Food for the family
We all want to go and live with Neven Maguire! Especially if we’re going to get served the beautiful food featured in his latest endeavour, the Complete Baby & Toddler Cookbook.
Forget the uninspiring, bland food that is often pedalled out to kids for fear they won’t eat, this is a book that will turn your kids into foodies. There’s the added bonus that you really won’t need to be making separate dinners for your little ones – everyone will want to eat this food.
The issue of feeding babies and little people can be a fraught affair and many parents end up obsessing endlessly about the whole issue of food, appetite and wholesome nutrition.
This book takes care of all your feeding fears. It’s full of tasty, healthy well-balanced food and lots of sensible advice on weaning and developing a child’s taste buds. Forget about the babies, we want to eat all of it!
It covers everything from purees to mashed foods, finger foods and sharing family meals and the occasional treat with more than 200 recipes that cater for everyone at every stage.
Check out these tasty recipes, and remember to leave some for the kids…
These muffins are wonderfully dense and moist, perfect for a nutritious
breakfast. Serve them on the day that they are made or wrap in
clingfilm and freeze for up to one month. If you plan to make them on
the morning you wish to serve them, get ahead and have all the dry
ingredients mixed together and prepare the muffin tin the night before.
150g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g wheat bran
2 tbsp honey
3 ripe bananas
50g ready-to-eat dried
dates, pitted and finely
1 large egg
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rolled oats
Sift both flours, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, then tip in
anything left in the sieve and stir in the wheat bran and honey.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases.
Peel the bananas and mash two of them to a purée, then stir in
the dates. Beat the egg with the buttermilk and oil. Add to the dry
ingredients and stir until just blended, then lightly and quickly fold in
the banana mixture. The batter should look roughly mixed, with lumps
and floury pockets.
Fill each paper case two-thirds full with the batter, then cut the
remaining banana into 12 slices, discarding the ends, and pop one
slice on top of each muffin. Sprinkle over the oats and bake for about
20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to
cool slightly. These are best served warm.
FISH FOOTBALLS WITH MINTY YOGHURT DIP
It is important to introduce babies to fish at a young age and these
freeze brilliantly. My twins absolutely loved these football-shaped fish
cakes as they were able to pick them up and eat them all by themselves.
A dip made from some natural yoghurt mixed with a little mint makes a
nice accompaniment. Makes about 50 small footballs.
200g salmon fillet
200g frozen diced
vegetables (to include
sweetcorn and carrots)
450g leftover mashed
3 spring onions, finely
4 tbsp plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
100g dried white
olive oil, for cooking
lime wedges, to serve
MINTY YOGHURT DIP:
150g natural yoghurt
1 tbsp finely chopped
Place the salmon in a saucepan with the milk, cover and bring to
the boil. Remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes to finish
cooking, then remove the fish and break up the flesh into rough flakes,
discarding any skin and bones.
Cook the frozen mixed vegetables in a saucepan of boiling water
over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes, until tender, or according to the
packet instructions. Drain and tip into a bowl. Add the poached salmon,
mashed potatoes and spring onions.
Take walnut-sized spoonfuls of the mixture and shape into balls. Dust
with flour, dip in the egg and roll in breadcrumbs. If you don’t intend
to use the fish footballs immediately, flash freeze them on solid baking
sheets, then pop into freezer bags for long-term storage.
Heat some sunflower oil in a non-stick saucepan and deep-fry the
footballs in batches for 2–3 minutes, or 6–8 minutes if cooking from
frozen. Of course you can shallow fry them, but they will not keep their
round shape as well.
To make the minty yoghurt dip, stir the mint into the yoghurt.
Drain the footballs well on kitchen paper and arrange on plates with
small dipping bowls of the minty yoghurt and lime wedges, if using, to
FRESH FRUIT ICE LOLLIES
These are perfect for when your child is teething, as they are very soothing on sore gums, which might put your baby off their food for a while. If you don’t want to go to the bother of making these – although they literally take just a few minutes – try using ready-made fruit smoothies or fresh juices straight from the carton. Just make sure to check that there are no added sugars or preservatives.
Makes 4 ice lollies.
WATER MELON AND RASPBERRY LOLLIES
Cut the flesh from the watermelon and remove the seeds. Place in a
food processor or blender with the raspberries. Blend until smooth,
then strain through a sieve into a large jug. Pour into ice lolly moulds
and freeze for at least 4 hours. To remove lollies from moulds, dip them
briefly into hot water to loosen the lollies. Use as required.
TROPICAL MANGO LOLLIES
2 ripe medium mangoes
juice of 2 limes
Peel the mangos and cut the flesh off the stone. Place in a food processor or blender with the lime juice, then blitz until smooth. Finish as described above.
BLACKBERRY AND ORANGE LOLLIES
juice of 2 oranges
Place the blackberries in a food processor or blender with the orange juice. Blend until smooth, then press through a sieve into a large jug. Finish as described above.
Recipes taken from Neven Maguire’s Complete Baby & Toddler Cookbook, available in stores and online priced at €18.99.