Tuesday, 14 February 2017

MEAL PLANNING: A week on a toddlers plate #1

Cooking healthy, nutritious meals for children doesn't haven't to be overly time consuming or expensive. Some of my mummy friends don't understand how I have the time to cook fresh meals for Isabella every single day and the answer is I don't. She has homemade meals every meal time, but it doesn't mean I've made it fresh that day. Cooking in bulk and freezing is key, it means you can make the most of reduced items in the supermarkets and you'll always have an array of delicious, nutritious meals ready to heat up.


Toddler's don't need that much food per meal time, so things like a chicken breast or fillet of fish can last for a good few meals if frozen. I'll always take advantage of reduced vegetables/fruit/meat/fish, that way cooking for Isabella doesn't get too expensive. Freezing discounted fruit means you can make smoothies/smoothie bowls for a fraction of the cost and freezing discount bread products means they don't go mouldy before being eaten up. If I come across milk that's reduced I'll make a big white or cheese sauce and freeze into toddler sized portions. That way I have a homemade sauce for fish pie, pasta, lasagne etc. ready to go. We're currently on the hunt for a new, much larger freezer so we can fill it in readiness for our second baby's arrival.

To help with meal planning or inspiration I've shared 'a week on Isabella's plate'. In reality this is actually two weeks worth because for three days a week she's at nursery for all of her meals. As you go through the days you can see how by using a few staple ingredients you can make a variety of different dishes. The key ingredients I used for these days were broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, homemade white sauce, beans, porridge oats and bananas.

Day 1
Breakfast
Overnight Oats
Combine natural yogurt and porridge oats in a bowl, cover and leave overnight. In the morning add berries and a squeeze of Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup to add a slight sweetness.
Lunch
Homemade Smokey Paprika Baked Beans on Toast
To make the baked beans - Add 1 tbsp. tomato puree, 2.5 tsp smoked paprika and 1 minced garlic clove to a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for 30 seconds. Add a can of mixed beans (or haricot/red kidney beans) and a carton of passata. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, so that it is reduced slightly.
Dinner
Sausages, mashed potato, peas and homemade tomato ketchup
I buy 97% pork sausages for Isabella, as it keeps the salt content to a minimum. To make the homemade tomato ketchup just simmer tomato puree and passata together until significantly reduced. It will become a thicker sauce that can be stored in an airtight container.  

Day 2
Breakfast
Homemade Pancakes with Natural Yogurt and Blueberry Compote
I used Jamie Oliver's recipe for fluffy American pancakes (via Zoella's blog), which are perfect for making in a batch and then freezing for a treat at the weekends. To make the blueberry compote add two handfuls of fresh blueberries into a saucepan over a low heat. Add a squeeze of Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup and cook until the blueberries break down, usually around 5-10 minutes.
Lunch
Homemade Satay Vegetable Noodles
I found that the bought Satay sauce mixes are really high in salt, so made my own for Isabella's meal. Mix 3 tsp Meridian Smooth or Crunchy 100% Peanut Butter with 1-2 tbsp. almond milk to create a paste. Cook your chosen vegetables (I used red peppers, mange tout, baby sweetcorn, carrot and broccoli) and add to a frying pan with a dash of oil. Add in 'add to wok' noodles into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter paste and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle toasted unsalted chopped peanuts on top for a crunch.
Dinner
Cauliflower and Sweetcorn Soup
Steam/boil cauliflower until cooked. Make a white sauce by melting butter in a pan, stirring in plain flour and then gradually adding milk until you have a thick white sauce. Add the cauliflower to some of the white sauce with canned sweetcorn. Pour in as much milk as you'd like, depending on the desired thickness of the soup. Use a hand blender to create a thick, smooth soup. Add pumpkin seeds and more sweetcorn on top for texture.

