You've conquered the weaning stage- hooray! But what next?!
Your little one might not be ready to eat the same dinners as the rest of the family just yet, so if you're stuck on ideas on what to cook for them then we're here to help! We're sharing 11 easy and nutritious recipes that are perfect for toddlers and easy enough for us parents to serve up in time for dinner.
1.Creamy Avocado & Spinach Pasta
Want a nutritious toddler dinner ready in less than 10 minutes? Have a go at this creamy avocado and spinach pasta, packed full of goodness with a no-cook sauce this recipe is a definitely worth a try!
You’ll need: 250g pasta, 100g fresh spinach, 150g cream cheese, 1 avocado, 10 basil leaves, 30g grated parmesan, 50ml milk and 100g cherry tomatoes halved.
- Start by cooking the pasta as per the packet instructions.
- Add the spinach to a blender and blitz, add in the cream cheese, avocado, basil, parmesan and blitz again until the ingredients have combined.
- Add a little of the milk until you’re happy with the consistency of the sauce.
- Drain the pasta, stir in your sauce and top with cherry tomatoes.
Find the original recipe here.
2.Pea & Sweetcorn Fritters
Made using mostly store-cupboard ingredients these pea & sweetcorn fritters will make the perfect dinner for your little one. Even better, they can be prepped and cooked in less than 10 minutes- now that’s what we like to hear!
3.Mini Shepherd Pies
Packed full of goodies these mini shepherd pies will keep their tummies full until morning. This is a great recipe for batch cooking and freezing!
You’ll need: 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, 1 onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 2 carrots peeled and diced, 1 stick celery diced, 1 yellow pepper diced, a pinch of cumin, 250g lean lamb mince, 1 courgette diced, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 400ml low salt beef stock, 100g lentils thoroughly rinsed, 1.2kg Maris Piper potatoes, 50g butter, 75ml milk and 60g grated cheddar cheese.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, lightly fry for about 5 minutes until it starts to soften. Then, add the garlic, carrots, celery, pepper and cumin stirring gently. Cook for a further two minutes, then add the lamb. Brown the meat, tipping off any excess fat. Then, add the courgette and tomato purée and fry gently for a few more minutes. Pour in the beef stock, add the lentils and bring to a simmer. Cook for 40 mins, stirring every so often to ensure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
In a separate pan boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain the potatoes then mash them with the butter and milk.
Remove the lamb mixture from the heat and use a handheld blender to purée, blending down the vegetables.
Spoon into 8 ramekins and top with the mash and a sprinkle of cheese- your pies can be chilled and then frozen at this point and will keep for 1 month in the freezer.
Pop your ramekins in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top is turning golden and the mince is bubbling. Make sure your mini pies have cooled completely before serving them to your toddler.
Thanks to BBC food for this great recipe!
4.Ham, Pea & Cheese Macaroni Bake
Toddlers will love this yummy pasta-based dish.
You’ll need: 100g macaroni, 50g frozen peas, 15g unsalted butter, 1 tbsp plain flour, 200 ml whole milk, 50g ham roughly chopped, 50 g mild cheddar cheese grated and 50g dried breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6.
Add the macaroni to a pan of boiling salted water and cook as per the packet instructions- add the peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
In a separate pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the milk, a bit at a time, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then add your ham and cheese and give it a good mix.
Drain the macaroni and peas and add this to your cheesy sauce giving it a good stir.
Transfer to a small baking dish, top with breadcrumbs then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Allow to cool completely before serving to your little one.
Find the original recipe here.
5.Mini Egg & Vegetable Muffins
These muffins are super-simple to whip up for your toddler's dinner time. Packed full of goodness, little ones will love them!
You’ll need: oil for greasing, 1 small diced carrot, 1/2 a small courgette diced, 25g peas, 6 eggs and 25g feta cheese.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and grease 6 holes of a muffin tin.
Add the carrot, courgette and peas into a microwaveable dish with 2tbsp of water. Cover with cling film and pop in the microwave for 2minutes until tender then drain.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the cooked vegetables and feta cheese.
Pour the mixture into the muffin tin and back for 15 minutes until the eggs are set. Let them cool for a few minutes before using a knife to carefully remove the muffins from the tin.
6.Crispy Baked Salmon Nuggets
These salmon nuggets are great for introducing fish to your toddler's diet and a great way for them to get their essential Omega-3 fatty acids.
You’ll need: 2 salmon fillets, 40g plain flour, 2 eggs, 40g breadcrumbs, 1 tsp dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7 and lightly grease a baking dish.
Remove the skin from the salmon fillets and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
In one bowl add the flour, in a second bowl add your eggs and whisk them with a fork, in the third bowl add your breadcrumbs with your mixed herbs and a tiny dash of salt and pepper.
Take your bite-sized salmon bites and dip them into the flour until they are fully coated, dip them into the egg and then finally into your breadcrumb mix.
Place your nuggets into your baking dish and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
Allow to cool and serve with some steamed vegetables.
Find the original recipe here.
Another quick and easy dinner idea for your toddler.
You’ll need: 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 4 medium eggs, 2 tbsp milk, 3 heaped tbsp cream cheese, 75g broccoli florets, 6 cherry tomatoes chopped and 50g grated cheddar cheese.
In a jug, beat the eggs and milk together.
Then, heat the oil in an omelette pan and pour in 1/3 of the eggs and swirl the pan until you have a thin layer.
Cook for 2 minutes until its set underneath then flip it over and cook for another minute on the other side.
Set aside on a plate and repeat to make 2 more.
Steam the broccoli for 6 minutes until it's just cooked then finely chop.
Put the omelettes flat on a tray and spread the cream cheese over the top, add the broccoli, tomatoes and cheese then roll into a log shape. Cut into slices and your pinwheels are ready to be served!
Thanks to Annabel Karmel for this delicious recipe.
8.Quick Sausage Spaghetti
Dinner in a flash! This is a great dinner recipe that toddlers will love and will take just 15 minutes to cook.
You’ll need: 1 pack of chipolata sausages, 200g spaghetti, 200ml crème fraîche, 125g cherry tomatoes halved, 100g frozen peas and 50g grated cheddar cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and cook the chipolatas in an ovenproof dish for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Cook your spaghetti as per the packet instructions. Drain and mix immediately with the crème fraîche, cherry tomatoes and frozen peas- the heat from the spaghetti will cook the peas.
- Mix in the grated cheese, add the chipolatas and your sausage pasta is ready to be served.
Find the original recipe here.
Hungry for more easy toddler meals?
You can’t go wrong with mini pizzas! Mix up the toppings and make little faces out of the vegetables to make them even more fun for your toddler.
Give these homemade chicken nuggets a go- made with sweet potato they are packed full of goodness. Serve with steamed vegetables for an easy toddler dinner.
Introduce your toddler to spices with this fruity chicken curry recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
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