The Kiddie Kitchen: 10 Minute Snack Ideas and Recipes for Weaning Babies – Mamas & Papas IE
The Kiddie Kitchen: Quick & Easy Snack Ideas For Weaning Babies

The Kiddie Kitchen: Quick & Easy Snack Ideas For Weaning Babies

As a parent, snack and meal times can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially when you're trying to come up with delicious and nutritional options for your little one. We have teamed up Steph from @thekiddiekitchen to bring you some seriously delicious inspiration, as well as some top tips and tricks for fussy eaters.

Whether you're a working parent, a stay at home parent, a single parent; each world comes with its own challenges and meal times is definitely one of them. From starting your weaning journey, to when they reach 18 (or older!), filling their tummies on your mind. What can I make for dinner tonight? What to put in their lunch box? What healthy snacks can I give them? We all worry about our children eating the right things but sometimes it's just not realistic to be able to cook three healthy meals a day plus two snacks! That's 35 meals a week, 150 meals a month, 1800 meals a year to prepare!

As a working parent, I've always loved eating good food but never really thought about how much goodness I can pack into one meal. That was, until I had my daughter, Rosie. She has had a huge appetite from the start but, like most children, she goes through fussy phase. Teething and growth spurts which can affect her appetite to a huge degree. Sometimes she will have seconds or even thirds of a meal. Other times she will barely touch what's on her plate. This has happened throughout her baby led weaning journey, through to current day and is one of the main reasons why I try and pack each meal with as much goodness as possible, whilst keeping things quick and simple.

Fudgy chickpea blondies

One thing I love to use in my cooking is chickpeas. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, making them a great replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes. They are also full of fibre, iron, calcium, carbohydrates and manganese which is great for bone growth and your digestive system. Chickpeas can come in many forms; as part of a curry, hummus and even in sweet treats like these blondies. I’m here to share some weaning ideas and healthy baby snack ideas with you. These healthy alternatives to cake are super easy to make and take just five minutes to prepare.

To view the recipe, click here.

Credit: @thekiddiekitchen

Black bean brownies

These fudgy, chocolatey brownies look and taste the same as normal brownies, except for a secret ingredient you would never know was there... some magic beans! Alongside chickpeas, black beans are also a great source of calcium, fibre and protein, and have so many health benefits which is why I love using them as baby snacks for Rosie. Give these easy brownies a go and you won't regret it. They even passed the taste test with my chocolate loving father in law!

To view the recipe, click here.

Credit: @thekiddiekitchen

Cheesy orzo

Lunch times can be quite stressful, especially if you have a little hungry monster like Rosie snapping at your heels whilst you're trying to prepare food. This cheesy 10 minute pasta dish is a game changer. It's full of flavour and very versatile if you wanted to add different vegetables into it. I like to add some grated courgette, finely chopped spinach or mushrooms, or even some tuna and peas as they're Rosie's favourite...for now!

To view the recipe, click here.

Credit: @thekiddiekitchen

Katsu chicken curry

Looking for more weaning recipes this dinner time? This next one is guaranteed to be a winner; Katsu Chicken Curry. The great thing about this dish is that the sauce contains hidden veggies; full of flavour and goodness! You can chop the chicken to suit your little one’s age (finger length strips for younger children, and smaller bites for older.) You can also add yogurt to baby’s sauce portion if you wish. We love eating this as a family, even in Rosie’s fussiest phases, she will make a big dent in this.

To view the recipe, click here.

Credit: @thekiddiekitchen

Steph's top tips

Wanting to get your little one more involved in the kitchen but don't know where to start? Do you have a fussy eater who only eats 'beige' food? Or do you want to give your child a little more freedom with what they eat?

One of the best ways to get children more excited about eating is to get them involved in cooking. This exposure to foods in all forms will really help them build a better relationship with their fruits and vegetables. It will also give them chance to work on some new and existing skills. I've included Rosie in cooking from around 14 months old where she would help transfer raw pasta to an empty saucepan, sprinkle toppings on pizza, pour flour into a bowl and, yes, eat a lot of the ingredients too! Here are some tips to get your little ones involved in cooking:

  • Ensure they are sitting/standing in a safe and secure spot. Supervise at all times.
  • Start with an easy recipe such as the Chickpea Blondies above. Remember that younger children won't necessarily know what ingredients they can or cannot eat. It may be best to start with a vegan recipe.
  • Pre-measure your ingredients into separate containers and assist your child in transferring the ingredients to your mixing bowl.
  • Ensure that there are no sharp or dangerous items within reach (hot stove, knives, raw meats, etc)
  • Use an apron and splash mat to keep clean up nice and easy, but expect it to be a little messy!
  • For older children you could ask them to measure out the ingredients or even write out the recipe in straight forward steps asking them to follow it under supervision.
  • Talk to your child. Explain what fruits or vegetables you are using. Taste pieces along with them and talk about their colours, flavours and scents. Teach them about the method you are using; such as "mixing" or "scooping", etc.
  • Have fun and encourage them with each new step they take. It's all about learning and spending time together.

Rosie and I cook together at least twice a week and I'm hoping, as we progress, that this is a skill she will take with her through life. I treasure our time together in the kitchen. Whether the floor is speckled with flour or there's guacamole in her ears, these are some amazing memories I will keep with me when I'm old and grey and you can't get better than that.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional and this information is from personal experience and research. Please cut and serve meals according to your baby's age and diet. Be aware of guidelines on salt and sugar intake as part of a healthy diet. Honey should not be given to babies under one year old due to risk of botulism.

A huge thank you to Steph for sharing some delicious recipes and top tips. If you enjoyed reading about these weaning snack time and dinner time recipes, you can find more just like them on Steph's Instagram - @thekiddiekitchen.

For further weaning inspiration, you can check out our 'Recipes' highlights over on our Instagram.

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