Day 3
Breakfast
Cinnamon Eggy Bread with Yogurt and Banana
Soak a slice of bread in a beaten egg that has been mixed with a dash of milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Once the bread has soaked up all of he egg mixture transfer it to a pan on a medium heat. Cook until golden on one side and then flip over and cook on the other side. Slice into strips and serve with natural yogurt, banana and defrosted frozen berries.
Lunch
Picnic Plate
These 'picnic' plates are some of Isabella's favourite lunches, as she loves to 'dip dip' anything and everything. On this day she had cut up wholemeal pitta bread, sweetcorn, ASDA Little Angels Organic Tomato, Cheese and Herb Lion Puffs, hummus with smoked paprika sprinkled on top (Isabella loves the flavour) for dipping, sliced grapes and clementine.
Dinner
Chicken and Sweetcorn Pie with Carrots
Make a white sauce (I used some of the leftover white sauce from making the cauliflower and sweetcorn soup). Stir in some roasted chicken chunks, sweetcorn and black pepper. Top with mashed potato (again, I used leftovers from one of our dinners) and cook at 190'C for 20 minutes. Serve with steamed carrot slices.

Day 4
Breakfast
Apple and Cinnamon Porridge
Make porridge - 1 part porridge oats to 2 parts liquid (I use 1 part almond milk and 1 part water). Top with chunks of apple, cinnamon, sultanas and chia seeds.
Lunch
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese with Hasselback Potato
To make the hasselback potatoes thinly slice a potato, but not all the way through. Drizzle over olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked and golden. Make a white sauce (I used some of the leftovers from making the cauliflower and sweetcorn soup) and mix with cooked broccoli and cauliflower. Stir in grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle some on top. Bake at 190'C for 20 minutes.
Dinner
Falafel Couscous Salad
Cook a falafel for 15 minutes, you could make these or buy them. Add boiling water to plain couscous and cover with cling film until fluffy. Once it has cooled slightly stir in chunks of cucumber, tomato, coriander, broccoli and cauliflower. Serve with hummus and the falafel.

Day 5
Breakfast
Smoothie Bowl
Blend frozen fruit with yogurt, oats and milk. I used frozen grapes, plum and banana. Pour into a bowl and top with rice krispies, berries and coconut.
Lunch
Chicken Fajita
Add sliced onions and red peppers into a frying pan. Fry for 10 minutes. Add part of a chicken breast (coated in paprika) and cook until golden and cooked through. Place onto a mini tortilla wrap with sweetcorn, coriander, cheese and avocado.
Dinner
Pitta Pizza
Top half a pitta bread with tomato puree, cut up mushrooms and cheese. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden. Serve with cucumber slices, cheese chunks, plum and a homemade apple and blackberry flapjack bite.

Day 6
Breakfast
Rice Krispies with Banana and Coconut
Pretty self explanatory and perfect for busy mornings.

Lunch
Homemade Salmon Fishcakes with Boodles and Broccoli
To make the fishcakes boil potatoes until cooked, mash them and set aside. Simmer a small boneless fillet of salmon in milk until cooked through, remove the skin and flake the flesh. Combine chopped parsley, black pepper, wholemeal flour, mashed potato and flaked salmon. Mould into fishcake shapes, dip into natural breadcrumbs and fry in a little oil on both sides, hot through and golden brown. Serve with spiralized butternut squash and steamed broccoli.


Dinner
Loaded Sweet Potato Chips
Cut a sweet potato up into 'chips' and bake at 190'C for 20 minutes. Top with homemade refried beans (cooked down mixed beans with garlic, fresh tomatoes and spices), chopped fresh tomatoes, mashed avocado and soured cream.

