It’s been an AGE since I’ve last written anything for the blog – to be honest I just totally lost all motivation and had no idea if I was wasting my time with it. But here I am, trying to get back into the swing of it, so apologies for the little hiatus (not that anyone was waiting for a post lol!)
I popped up a pic on Instagram a few weeks ago to see if a blog post about meal ideas for babies/toddlers would be of interest and I was delighted to see from the comments that there was interest.
Please acknowledge that I am in no way a nutritionist or dietitian – most days I often ‘wing it’!
I make food for Ellie that I feel is suitable and healthy for her. So take what you like from the post, and obviously tweak things to suit your baby and their needs. My approach may be completely different to another parent and that’s totally cool. I have a good knowledge base myself about nutrition and healthy eating (as I have a personal interest) and I try my best to ensure that Ellie gets good variety in her diet. My main aim with preparing Ellie’s meals is that they contain all macronutrients i.e protein, carbs, fats etc (not possible all the time – but I try!) and that she gets food that is rich in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals)also.
I’ll briefly just say that when I started weaning Ellie at 6 months I never went down the route of being strict with starting off with only puréed food. She got a bit of a lucky dip between ‘Baby Led Weaning’ and Purées which seems to have served her well as she now has a fantastic appetite and eats everything.
To keep this short I will just pop up short meal ideas for breakfasts in this post, and I will follow up with blog posts for lunch and dinner ideas over the coming weeks. If there’s any particular meal ideas that anyone would like a more detailed recipe/method for-just DM me, but most are self explanatory. I tend to make things up as I go – and thankfully my little food critic hasn’t kicked up murder yet.
Porridge with Cinnamon – topped with Banana and Yogurt
I am sure many of you give your babies and toddlers porridge as it has a good smooth consistency and can be jazzed up with different toppings such as berries, banana, stewed apple etc. I never gave Ellie baby rice or baby porridge – I started her off on regular porridge (although gluten free until she was 8 months just to be careful!).
This breakfast is nice and filling thanks to the good fibre content, and contains carbs and a bit of protein and fat from the yogurt topping. The banana has great micronutrient content and the cinnamon adds a bit of sweetness .
I mix a probiotic into the yogurt for the topping (I use the KoKo brand as Ellie is sensitive to dairy) . Adding a probiotic helps to maintain good gut health. You can read up on use of probiotics here with a post from Edel at The Pharmers Journal and about the Impact of gut health in infancy to later life .
As I hold back on dairy with Ellie, I make her porridge with water/ almond milk/ cashew milk / coconut milk/ hazelnut milk or oat milk – it differs week to week. Previous to this, I used EBM (expressed breast milk) until Ellie was about 9-10 months.
Boiled Egg, Avocado, Rice Cakes
This one can double as a lunch, but it seems to be a hit for breakfast. This is as simple as it looks to prepare and is a good nutritious meal – boiled egg (protein, vitamin D, good fats) , avocado (good healthy fats, micronutrients) and rice cakes (carbs). Ellie loves this as she can feed herself, which is great for me also! She loves to gnaw on rice cakes particularly when she’s teething so this breakfast is ideal during those times.
Banana and Oat Pancakes – topped with yogurt and berries
Probably not the most appealing picture- but these are really tasty.
- In a bowl simply add about two heaped tablespoons of porridge oats
- Beat one egg (an extra white is optional but it seems to make a nicer pancake) and add a pinch of baking powder and cinnamon (optional!)
- Mash a banana and add in with the egg mix
- Mix all ingredients together
- Melt coconut oil (or whatever you use) on a hot pan
- Divide mixture and fry until golden on both sides (you need to keep an eye as they can cook very quickly!
And that’s it! A great mix of protein, carbs, fats, and micronutrients. I also tend to drop in some blueberries on the pan into the divided mix to add a bit of variety.
Likewise to the porridge, I use the yogurt and probiotic topping to finish. Ellie loves these pancakes although they can be very very messy if I let feed herself, but it’s all a bit of fun!
Wholemeal Toast with Almond Butter and Banana/ Fruit and Yogurt
Wholemeal Toast with almond butter and mashed banana. Again I know it’s banana based – but Ellie just loves them! Apologies if it is repetitive! Another option could be to mix the almond butter in with mashed/stewed berries/ stewed apple and cinnamon.This takes two seconds to make and is nice and balanced. Simply mix your fruit in with some almond butter (As much or as little as you like) and spread on the toast. Very handy finger food and contains healthy fats, micronutrients and carbs.
I often follow this with a bit of melon and yogurt&probiotic just to ensure that she gets her probiotic and some added calcium.
Scrambled Egg, Softened Tortilla Wrap and Cherry Tomato
Again this could double as a lunch option, but Ellie has a massive appetite at breakfast time so I like to make sure she is nice and full.
Ideally the tortilla would be wholemeal (I hadn’t done a shop before I started to make this – my bad!) but again this takes 2 mins to prepare and is very nutritious. Simply soften the tortilla in microwave , scramble an egg (I add in a pinch of garlic and mixed herbs to get Ellie used to different flavours) and then cut cherry tomatoes into quarters.
This is handy finger food and keeps those little hands busy for a while.
I hope the above have given some of you a few ideas , other simple breakfasts I haven’t included are
- Weetabix with fruit toppings
- Porridge BreadEgg muffins
- Branflakes (only if she hasn’t had a bowel motion in a day or so/ or appears constipated – these work a treat, but I wouldn’t give them under a year as you need to be cautious with too much fibre!
- Mashed banana and avocado on toast/ porridge bread
Any questions give me a shout! I will follow up with lunch and dinner ideas over the next couple of weeks!
Jessica x .