I have started this page to help families find and experiment with new recipes to help children enjoy their food. We would like you to get involved and send us your family's favourite recipes. These recipes can be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks between meals, they may be for lunch boxes or picnics or camping. They can be simple or involved recipes and we love trying out recipes from different cultures too. If you would like to share your recipes with us we would be delighted. Of course we are looking to encourage healthy eating habits but there are also times when we want to indulge in special treats too. So send them in and we will post them up for all to enjoy.
Children love to get involved, try to encourage them to help you with the preparations; this often helps them eat it. Choose healthy high fibre, low sugar and no or low salt ingredients where possible. And remember safety first. Always supervise your children in the kitchen and do not let children near the hot oven or stove or in using equipment that may be dangerous.
Since my article on ‘Fussy Feeders’ I have been asked about ways to disguise healthy foods in everyday recipes. I believe the master of disguising food is Jessica Seinfeld who has a book called Deceptively Delicious. I would recommend this book to any family even if you don’t have a fussy feeder. Jessica has some wonderful ideas for all sorts of disguise in an amazing array of foods. I’d like to share some of these with you. Jessica suggests cooking and pureeing foods to be added to recipes. I suggest incorperating this idea with other recipes you try.
If you or any of your friends have recipes that you would like to share with us sent them through Contact Us.
Our List of Shared Recipes
Sushi for Kids
Baked Spaghetti & Meatball Pie (Jessica Seinfeld)
Easy Pizzi Pizza
Chicken Pasta Bake
Sweet Potato Custard
Pink Pancakes (Jessica Seinfeld)
Basic Pancake Mix
Brownies (Jessica Seinfeld)
Sushi for Kids
You will need to buy all the ingredients before starting this easy to make recipe.
Firstly prepare the rice. Short or medium grained rice will suffice if you can't find Sushi rice. Wash 2-3 times in cold water till the water is no longer cloudy. Place rice into a saucepan - 2 cups of rice to 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or cook in rice cooker. Allow to stand for 10 mins.
Pour this over the rice and stir gently until thoroughly mixed in. Allow to cool to room temperature. While rice is cooling prepare fillings.
Choose ingredients from the following list that you and your family enjoy such as - .
cucumber, carrot, cheese,
capsicum, avocado, egg - beaten then fried flat and cut into strips
spring onions or shallots, . mushrooms fresh of cooked,
pickled ginger, radish or gherkins,
cold meat, sausage or chicken,
tuna or cooked fresh fish,
mayonnaise to add flavour.
Or any other filling of your choice.
Cut all the fillings into long thin strips. Sometimes you may like to use up bits from yesterday's meal, for example cold sausages, fish, or meat thinly sliced.
The last ingredients you will need -
nori (dried layers of seaweed)
Japanese soy sauce for dipping (for the adults)
water and a pastry brush or finger
With everyone sitting around the table with the ingredients on plates or a clean chopping board you are ready to go. Place the nori sheet on a wooden board or bamboo place-mat and spread some rice mix over 2/3 of the nori sheet leaving a space of 2 cm at the end furthest from you. On the end closest to you put a thin strip of the fillings of your choice and a little mayonnaise to your taste. Roll the nori sheet firmly over the filling and rice then with pastry brush or finger dampen the edge with water to seal. By the time everyone has made their sushi rolls they will have had time to sit for the needed 10 minutes. This will allow them to set. Now cut them with a sharp knife into mouth size pieces.
Eat with fingers or have fun with chopsticks. Since everyone has made their own sushi, choosing what they like to go into it, they are bound to enjoy it. Once you have all the ingredients this recipe is quick, easy and ready within minutes.
I have once again chosen a recipe sent in by a client who recommended another of Jessica Seinfeld’s recipes, which the whole family enjoys:
Baked Spaghetti & Meatball Pie
From: ‘Deceptively Delicious’ by Jessica Seinfeld
1 cup of leftover cooked pasta or wholemeal spaghetti
500 g mincemeat, minced chicken or tin of tuna drained
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated carrot (this can be let out or replaced with ¼ cup carrot puree if your child is fussy with vegies).
½ cup of pureed mixed veg – put a combination of vegetables into a food processer and puree.
NB. Vegetables can be carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, pumpkin, fresh beetroots, peas, capsicum, or spinach. The idea is that the flavour of this puree doesn’t have an over powering taste or colour.
Preheat the oven at 180 C and lightly grease a 20 cm baking dish.
If you are not using left over pasta cook your paster till al dente, drain and cool.
Into a large bowl, mix the pasta, tuna, tomato sauce, grated carrot and cottage cheese then flavour to taste with salt and pepper.