Day 7
Breakfast
Smoothie Bowl
I used the Purple Smoothie Mix (frozen strawberries, blueberries, avocados and spinach) from Morrisons blitzed with Greek yogurt and milk. Topped with more Greek yogurt, raspberries and crunchy bran flakes.
Lunch
Homemade Sweet Potato and Bean Burger with Chips
To make the burgers: boil sweet potato until cooked, add to a blender with kidney beans, smoky paprika, onion and pepper. Blitz until almost smooth. Mould into burgers and place on a lined baking tray. Cook at 190'C for 30-40 minutes, flipping over half way through. Serve in a pitta pocket with hummus, cucumber and lettuce. I used left over 'chips' from yesterday's meal to serve with it.
Dinner
Carrot and Cheese Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding with broccoli and peas
The recipe will be coming on my blog soon, so if you fancy having a go at such a quick and easy dinner then check back soon.


What are your toddler's favourite meals?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
Mudpie FridaysMummascribbles

Diary of an imperfect mum
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27 comments

  1. Oh wow these look amazing ill have to try some out for Oliver :) xx

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  2. Some fab ideas and they all kook beautifully presented! #bestandworst

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  3. This is so handy - I have been struggling to get Josh to eat much recently so am going to try some of these xx #bloggerclubuk

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  4. I seriously swear by meal planning, such a life saver! #twinklytuesday

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  5. Wow, they all look great! My personal favourites are the loaded sweet potato chips and picnic plate - yum! I'm a big fan of a picnic plate, even as an adult.
    I'll have to try some of these when my little one is older. #bestandworst

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    1. I agree - you can't beat a picnic plate :)

      Helen x

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  6. Wow..these all look amazing. I am going to try some of these out for my 3 year old, I'm ashamed to admire his diet is pretty awful.. I try so hard but just cannot get him to eat anything healthy. Will give these a go xx #bestandworst

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  7. Wow. Those look great! I am definately not good at meal planning.
    #bloggerclubuk

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  8. What an amazing variety, all of these sound and look delicious!! Thanks for linking up to this weeks #bestandworst

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  9. Love this. Going to sound really sad, but can you put this into a PDF for me? struggling to come up with new recipes each week, i'm getting rather repetitive with Henrys meals. This is fantastic. My email is peonieandme@icloud.com - haha I'm serious, this is great. x #bestandworst x

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    Replies
    1. I've popped the recipes and photos into a PDF and emailed it over to you - I hope you and your little one enjoy the meals :)

      Helen x

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  10. Oh wow! I have to say every single one of those dishes look absolutely delicious! #Bestandworst

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  11. Great tips! Freezing is such a great way to make the most of fruit espeically. I get so mad when it goes off before I've had a chance to use it or freeze it.
    #ablogginggoodtime

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  12. If this is a series I'll be following with interest - my toddler is stuck in a past rut. #UKBloggerClub

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  13. Wow, so many great ideas here! Pinning for later x
    #Bestandworst

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  14. So many great ideas thank you. I love trying my two with new foods. I'm lucky that they're pretty good with food so most of the dishes you've shown will prob go down a treat.
    #bloggerclubUK

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  15. Wow so many delicious meals! Never mind the kids, I'd love so many of these in adult sized portions! Thank you for sharing with #MealPlanningMonday x

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  16. What an amazing meal plan and great ideas about saving time. Just wish I could be half this organised #mealplanningmonday

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  17. Oh wow! What amazing meals....I want to eat like a toddler. hehehe x

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  18. I think I want to come and live with you! #mealplanningmonday

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  19. What Delicious & healthy meals you have here. I'd be happy to eat any of them myself never mind the toddler! Thank you for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK

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  20. Wow Mama - you are a little bit of a legend and thank you so much for giving me some great ideas to feed my little one with too!!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

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  21. lots of variety there, Looks very yummy!
    #mealplanningmonday

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  22. Cannot tell you how much I love this. It is my approach to eating all over, and you have given me so many new ideas. I am so tempted to take a photo of all mine, I would be so interested to see what we all eat in the space of a week or two. So impressed that you make your own baked beans and ketchup. I rarely let them have it, so this would be a way to make it more frequent. This is so amazing! x

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