Millie loves bananas and they are a regular fixture on our shopping list each week, even though she is the only one in our family who actually likes them! I love the fact that she likes them as they are great to eat as a snack on their own and really simple to prepare but they are also the base of so many recipes that I make for her – banana pancakes, banana and chocolate chip muffins, banana toast, banana and raisin muffins and different smoothie recipes. Also, as I don’t like bananas myself, it means I don’t eat the snacks that I make for her – less calories for me! But for this super healthy and simple recipe, I kind of wish I did like bananas! It would be the perfect snack for when you are dieting yet are craving something sweet!
This 2-ingredient banana ice cream is really easy to make and is much cheaper and healthier than buying normal shop bought ice cream. I prepared this ice cream just before dinner a few nights ago and it was ready for Millie to eat after her dinner had ‘gone down’. I’m not sure if it was the taste or the coldness on her teething gums that she loved but I had to go and get her seconds as she wolfed her first bowl down!
1 tbsp peanut butter
- Slice the banana and place the pieces onto a plate. Put the banana into the freezer for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, place the banana and 2 tbsp of peanut butter into a blender and blend until smooth – it should have an ice cream texture.
Our ice cream batch made 2 baby sized portions for Millie however if you want to make a bigger batch for your family, then simply double (or triple!) the ingredients 🙂
*If you aren’t a fan of peanut butter, you could use a different nut butter or even some chocolate spread like Nutella.
Millie is a massive fruit fan so when we are at home any snack she has is often a small bowl of fruit or sometimes a yoghurt. I’m keen on keeping it like this as I am hoping by constantly giving her new fruit to try it will stop her being as fussy as Oscar is with fruit now. But when we are out and about in (a very hot) Kuwait, fruit isn’t something I like to pack – it’s obviously too hot to keep it fresh and deliciously cold and also it makes a ton of mess! The mess is fine at home, nothing a quick bath or wash won’t sort out but when we are out I don’t fancy using half a pack of wipes to clean her up and finding somewhere to change her clothes. So I have been on the lookout for some simple snacks to make at home that are also fairly healthy, and of course suitable for babies. I came across this lovely Mini Banana and Raisin Muffin recipe on Little Grazers and just had to make them. I was a bit concerned when I first saw the recipe about the raisins in it as raisins can be quite chewy for a younger child but as I caught Millie snatching some of Oscar’s raisins the night before baking the muffins, I knew she would be ok with the chewing of them!
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1/2 tsp all spice
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp of unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and either grease a muffin tin or place muffin cases in your tin.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and all spice into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add the butter and mashed banana and whisk until smooth. Slowly, mix in the beaten egg.
- Fold in the flour mixture.
- Add the milk and raisins and mix.
- Add the batter to your muffin tin or muffin cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
* We used regular cupcake cases to make our muffins and the batter made 10 muffins. If you use mini muffin cases, your batter should make 18 mini muffins.
I came across this fantastic pretzel bites recipe on Super Healthy Kids last week and have had the tab open on my browser all week ready to fine the time to bake them! I changed the recipe slightly, to include a little more honey and I also sprinkled some of the pretzel bites with cinnamon and some with powdered sugar. I had planned on making these to pop into Oscar’s lunchbox for school but me and my husband had a couple ourselves last night and also Millie has eaten quite a few of them today as a snack. They have been a hit so far!
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 tsp of yeast
3 tbsp of honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp baking soda
cinnamon/powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (1 1/2 cups) and honey. Leave it for 10 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture.
- Mix throughly and knead for 5 minutes.
- Cover and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
- After rising, roll the dough out and cut out desired shapes (we used a small heart cutter).
- Dip each dough shape into a baking soda solution (2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp baking soda).
- Place on a greased cookie sheet and allow the shapes to rise for 1 hour.
- Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the pretzels turn brown and are cooked through).
- Leave to cool Dust with cinnamon or powdered sugar (optional).
On Super Healthy Kids, Amy also made a fruit dip for her children. I made a small batch using her recipe today for Millie. I used 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt and 3 raspberries to make a small fruity yoghurt dip for Millie to dip her pretzel bites in.
