I’m finding food on my mind quite a lot…not that that’s any different to normal (even on holiday I’ll be eating one meal but working out in my mind where we can potentially eat for tea and at what time). I think with babies and young children you need to be really organised when it comes to meal times and food in general.
N’s always been a hungry child, from going from happy to screaming for milk as a newborn (the whole having to wait for freshly made formula to cool wasn’t an option for us), wanting milk every 2 hours. Even during weaning where he was eating well from 5 ½ months, it took until about 9 or 10 months before he started dropping milk feeds. So aided by nursery getting him into the habit of having a morning and afternoon snack I have to ensure I have a ready stash of suitable food available to hand.
Fruit is always a handy snack and raisins, grapes and bananas are stars with N. He’s not a fan of rice cakes, but I’ll generally have a few toddler snacks in his cupboard in case we go out – handy as they’re usually snack packed up for portability. I usually stick with Plum and Ella’s kitchen although we’ve been getting a few of the Kiddilicious snack packs (fruit crisps and smoothie pieces) go down well. Anything that doesn’t get too crushed in my handbag is always good. To go with berries I’ll often buy mini pancakes from bakery sections in the supermarket. They do basics ranges so can be really cheap, and one of those for a snack with some berries goes down well. They last for ages in the fridge as well so pretty perfect on the avoiding waste front.
For meals I know there’s certain foods I can always resort to and that I always have in the fridge or larder:
- Philidelphia, cream cheese etc – I love the phili cook book so if I’ve got it in the fridge we can always have a chicken, salmon or pasta dish ready quickly that all of us will eat. Plus N has lots of it in sandwiches
- Pesto – whack it in with the cream cheese on salmon, chicken, pasta, to make a salmon en croute with ready made puff pastry. Really simple buy tasty. Again, lasts for ages in the fridge.
- Ready made pastry – see above. Also great for jam tarts, open apple tart, using up a ham or meat casserole for a pie topping, great for other desserts.
- Frozen fruit mixes – I always have several packs in the freezer. I did think I’d use them for smoothies or the like, but actually they’re my go to when I need to do a quick pudding…crumble here we come (or pie, compote, ice cream topping).
- Chilled tomato pasta sauce. If it’s a variety without cream, it seems to last forever (well, not quite, but a long enough time, even after opening). I use it for pasta (dur!!), homemade pizza topping, addition to tinned tomato based meals, salmon en croute for a topping inside the pastry…the list is never ending.
And the best is obviously making more than you’re going to eat and having leftovers to freeze. Always handy.
Are there staples you turn to when you’re in a hurry or need something reliable? And we’re always looking out for snack ideas.