Snacks & Lunches For Toddlers

I have a friend with a toddler and she recently was at a loss of what to make him for lunch or as snacks. She needed a little inspiration so I gave her some recipes and ideas that I have used and have been accepted by my currently fussy daughter. So here you all are, a few simple ideas to add to your own menu's:

Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 for a fan forced) line your baking trays with either some oil and a sheet of baking paper, or if you don’t have baking paper, with a light coat of margarine.

Vegemite & Cheese –
1.       Spread 2 tablespoons (or less) of vegemite over one whole sheet of ready made puff pastry, then sprinkle about half a cup of cheese over the top (more if you like).

2.        Roll pastry tightly to enclose the filling. Cut the roll into about 10-12 slices, put the slices cut side up onto baking trays, cut side up. Brush over them with a little egg and Pop into the oven for about 15 mins or until browned lightly.

Spinach and Fetta-
125g frozen spinach, thawed (fresh tasted better if you can) be sure to squeeze out excess water
50g fetta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix up these three ingredients and spread it over the sheet, follow step two exactly the same. This one tastes so darn good youll probably want to make double. I always do, coz we all like it. For the adults sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on them if you like.

Buy a bag of museli (i get the tropical coles one) and you can add it to yogurt, homemade cookies, homemade muesli bars, pancakes whatever, for extra nutrition. Cheaper too. Google recipes with museli, there are hundreds to try.

Make your own dip and use vegetable fingers (carrots, cuecumber and/or celery cut into thin short strips) for dipping, or you can make your own pita bread fingers for dipping, by cutting up pita bread that you buy into strips, poping it into the oven on 160 degrees until crispy. Or alternitavely, buy simple crackers that don’t have added salt.

Some dips you can make easily are:

Spring onion dip. This ones addictive, small tub of sour cream, half a packet of black and gold French onion soup (iga sells it), two or three spring onions chopped finely...mix it all together, lasts three days in fridge, makes a lot so you can dig in too. Its a bit salty so don’t do this one all the time.

Chicken and corn dip: 100 grams of cooked shredded chook, just use leftover bbq chook. Mix with 125g cream cheese, 125g can of creamed corn, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley (optional) and a pinch of fresh chives (also optional but is real nice in it). DONE.

There are heaps of other dips, just google or get creative. Kids love dip, messy, healthy and cheap!
Nothing beats home-made pizza base, which i can give you the recipe for, but if you cant be bothered, use half a muffin, a piece of toast or sliced Turkish bread as a base. Buy that tomato paste that you can get in a tube that goes into the fridge, that way whenever you need it you can just squeeze a bit out, anyways, lightly toast your base bread of choice, spread lightly with the tomato paste, top with anything pizza-ish. You could use chicken and olives (yuck lol) or mild salami and grated zucchini, whatever, top with bubs favourite grated cheese and put under the grill till the cheese melts nicely. Chop into edible sized fingers or triangles. Serve.

You can keep staples in your cupboard that you can turn to when your busy but don’t want to sugarload bub. Tiny tins of baked beans are a fantastic options. You can get perfect snack sized ones. U just pop it in a little bowl and microwave. Add a bit of toast if its for lunch. Fish fingers in the freezer, frozen vegges for mini stir frys. Keep jellied fruit in the cupboard, still got sugar, but its a dose of fruit too and they come in snack pack size for school kids, which is small enough for bub. How about sultanas and tiny chunks of cheese? A yummy mini-cupful of that will keep bub munching for ages. Buy an icy pole mould from red-dot or kmart. You can make your own icypoles that are a lot healthier, with diluted juice (tropical or apple are nice!) or with fresh yogurt. Great for summer and teething gums. Cheaper to make them too. Pour it into moulds, freeze, done. You can make your own yogurt or buy a "yougurt maker" (I use the EasiYo brand and make that, as its cheaper than buying a not so fresh tub from the shop ready made). Its great because when you buy it in packets you can make it up whenever you want, and when you run out there is more in the cupboard for the next day. Less shop trips, cheaper, healthier and a good option for people who live rural
There are so many different types of quiche you can make. Some are :
Cheese and asparagus, fetta and prosciutto or carrot, potato and bacon.

