If you struggle with meal ideas for babies and young children, then I hope that this list will help solve your problem. It can be easier than you expect to cook a fresh and healthy meal for babies and children under the age of 3 years.
Meal ideas for babies and children
Why not try these;
- Carrots and butternut squash.
- Chicken with potatoes and any fish of your choice.
- Couscous, onions, raisins and chicken.
- Lentils with rice and boneless chicken.
- Noodles, broccoli, and fish.
- Pasta, broccoli, and chicken.
- Rice, peas, and fish.
- potatoes, okra, and lamb.
- Potatoes, courgette, and fish.
- Quinoa, peas, sweetcorn, beans, and peppers.
- Red cabbage, rice, and chicken.
- Red kidney beans, rice, and beef.
- Spinach, potatoes and boneless chicken.
- Sweet potato, and chicken.
Get creative by adding or removing ingredients from the above list, or visiting your local ethnic grocer for some fresh ideas.
Brown rice is a healthier option than white rice, but some children may not like the texture. White rice is OK so long as it’s paired with vegetables. You could also add gravy, to add taste or to make the food less dry.
Try to incorporate fresh or tinned fish, chicken, and red meat into children’s food.
For vegetarians and vegans, it is important to ensure that children get the correct balance in their diets. Always aim to use fruits and vegetables and other ingredients which are a substitute for key nutrients, especially proteins. The “Eat Well Plate” which can be found on the ‘Health and Well-being’ page, helps with ideas for a balanced diet. Print and stick a copy of the “Healthy Eat Well Plate” on your fridge or elsewhere in the kitchen.
Fresh ingredients should always be the first option when preparing food for babies and children, but the reality is that fresh food can be more expensive. To save money, you could buy fresh and non-fresh ingredients. None fresh ingredients could include; tinned fish such as mackerel, sardines, tuna, herrings, and frozen could include; tilapia, cod, tuna and basa fillets. The taste of the frozen and tinned fish listed above will not change majorly and some of the tinned fish might even add flavour to the dish as some tinned fish comes in different sauces. Avoid buying frozen or tinned salmon, which tastes massively different from fresh salmon. Frozen vegetables could include; peas, spinach, green beans, broccoli, and fresh vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potato, cabbage, and carrots, which all have a longer life if kept in the fridge. Mixing fresh with frozen when buying food ingredients is a good way to save money and time. Before shopping, think a little about what foods you don’t mind buying frozen and what foods you prefer to buy fresh.
Make sure you know children’s food allergies, especially when feeding babies and younger children. Foods which include nuts, dairy and seeds can be seriously harmful and sometimes fatal.
All meat and fish should be checked for bones to avoid children choking.
Make sure fresh fruit and vegetables are cut into small pieces, and the food is cooked thoroughly to avoid choking and food poisoning.