Being a babysitter can be hard, especially when it comes to finding good nutritious meals for children, so we asked former babysitter and food blogger Kate Stronach for some recipe tips.
I’m a final year nutritionist who worked as a nanny in London while I was studying and I am now pursuing my dream of creating a space filled with recipes for kids that are simple, delicious and nutritious. Bubble has been brilliant for me over the last four or so years, it’s provided me not just with an income while working but also the opportunity to get to know so many families and further build on my experience with children. In the next few months I’ll be adding a shop to my website where I’ll be selling kids food-related prints and posters.
Here are some delicious recipes that are great for toddlers.
Quick Fajita Toast
A fun twist on a firm favourite dish. These are so quick to make and great for summer picnics – we took these to the park with us. You could also very easily switch up the toppings, or use gluten-free bread or dairy-free cheese. They’re also a good one for introducing less popular foods, i.e. adding in some peppers or slicing on a little spinach. Get the kids involved and see if you can add a rainbow of colours to them.
- 4 slices bread
- 4 tbsp tomato purèe or pasata or tomato pasta sauce
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 4 tbsp sweetcorn
- half a sweet pepper finely sliced
- 1 tsp fajita spice or 1tsp cumin and ground coriander
- Sliced chicken
- Sliced mushrooms
- Sliced onions
- Toast your slices of bread.
- Spread the tomato sauce over each one.
- Top with 1 cup grated cheese
- Add on any toppings, sweetcorn, peppers, chicken etc…
- Sprinkle over your fajita spice mix. You could also skip this step for a milder finish.
- Place these on a tray in your oven at 200c for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on these so they don’t burn. You could grill for a more crispy finish. Enjoy!
Creamy Sausage & Tomato Pasta
A very straightforward recipe, one you can do while multitasking and have ready in less than fifteen minutes. I used veggie sausages, almond cream ‘cheese’ and brown rice pasta, but you could also use pork/chicken sausages, regular cream cheese and any pasta you have to hand. For a dish that has plenty of fresh ingredients, it has a nice beige-ish comfort feel to it too. If you wanted to add in some more vegetables, peppers and spinach would work too – just add them in with the tomatoes.
- 4 sausages (veggie, pork or chicken)
- 180g pasta (I like wholemeal or brown rice)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion (diced)
- 2 garlic cloves (diced)
- 200g cherry tomatoes (diced)
- 100g cream cheese (I love the nush chive one)
- Fresh Basil
- Add your pasta to boiling water and cook per pack instructions, usually around 12 minutes.
- Slice your sausages and add to a frying pan with the olive oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side over a medium heat. You want them to brown.
- Add in your onion, garlic and tomatoes and continue to cook on a medium heat for about 7-8 minutes. The tomatoes and onion should soften and form a nice sauce. I like to quarter my tomatoes, but you could chop them more for a finer texture.
- Stir in your cream cheese and a tbsp of your pasta water.
- Stir in your drained pasta. I like to top it with a little fresh basil. Enjoy!
Our Favourite Banana Cake
You really cannot beat a good banana cake, and this is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s simple to prepare and a great option to slice and have on the go, or as a pudding after a meal. I quite often freeze a few slices of this for last-minute use. You could add any fruit you like to it, or chocolate chips or nuts. For children under the age of one, you can substitute the honey for maple syrup or agave nectar. To turn this into cupcakes or muffins, divide between cases and reduce the baking time by 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- 140g butter softened
- 60g coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 140g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 bananas mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Beat togther your softened butter, sugar and honey.
- Add in the two eggs with a spoonful of the flour and mix.
- Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Mix in the mashed banana and vanilla.
- Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin. We then top with some additional slices of banana or some chia seeds.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for an hour. You want the top to be golden and a skewer to come out clean. Cool before serving.
Our super simple curry
The simplest curry sauce recipe, and one that you can add anything to. In the photo above I added roasted sweet potato and a mix of beans, but you could also add chicken, fish, tofu or any other veggies. It can be served over rice, any other grain or even alone. The spices can be increased or decreased to taste. I like to use a thick creamy coconut milk for the richness and will often add in a tsp of maple syrup too, this gives the peppers a nice sweetness. For a green version of this, I follow the same recipe but use a handful of fresh coriander instead of the red pepper.
- Half a red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 inch garlic peeled
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 cup coconut milk or double cream (oat cream would work too)
- 1 tsp fish sauce (adds a nice depth)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (if you’re wanting it a little sweeter)
- 1 handful cooked carrot or sweetcorn (these are great added to the blender to up the veg content)
- Add your garlic, ginger, onion and pepper to your blender until you have a smooth paste.
- Add your coconut oil and turmeric, cumin and curry powder to a pan over a medium heat and toast your spices for a couple of minutes.
- Add your blended paste and stir through. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes stirring regularly
- Pour in your coconut milk or cream and continue to cook for a further few minutes. At this point you can taste and season further (I’ll often add a little more curry powder or a little maple syrup/ honey to sweeten)
- Add whatever protein or vegetables you fancy and serve over rice.
Banana Spelt & Flax Pancakes
These plant-based pancakes are so easy to make and delicious. A great breakfast option, these can be made in advance and warmed up. They’d also make a great pudding option with some berries and ice cream to serve. I’ll also quite often add a handful of berries to the mixture. As a treat, you could also add some chocolate chips!
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 3 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup nut milk
- 1 large banana
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- IN a small bowl mix together your flax and water, set aside.
- In a separate bowl combine your flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- In a third bowl mix together your mashed banana, agave nectar and milk.
- Combine the flax mix with the banana/milk then pour this into the flour mix and whisk all together.
- Melt some coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat.
- Pour in a spoonful of your mixture (around a sixth of it), wait for 2-3 minutes until you see bubbles coming through. Flip, and continue to cook for a further minute or two. You want them to turn a nice golden colour.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Top with berries and agave nectar and enjoy!