Or, using the mince mixture make 2cm balls by mixing mince with, pureed vegetables, egg white, parmesan and garlic.
Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish spread out evenly before adding the meatballs and sprinkling with mozzarella.
Bake for 25 -30 minutes uncovered or until the centre is firm and the cheese is browned.
Note when making sauce or mince or stews, vegetables can be disguise by adding them grated or pureed. Into tomato sauces, mince or meat dishes add pureed dark vegetables to such as spinach, broccoli, peas, fresh beetroots, capsicum, carrot, sweet potato, or pumpkin and light vegetables such as potato, cauliflower, sweeds, turnips and zucchini without its skin into cheese sauces.
Easy Pizzi Pizza
This recipe is easy and fun to make for young and old and because you can choose what goes on-top of your own pizza, you are bound to enjoy it. It is quick and ready within minutes. I keep a stack made up in my freezer ready for those occasions when I need a quick meal. Bag them individually in plastic bags and stack them on top each other then when you need a quick meal take them out and place them on an oven tray in a hot oven.
Most children enjoy pizza. Check out the ideas on how to incorporate vegetables that are not always accepted. Also encouraging a fussy eater to get involved with making their own pizza with the toppings they enjoy is not only a great way to encourage a child to enjoy their food but a fun way to involve the whole family.
You will need:
Pitta bread - one for every member. (small children may only eat half the other half can then be shared with older children or parents).
Herbs - oregano, basil, garlic
Favourite toppings finely chopped such as -
grated mozzarella cheese,
sun-dried tomato or fresh tomato, capsicum,
olives pitted, onion,
Cold meats, ham, sausage, chicken or fish
Or any other topping of your choice. Choose healthy high fibre, low sugar and no or low salt ingredients where possible. Place these in bowls with spoons to be sprinkled on top on the pizza base.
Put enough tomato paste into a bowl and stir in a little finely chopped oregano, basil, garlic or any herb your family likes. Spread this mixture thinly over the pitta bread.
Once the pitta bread is prepared you are ready to go. Make space on your table or bench to for each child to have a pizza base in-front of them and within reach the bowls of toppings. Sprinkle the toppings over the pizza base. It doesn’t matter if it is unevenly spread or what order the toppings go on some like the cheese first some like it sprinkled on last. Allow each child to make their own pizza, don’t try to improve on their creation. You may like to make shapes, faces or patterns with the ingredients.
Encourage your child not to put too much on and to spread it around not in clumps.
Once the pizza is finished pop it into a preheated over and cook for fifteen minutes on 250 degrees centigrade or until golden brown.
Cut and serve warm or cold as a snack or for school lunches. Make sure there is an ice bottle in the lunchbox to keep food cool.
Brownies (with carrot and spinach)
This recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld's book ‘Deceptively Delicious’.
Non-stick cooking spray
90gms semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
½ cup carrot puree
½ cup spinach puree
½ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup unsweetened coco powder
2 tablespoons trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
¾ cup oat flour, or all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 130F. Coat a 20x20 cm baking pan with cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or over a very low flame.
In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
Whisk in egg whites. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in a pan before cutting into 12 bars.
Jessica’s warning: “... do not serve them warm – it’s not until they’re completely cool that the spinach flavour totally disappears.”
I acquired this recipe when I working overnight with a client. I thought it was a good winter dish. I hope you enjoy it.
Prepare pasta enough for 4 while cooking the following in a wok or large pot.
A chunk of Hungarian sausage cut into 2 cm slices and cut these in eights.
1 large onion cut fine
2 garlic cut fine but kept separately
8 small mushrooms
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1/2 green or red capsicum
1/2 cup tomato paste
pepper and salt to taste and chilli if you desire to your taste.
Fry the onion till tender
Add the sausage and tomato paste and enough water to keep it as a thick sauce.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook keeping the veg crunchy.
Finally add the last clove of garlic just before taking off the stove which enhances the flavour.
Pour over prepared pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.
by Jessica Seinfeld
Since my article on ‘Fussy Feeders’ I have been asked about ways to disguise healthy foods in everyday recipes. I believe the master of disguising food is Jessica Seinfeld who has a book called Deceptively Delicious. I would recommend this book to any family even if you don’t have a fussy feeder. Jessica has some wonderful ideas for all sorts of disguise in an amazing array of foods. I’d like to share one of these with you this month. Jessica suggests cooking and pureeing foods to be added to recipes. In this recipe she adds pureed beetroots which also provides the colour.
