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Melissa Little

Pediatric and Antenatal Dietician. She is a spokesperson for the British Dietetics Association on TV and in print. Member of the parliamentary group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood at Westminster for the UK Government.
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Toddler Nutrition

Toddler lunch recipes

It can be difficult to think up a variety of lunch options for your toddler that offer a balanced range of protein, carbohydrates, dairy foods and fruit and vegetables. These recipes are very popular with toddlers as they allow them to feed themselves.
In Short

A few fantastic healthy recipes from the Essential Parent nutrition expert, Melissa Little.

Mushroom and spinach egg cups.

Carrot and couscous soldiers.

Parsnip and carrot rostis.

Tropical banana mash.

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Mushroom and spinach egg cups

Perfect finger food for weaning or a great easy breakfast for babies and older kids. Make ahead for the days when you are super busy!

Note
Prep time: 20min

Makes: 12
Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup spinach cooked and drained
  • ¾ cup mushrooms cooked and chopped.
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Grease muffin pan (or use non-stick pan).
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs until smooth. Add milk and cheese and mix. Add spinach and mushrooms.
  4. Ladle mixture into muffin tins ¾ full.
  5. Bake for 25min. Remove from oven and let cool for 30min before removing from pan.
Tip: You can switch up the vegetables – try tomato, asparagus or even sweet potato. Avoid adding salty meats such as bacon.

Tip: Use full-fat milk to provide your baby with extra fat to support a growing brain.

Carrot and couscous soldiers

A hearty finger food for your toddler.

Note
Makes: 12 soldiers

Prep time: 15min
Ingredients:
  • ½ leek, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup reduced-salt vegetable stock
  • 1 cup couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 500g carrot, chopped.
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line square baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Heat butter in a saucepan on medium-low. Add leek and sauté until soft.
  3. Add carrots and stir to combine. Add vegetable stock until it just covers the mixture. Simmer until carrots are soft.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool use a hand blender to blend into puree (note: at this point you can leave as a puree if you would rather).
  5. Return saucepan to the hob and heat puree until boiling. Add couscous; turn off heat and cover. Let stand 3-5 minutes until liquid absorbed and couscous is soft.
  6. Stir in half the cheese. Push mixture into baking tin and top with the other half of cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until cheese is golden.
  7. Leave to cool completely. Cut into ‘soldiers’ to serve.
Parsnip and carrot rostis
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Note
A quick and naturally sweet-tasting finger food for your toddler.

Prep time: 10min
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup grated parsnip
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup group cumin
  • ½ tbsp. chopped coriander
  • Oil for frying.
Instructions:
  1. Mix together carrots and parsnips. Squeeze out liquid.
  2. Mix eggs, milk, and cumin. Combine with carrots and parsnips.
  3. Add coriander and mix through.
  4. Add a spoonful of mixture to a hot, oiled frying pan. Flatten with the back of the spoon.
  5. Heat for 3-6 minutes on each side and remove.
  6. Allow to cool before serving.

Note
Tip: Introducing your baby to a variety of different spices will encourage them to enjoy lots of different foods and develop their tastebuds – just remember to avoid salt.

Tropical banana mash
Note
This super easy puree is great for a quick breakfast or snack and only takes minutes to make!
Ingredients:
  • ½ banana peeled
  • 1-2 tbsps full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon.

Instructions:
  1. Mash the banana with a fork until almost smooth.
  2. Microwave banana for 10 seconds, stir, and repeat until smooth.
  3. Stir in coconut milk and cinnamon.

Note
TIP: If you don’t have coconut milk, full fat milk will work, it just won’t be as tropical!

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.