Millie has really been enjoying the banana pancakes that I made her a few weeks back and I love that it made such a huge batch that was suitable for freezing so she tends to have the pancakes with some fruit 3 or 4 times a week. With her love of pancakes a couple of weeks ago I decided to try a new recipe for pancakes so she could have a bit of variety. I found this potato pancake recipe on New Zealand Baby and hoped that my little pancake lover would like them, and I was right! She seemed the enjoy the savoury potato pancake just as much as her banana pancakes and eat 2 of them along with some diced apple in no time! To include a bit of variety you could even top the pancakes with some savoury toppings like cheese, vegetables or some savoury spreads. Or change the salt in the recipe for some different spices. However, they are just as tasty on their own…I may of had one myself too!
3 potatoes, medium sized
3 tbsp flour
pinch of salt
- Peel the potatoes. Then either diced or shred (we diced) the potatoes and cook them until they are just tender.
- Drain and mash the potatoes (without any milk or butter)
- Combine the mash with the eggs, flour and salt.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, medium heat.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and turn once they are golden on the underside.
- When both sides are golden, remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil when necessary.
* Our mixture made 6 decent sized pancakes and are suitable for freezing.
I first made Millie this simple Mango Lassi not long after we got back from our holiday in Sri Lanka. I had often seen them on the menus in the restaurants and Millie had tried a tiny bit of my father-in-laws and seemed to like it so I thought I would make her a simple one of her own once we got back to Kuwait. It has become one of her favourite breakfasts over the past few weeks and she has it at least once a week for breakfast. I plan on trying a few different fruit combinations over the next few weeks too to see if she is a fan of those too!
This recipe takes 2 minutes to make and is a great, fresh and healthy start to the day. I have said it is a mango lassi for babies, but it can also be eaten by toddlers, older children and adults too.
No mangos? Try strawberries, payaya, melon, raspberries, pineapple….the possibilities are endless!
1 ripe mango
5 tbsp natural yoghurt
- Peel and cut the flesh from the mango.
- Add the mango and the natural yoghurt to a blender and blend until smooth.
How quick and simple it that?! Our recipe makes 2 portions which should be ok in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Millie’s meals this week have been pretty simple as I am trying to use up our supply of baby food in the freezer before we travel for the summer. I have usually been giving her one of the freezer puree meals for dinner and making something fresh but simple for lunch. This week she is absolutely loving yoghurts and any type of fruit so most lunches have been some type of main dish (toast fingers, eggs, cauliflower cheese etc) with some yoghurt and diced fruit. Today I noticed we had some puff pastry left in the freezer along with some cheese open in the fridge so I decided to try and make some simple cheese twists for Millie and Oscar’s lunch. I had made Oscar some homemade cheese breadstick style twists a few weeks ago so was hoping this simpler version would turn out just as nice, and they did! They literally took 5-10 minutes to prepare and were cooked by the time I had prepared the rest of their lunches. I served Oscar’s cheese twists with some homemade chicken bites and some dried fruit. For Millie, she had some watermelon (her absolute favourite fruit!) and a strawberry yoghurt pouch. I thought the serving I put out for Millie was quite big and fully expected to either throw some away or as always, I would finish it off…but no! She ate 3 rather big cheese twists and all of her fruit and yoghurt! Result!
375g puff pastry
6 tbsp of grated cheddar cheese
- Allow the puff pastry to defrost a little
- Cut the puff pastry lengthways into eight equal strips.
- Sprinkle over the cheese and press onto the pastry slightly.
- Carefully twist each strip to make a long, twisted straw.
- Place the strips onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees.
- Leave to cool and serve. Can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days.
*Makes 8 straws.
Oscar’s favourite food or meal when he was weaning had to be cauliflower cheese. I remember making batches and batches of it to freeze and reheat for him as it was such a hit! After he was weaning for a few months, I even started adding some chicken to his cauliflower cheese to get that bit of protein and meat in there. So I knew I just had to try Millie with some cauliflower cheese a few weeks ago, and just like Oscar, she is a massive fan!
Its quick to make and is made even better that you can make a big batch of it and freeze it. Perfect for those busy days!
150g cauliflower florets
25g grated cheese
- Steam the cauliflower until tender, about 7 minutes.
- To make the cheese sauce; melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Whisk in the milk until you have a smooth white sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Add the cauliflower to the pan and stir.
- Puree in a blender until smooth or mash the cauliflower for older babies.
* This recipe is suitable for freezing. To serve, defrost and heat in the microwave.