With the rising costs of food and the dangers of what processes are being used to make the food we buy, many people are turning to home-made alternatives. After all, what better way to know exactly what you are feeding your child than making it yourself? Here are some easy, healthy and nutritious recipes you can make for your child at home.
The medical world suggests that babies are only ready to eat their first solid meal after 6 months of age. Before introducing solids, first check with your child’s doctor.
Homemade baby rice cereal
This traditional first meal is very popular, but most often than not bought from the store. Make it yourself with this simple recipe:
- Ground brown rice in a food processor or blender until it has a powder consistency
- Bring 1 cup of filtered water to boil on the stove
- Gradually whisk in ¼ cup of rice cereal powder
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it has a smooth consistency (you may need to add a little water)
Brown Rice is an unrefined, whole grain, loaded with Vitamin B, Iron, Magnesium, and Fiber. This meal does not need to be sweetened with sugar, honey etc. You can try mixing in some sweet potato and banana for variety after some time.
1- 2 years old
Healthy breakfast muffins
While these are called breakfast muffins, you can give them to your little one at any time. You can also make extra for the rest of the family. Tip: These are great for lunch boxes.
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 small apple – grated with peel included
- 2 medium eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter – melted
Once the batter is made you can split it up into quarters and add these ingredients to each quarter for a variety of flavours, nutrition and a way to see what your little one likes best.
Apple Cinnamon (Enough for 1/4 of the muffin batter)
- 1/2 small apple – chopped into 1/2cm pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blueberries (Enough for 1/4 of the muffin batter)
- 1 handful blueberries – 2-3 blueberries in each muffin
Carrot and Raisin (Enough for 1/4 of the muffin batter)
- 1/4 medium carrot – grated
- 1 tablespoon raisins
Chocolate Chip (Enough for 1/4 of the muffin batter)
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease or line a 24-hole mini muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and flax seeds.
- Fold in the grated apples.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in the milk and butter.
- Pour the egg mixture into the batter, and fold together, being careful not to over mix.
- Split the muffin batter evenly between 4 bowls. In each bowl, gently mix in the mix-in ingredient. You can adapt the recipe to make 1, 2, 3 or 4 varieties. Adjust the amount of mix-in as required.
- Using an ice-cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter into the mini muffin tin, filling each muffin cup about 3/4 full. For each variety, you should be able to get 6 mini muffins.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked in the middle and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before
transferring to a cooling rack.
(With thanks to theworktop.com for the recipe)
2-3 years old
Homemade chicken teriyaki stir-fry
Again, this recipe is for the whole family! Easy to make, filled with different textures and tastes, it will help your toddler develop a broader palate and get them eating their veggies too.
- 600g boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons oil (olive or avocado)
- 2 cups cooked rice
- Handful of sliced broccoli
- Handful of sliced carrots
- On a large cutting board pound the chicken to ⅕ centimeter thickness using a meat tenderiser. Place the chicken in a large zip bag.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add the sauce to the chicken and seal. Toss to combine.
- Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes to 2 hours to marinate, or overnight for a stronger flavour.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side.
- Reserve the marinade. Once the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through remove from the pan and set aside onto a plate.
- Add the vegetables and cook until softened.
- Pour the reserved marinade in the skillet and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Remove the pan from heat and add the chicken. Toss to combine. Serve with rice.
You can use white, brown or cauliflower rice with this recipe. Replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos for a healthier kick.
(With thanks to blogger Laura Fuentes for the recipe)
Toptots Early Learning SA