Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How I got my son eating lettuce

My son is generally a reluctant salad eater.  He will eat coleslaw, occasionally some cucumber but anything leafy is a flat refusal on the salad front.

This got me thinking... what if I chop it smaller?  What I often say to people with fussy kids is to try cutting up the food or serving it in a different way.  I should say here, all parents think their kids are fussy sometimes and they'd be right.  All kids at least go through a fussy stage or have something they flat refuse.

So this was the outcome.  A few lettuce leaves, some cucumber, raw peas... mix this up how you like and you could even add some chopped apple if your child isn't much of a fan of savoury food.  Radish might be nice, as would grated broccoli stem (might sound odd but it tastes cabbagey).

Friday, 26 July 2013

'Creamy' Mushroom Tagliatelle for Toddlers

This is a very simple and not overly strongly flavoured pasta dish which might be pretty good for the pickier eaters among us.  Similar to my creamy mushroom pasta I posted as my very first recipe post but rather than cream cheese this uses eggs to create a creamy sauce.  This means it's a great source of vitamin D as eggs and mushrooms are two of the few dietary sources.

I say 'creamy' because this contains no cream, and so depending on the severity of the intolerance may be suitable for lactose intolerant kids (as hard cheese is low in lactose but not suitable for people with milk protein allergy); be guided by your medical practitioner.  The eggs are lightly cooked so not for under 12 month olds; use vaccinated 'Lion' eggs if in the UK.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Watermelon Ice Lollies Great for Toddlers

If I can encourage you to do one thing this summer, which is setting out to be a scorcher, is buy an ice lolly mould.  Ice lollies are so expensive to buy and often full of sugar, artificial food colourings and other stuff which isn't all that great for kids.

Much better is to make your own lollies out of fruit or fruit juice with a little added sugar if needed.  Even if you do add something to make it sweeter, it's still far more natural, lower in added sugar and can count towards their 5 a day!  In fact, one of these ice lollies contains 60g of fruit and only around half a teaspoon of added sugar.

So here is my latest ice lolly recipe.  My 3 year old said "I like pink lollies best" when he had one of these and was upset when I wouldn't give him one at 6:30pm because it was bath time!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Best Salads

I do like a good salad but when I was growing up, "salad" meant some cucumber, some little gem lettuce and a flavourless hard tomato, with salad cream if you were lucky.  Nowadays shops, palettes and awareness of alternatives have all caught up so the humble salad is now not quite so humble even if my son did say recently (while eating a piece of cucumber) "Girls eat salad!"

Salads are a great way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet fairly easily.  There aren't many of us who manage 5 a day on a regular basis but put a salad in your lunchbag instead of a sandwich and you're well on your way.

Seeing the weather is unseasonably warm in the UK right now, I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite "more interesting" salad recipes.

My favourite has to be Goats Cheese Salad.  Goats cheese is pretty rich but the dressing and slight bitterness of the nuts offsets it nicely.

Also brilliant if you're trying to cut down on carbohydrates with lots of healthy oils in the olive oil and nuts.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sausage Pasta for the Whole Family

I'd always been really nervous about cooking sausage pasta, too many memories of student meals made with value sausages but I was inspired by the Salsiccia Pasta at my local Italian Caffe to give it a go, this isn't an attempt to copy the recipe and anyway it's not a patch on the pasta Alison D'Angelo sells at Caffe Italia, but I hope she wouldn't be embarrassed by my efforts!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Honey Digestive Biscuits - no refined sugar

I'd been thinking about making a simple, no nonsense, "no bad stuff" biscuit for a while and I'd had some attempts at making some sugar free.  If I'm honest though, I was never happy with them.  Unlike a cake, a sweet biscuit is very difficult to make without sugar.

After a few attempts though I settled on this recipe.  Not strictly sugar free because it contains honey but no refined sugars and pretty low in sugar overall.  Yet it's still sweet but in that sweet / slightly savoury way that digestive biscuits are which make them as at home with a cup of tea or with strong cheddar.

I was impressed and will make them again.  Just keep an eye on them, the temperatures and times are for my oven and after I overcooked a previous batch, I lowered the temperature to what you see below.  You want to take them out of the oven when they're just starting to colour and firming up.

Obviously due to the honey, these won't be suitable for kids under the age of 12 months.