Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Toddler Meal Ideas

I didn't want to call this a 'weaning' update as Elsie's definitely passed the weaning stage, but it does follow on from my previous posts about her weaning journey (4-6 months and 6-8 months). I get quite a lot of messages and comments on Instagram about what meals Elsie and Oliver have so I'll try my best to cover as much as possible. I've not done an update since 8 months so this is long overdue and a lot has changed since then! One thing hasn't changed though... she still loves her food! No idea where she gets that from....

I still like to make most of her meals myself but it is trickier now I'm back working full time, so 90% of her meals are batch cooked and popped in the freezer for convenience. At the weekend I have the time to make something fresh and on a Sunday we tend to have a family roast dinner which is the only time we all eat together really. I know that's quite bad but I don't get in from work until 5:40pm some days and it's just not fair to keep the kids waiting for me to cook a meal for us all.

For recipes, I use three cookbooks the most (7) which are Annabel Karmel's Baby Led Weaning, Annabel Karmel's Weaning and the Little Dish Cookbook. There's some great recipes on the Annabel Karmel website too. From the cookbooks and website, the main things I make are....
Just click on the individual meals for a link to the recipes! Some are website links and others are scanned in pages of the books, but I'd highly recommend buying the books for all the other recipes they have, especially the Little Dish one if your kids are Ollie's age or older.

I freeze all of these in individual portions (1) using foil containers for the proper meals and freezer pots for the sauces (bolognese/red pepper sauce) and label them with freezer labels and a sharpie. Now that Elsie is eating proper toddler meals, I've put a stop to Oliver's constant beige freezer teas and he has to have whatever she's having. I'll do a blog post about his fussy eating separately as I'm finally starting to get somewhere with it. Granted, we do still have the odd freezer tea (who doesn't?!) but Elsie isn't much of a fan, always the way!

She completely feeds herself now and has done for a few months now. She'll only ever ask for help if she's struggling to get the last bit of yogurt out of the pot 🤣😂 I get the majority of their plates, bowls and cutlery (2) from Asda as they have a great range of branded and non-branded ones from only a couple of quid. To drink from, they both have Munchkin Miracle 360 Cups (3) which you can get in most supermarkets and online too.

They've both had the same highchairs since they were 6 months old, which are the Stoke Tripp Trapp seats (6). Elsie has a baby set with straps on hers but Ollie just has it as a seat (like in the picture). They are quite expensive but 4 years on, Ollie's is still like new and they don't stick out like a sore thumb at the dinner table.

For when we're out and about or they're staying at my Mum and Dads, I tend to buy the Little Dish ready meals and a selection of their favourite snacks (5). Elsie really likes the ready meals and it's great it you can catch them on offer in Asda/Tesco. For snacks, they both love smoothies, fruit sweets and crackers but my god they can be expensive! It really annoys me that healthier choices for snacks  and food in general always costs more than the not-so-healthy stuff. Asda always seems to have the best prices but if they carry on, we'll have to get a third job! Haha. If I'm putting fruit or loose snacks in my bag, we have a few varieties of the snack boxes from Paperchase (4). Each set has 4 different sized boxes so they're really handy to have in the cupboard.

So I've covered the most popular kids dinner options in our house above, the only one missing is roast dinner as that's not from a cookbook! And a roast dinner is 100% Elsie's favourite meal so she's always happy on a Sunday. She actually does a little happy dance in her highchair while she's eating it, it's so funny! For breakfast/lunch/snacks/sweet treats she tends to have....

  • Most cereals but mainly Rice Crispies/Cheerios/Weetabix
  • Porridge with nutella/jam or fruit and maple syrup
  • Scotch pancakes with nutella and fruit
  • Toast/Crumpets
  • Mini full english (scrambled eggs, beans, bacon and sausage)
  • Dippy egg and soldiers
  • Spaghetti and sausages (or just spaghetti shapes) with a bread roll
  • Mini omelette
  • Wrap pizza with vegetable sticks
  • Sandwich (normally ham and philadelphia) with crisps and fruit
  • Cheese toastie with crisps and fruit
  • Hotdogs (not the healthiest choice, but Ollie's favourite!)
  • Soup, but it's always a messy lunch!
Sweet treats
  • Petit filous yoghurts
  • Ella's kitchen puddings
  • Sugar free jelly pots
  • Mini milk ice lollies
  • Ice cream as a real treat!
  • Milky bar buttons
  • Blackberry and apple crumble (which can be frozen too)
  • Fruit (apple, banana, orange, grapes and strawberries are the favourites in this house)
  • Raisins
  • Rice cakes
  • Breadsticks
  • Organix snack range
  • Ella's Kitchen snack range
  • Bear Paws
The best bit about having a non-fussy eater with Elsie is eating out. We can go out for lunch/tea now and not have to worry that she won't like anything on the menu. Oliver is slowly getting there too with eating out (it helps that I can explain the choices to him now) so the whole experience is becoming a bit more relaxing (shouldn't have said that, the next time we eat out it'll be a disaster 😂). I've got so into the habit of ordering the most plain option, I forget that she'd rather something more daring. The other week we went out for Sunday lunch and she kept asking for more of my pate with relish. She just never thinks twice about trying food which is so refreshing after 4 years of 'I don't like that' at the sight of anything that isn't made by Captain Birdseye.

As far as routine goes, Elsie still as a 6oz (ish) bottle of whole milk in the morning and before bed. Her lunch is normally between 7 and 8am, lunch is at 12pm, snack at 3pm and tea at 5pm. We do bath night every other night and she normally sleeps from 7pm-7am but her second set of molars have had her up a bit recently.

I hope I've covered everything and you enjoy trying out one or two of the recipes. I'm actually going to try a few new recipes from the cookbooks next month to see what else I can get Ollie eating!

P.s. Someone took the time to comment on my last weaning update to call me an idiot for giving Elsie nutella 🙄 and that I shouldn't be giving advice. There is no way I'm saying this is what you should be feeding/buying, but a lot of people ask so I'm just hoping that sharing all this information helps one or two people out.



  1. Love this kind of thing! And Elsie looks like such a good little eater. I have a little girl who is 21 months and it's reassuring to know that I don't have to feel bad about pulling out a tin of spag hoops or a ham sandwhich for lunch. Ayda also LOVES curry so will give these recipes a go... I have the AK book but yet to make anything oops.

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