To make a small quiche (will feed two adults and a toddler lunch), use about 4 eggs with ¼ cup milk, whisk it up, add salt and pepper if you like. Throw in whatever ingredients you like, a handful of cheese with 4 or so chopped up stalks of cooked asparagus, or crumble in some fetta and chop up a small handful of prosciutto, or dice very small bits of half a carrot, half a potato and a strip of bacon (boil the veges first and fry the bacon)

whatever filling you choose, throw it all in the egg mix, then pour it all into a very small frypan on medium/high heat. Let it cook until the egg has come away from the sides of the pan, and its starting to look like a chunky omelette. Once its firm enough to flip (the middle will still be runny, but youll notice the sides going darker, get a dinner plate, put it facedown onto the quiche in the pan. Carefully pick up the pan, with your other hand holding the plate in place, turn the pan over so that your holding the plate right way up, the quiche will be on the plate now. Put the frypan back on the stove, and slide the quiche back into the frypan, so youve basically flipped your quiche over, without mess and your cooking the other side. The other side wont take as long. Maybe a couple of minutes. Once firm in the middle, serve with salad or whatever. Its nice hot or cold. So put leftovers in the fridge bub can eat it cold the next day.

This ones more for lunch than a snack as its filling but it only takes about 10 mins to make. Use one of those “new potatoes” or “baby potatoes” you see at the shops, they are smaller so theyre the perfect size. Pierce the potato all over with a fork, put in a bowl and cover with glad wrap (with a few holes in it), microwave for about 5 mins. Check the potato by stabbing it with a skewer, if its not cooked yet, turn it over and give it longer. Depends on the size of the potato.

Once the potato is soft and cooked through, cut it in half and scoop out the insides, leaving a little layer so that the skin doesn’t flop everywhere, you may need to leave about half a CM of the inside in there. Put the insides into a bowl, throw in a bit of grated cheese, cooked peas, a dollop of sour cream or cream cheese and chopped pineapple. Mix up well so its all mixed and mushed. Scoop back into the potato halves carefully. Give bub a spoon and let him go for it! He may even decide to eat the skin! You can alter the stuffing with whatever you want. Broccoli, bacon, poloni chunks, grated carrot, mushroom, leftover taco mince, whatever, anything!

Preheat conventional oven to 220degrees (200 fan forced), take three chipolata sausages, press them in the middle, twist and then cut them in half. Brush two large muffin tin holes with oil (again, the real big ones are available at kmart in silicone). Fry the sausages on the frypan on high for about 5 mins then pop them into two holes in the muffin tin. Three pieces each hole.

In a bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of plain flour, 1 egg and a pinch of salt. Beat it into a batter with a whisk. Pour this into the tins over the sausages. Bake for about 15 mins or until golden. Leave to cool for 5 mins. Then loosen with a knife and turn out onto plates. Let it cool before serving as they can be quite hot. This makes two. Save one for tomorrow or eat it yourself.

Oh yeh, easy peasy, cooked pasta (shell, pene, whatevers small) with any veges on hand and any sauce. Easy, versatile, freezable, fridgeable, take-out able. Cheesy, tomato-ish, whatever. Buy small jars of the sauces bub likes, cook up enough pasta to use the jar up, mix together sauce pasta, and bubs favourite veggies, then freeze in his-sized portions. Youll have heaps there for a few months to use as back up when your in a hurry, sick or need to take food out with you.

Im not the best at making risotto and my toddler hates rice, but risotto is easy to make. Google recipes for kids. Its clumpy rice dishes. And most Kids love them. Most are freezable i think.

French toast,
a little bowl of fruit sliced up (doesn’t have to be heaps of different types, even two types is enough)
pikelets or mini pancakes
Italian bread (crusty and great for teething)
scrambled eggs
rice cakes with whatever bub likes spread on them
stewed tomato on toast
mini-meatballs with sauce

etc etc etc...

whats a favourite toddler-friendly snack or lunch in your household?