freeze the leftovers.
Mini shepherd’s pies
Shepherd’s pie isn’treallya pie – it’s more of a beef and potato bake. Nonetheless, it tastes delicious and is a great source of vegetables and protein – the ‘pie’ is essentially potato! Combine beef, your choice of vegetables and a tomato pasta sauce in a pan. Once cooked, place the mix into mini pots and cover with mashed potato. Bake in the oven until golden brown. You may also want to add a sprinkle of cheese on top before cooking.
Salmon, egg and veggie muffins
Boost your toddler’s omega-3 and protein intake with these scrummy muffins. They also make for a perfect midday snack for the older members of the family. Create a mix using egg, salmon, carrots, peas, spinach, corn, flour and feta. Pop in a muffin tin and cook in the oven for around 15-20 minutes.
These are a great way to introduce your toddler to the world of broccoli. They’re also really delicious – you’ll find yourself munching on them, too! Boil the broccoli for around 2 minutes, then drain and chop. Combine in a bowl with garlic, cheese, egg and breadcrumbs. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge and then bake for about 9 minutes. Flip and bake for another 9 minutes. Cool slightly before serving and pair with salad and/or a source of protein.
Pea, spinach and pesto rice
This dish is a veggie-rich dinner option that the whole family will love. Peas are high in protein and the rice offers a good source of fibre. Combine parmesan, spinach, basil, lemon, olive oil and sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor. Add the mixture to cooked rice and peas and you’re done! If your toddler isn’t a fan of peas, feel free to substitute for another vegetable, such as broccoli or zucchini.