¾ cup water
½ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup beet puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pancake mix (commercial or homemade)
¼ cup grated apple
Non stick cooking spray
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Pure maple syrup or fruit, for serving
In a blender or food processor, combine the water, ricotta cheese, beet puree, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend. Dump the mixture into a medium bowl, add the pancake mix and apple, and stir until just combined. Do not over mix – the batter will be a little lumpy.
Coat the griddle or large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set in over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, using about ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the top and the batter is set, 1-2 minutes. Then flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2-3 minutes. Serve warm, with syrup or fruit.
To make your own dry pancake fixture to be used in the above recipe try...
1 cups self raising flour
1 tablespoons sugar
Aussie Pikelet mixture is similar to an American pancake mixture.
(makes approx 40)
1½ cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl
To this add the milk and flour alternatively in two lots and mix well.
Cook immediately in hot greased iron griddle or heavy frying pan.
When bubbles rise turn with a broad knife or spatula and cook the other side till brown.
Serve with butter.
Pikelets can be cooked small (8cm in diameter) as we do here in Oz, or can be made bigger (size of a saucer) to be eaten like an Americans pancake with a variety of toppings.
Basic Pancake Mix
1 cup plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk
1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Then make a well in the centre.
2. Add the egg and stir lightly while gradually adding milk.
3. Beat till mixed well.
4. Stand in a cool place for ½ hour.
5. Heat a pan with a little oil and pour in sufficient mixture to thinly cover the bottom of pan.
6. Cook till lightly brown and set. Loosen edges and toss to cook the other side.
7. Serve warm with the topping of your choice.
This mixture is more like a crape.
Toppings: Brown sugar and lemon (my favourite), jam, honey or maple syrup, pureed fruit topped with cream or ice cream.
Chicken Pasta Bake
This recipe by Robyn Barker was sent in by Kerri from Manley.
250 g (2 cups) cooked fusilli pasta
125 g cottage cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
500 g minced lean chicken or minced meat
400 g can tomatoes, chopped
½ cup water
2 tablespoons homemade tomato sauce or commercial Italian tomato sauce
300 ml carton fresh cream or ½ cream and ½ natural yogurt
1 ½ cups grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 180° C. In a mixing bowl, mix the pasta, cottage cheese and 1 egg. Put into a greased baking dish.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion until soft.
Add the chicken and cook until it changes colour, stirring frequently.
Add the tomatoes, water and tomato sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20 mins, and then pour over the pasta mixture.
Beat the remaining eggs with the cream. Mix in the cheese and spoon over the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30 mins.
Puree or mouli portions for your baby.
Kerri also says this dish is delicious when sliced up and served cold for lunch or for picnics. Chicken mince can be replaced with lean minced meat or a tin of tuna.
Rachel has sent in her favorite recipe Sweet Potato Custard by Bridget Swinney, which Rachel found on the baby centre website. Rachel suggests it is good to use up any unused expressed milk that may have been defrosted but not needed and suggests it is also a good way to introduce egg yolk when starting on solids.
Sweet Potato Custard
1/3 cup pureed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup formula or milk
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix first three ingredients in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 3 minutes).
Cook an additional 30 seconds - until 160°F is reached. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Let cool and serve.
If there is not a family history of allergies to eggs, egg yolks can be introduced to babies at 8 months. When first introducing eggs start with a small amount of cooked egg yolk then if there is no adverse reaction, egg whites may be offered in small amounts.
Egg yolk can be boiled and added to vegetables, mixed with a little butter and smeared on toast, or made into egg yolk custard.
Soft serve fruit ice cream
Into a liquidiser add equal amounts of full cream Greek yogurt and frozen fruit and zap till all ingredients are mixed together. Pour into small bowls and eat immediately. Or place ina plastic container in the freezer for ½ hour before serving or in an icy pole tray with a stick and freeze. No extra sugar is needed as the fruit sugars will sweeten this treat.
Frozen fruits can be: mango, berries, boiled apples, pears, peaches etc
Freshly squeezed fruit juice poured into and icy-pole tray with sticks and freeze.
Small chunks of fresh fruit can be added for texture. Vegetable juice can also be mixed with the fruit juice especially if your child has an aversion to vegetables.
Use apples, oranges, grape or pineapple juice as the staple ingredients and add vegetables such as celery, carrot, beetroot or buy the veg and fruit juice mix from the supermarket and use that if you don’t have your own juicer.
Try mixing up your own flavours and let us know what the family favourite is.
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup icing sugar
1 cup mixed fruit
250 gms copha
1 ½ cups rice bubbles
Melt copha in small saucepan
Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl, pour on the melted copha
Mix well with a flat edged knife
Turn into a flat tin and press out well
Allow to set in the refrigerator then cut into squares.
Store in a cool place
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