Saturday, April 6, 2013

Toddler Cooking

My son Rupert is 13 months old and has been eating solids for sometime now and only has a cup of milk after his meal.
For snacks he loves a variety of fruits, sultanas, rice cakes, cheese and plain biscuits. Breakfast usually consists of toast with either Vegemite, Promite or peanut butter or, Weet-Bix with yogurt and milk of course. Lunch is a sandwich with one of the already mentioned spreads, sometimes adding cheese or sliced banana. For dinner I usually pull out a frozen meal which is a concoction of vegetables and fruit. 
Rupert goes to bed at 6:30pm so he usually has dinner between 5:30 - 6pm and so, I found it convenient to cook up a big batch of this vegetable "concoction" once a fortnight, separating into individual meal portions and freezing.
I'll also mention that I often mix his meals around and give him his vegetables at lunch instead of dinner. If I know we'll be out for the evening its easier (and cleaner) to pack a sandwich for his dinner. 
This vegetable concoction I make may contain all or a variety of the following ingredients: pumpkin, potato, carrot, peas, pasta, chicken, tin tomatoes, apple, pear. It then all gets boiled in one big pot!

The reason for me writing this post is because I've come to realize that I should be making meals of more variety and textures. I have occasionally tried different dishes such as spag bol but Rupert has not liked it and probably because I have made it too flavoursome. So, I've decided I need to introduce more foods and meats but still keeping it simple and somewhat bland until he can acquire a taste for these new ingredients. 
People have given me many suggestions and ideas which I love to take on board but then I have considered what my sons eating habits, likes and dislikes are and come up with 2 recipes that I think will be a good start for Rupert. 

Now, yesterday I cleaned out the fridge and I've realized a grocery shop is needed so, the below recipes are of what I could find in the fridge and cupboards. I would have liked to have added more vegetable varieties. But my main aim was to come up with recipes that contained minced beef and tuna and I have managed to do that.
At 13 months Rupert isn't quite old enough to eat like a gentleman but is old enough to want to try so, I've opted to chop the vegetables chunky so that he can easily grasp with his fingers. 

Tuna & Tomato Risotto 

Author: Mama Essy


1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup uncooked rice, cooked
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 small potatoes, diced
1/4 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 185g tin tuna in springwater, drained
1/4 Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic until soft. Stir in rice, tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and add peas, celery, carrot, potato and kidney beans. Cover and simmer for about 30 - 45 mins. 
Stir through tuna and Parmesan cheese.

Savoury Mince with Pasta

Author: Mama Essy


1-2 cups uncooked pasta (I used combination of brown and white), cooked
500g mince beef
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 170g tin tomato paste
1/2 cup water - stock added optional
1 carrot, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas


In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic until soft. Add mince and cook until browned. Stir through tomato paste and water. Add carrot, potatoes and peas. Stir through cooked pasta.



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