Nairns Oatcakes Healthy Eating For Healthy Kids & Astro Bites

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A few weeks ago the postman arrived at my door with the most lovely box of goodies from Nairns. My toddler is constantly on the lookout for snacks, so I was thrilled to receive this box of oaty goodness. I have to be honest I hadn’t really thought of oatcakes as a snack option for Little Squirrel (when I buy oatcakes I tend to load them with a healthy portion of blue cheese or mature cheddar and chutney!) However Nairns have produced a Healthy Eating For Healthy Kids booklet in conjunction with award winning nutritionist and chef Christine Bailey, packed full of healthy and nutritious toppings. One of our favourites has to be a topping of natural yoghurt and strawberries – great for breakfast or for a snack at any time of day!

Little Squirrel enjoying oatcakes with natural yoghurt and strawberries for breakfast

Little Squirrel enjoying oatcakes with natural yoghurt and strawberries for breakfast

I now regularly offer the Little Squirrels oatcakes with hummus, or with avocado, or with cream cheese and tomato, or with peanut butter and berries as a snack. Even Littlest Squirrel can manage the fine milled oatcakes now that she has 5 teeth!

Littlest Squirrel enjoying some hummus on the fine milled oatcakes

Littlest Squirrel enjoying some hummus on the fine milled oatcakes

Little Squirrel most enjoyed sampling the Astro Bites. Each box contains 5 mini bags of space-shaped biscuits and a fun sticker. These are great to take out in your bag for a snack on the go.

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Little Squirrel loves a biscuit so I was thrilled to read that these fun and delicious little biscuits contain 40% less sugar than the average children’s biscuit. I will definitely be buying these again!

Little Squirrel enjoying her Astro Bites at the playground!

Little Squirrel enjoying her Astro Bites at the playground!

So far there only appears to be one flavour, berry blast, so I would be interested to see if any other flavours are due to be released…

Many Thanks to the lovely people at Nairns for this box of oaty deliciousness!

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Spinach, Red Pepper, & Cheddar Pancakes

Red Pepper, Spinach & Cheddar Pancakes

Well, as it is Shrove Tuesday, I thought it would be apt to post a pancake recipe. This one is aimed at the little ones, but they are delicious enough for the adults too!

This was one of the first foods I gave Little Squirrel as the pancakes were soft enough for her to gnaw at with her little gums in the days before teeth arrived!

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • a handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml milk
  • a handful of grated cheddar cheese
Method
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the red pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft.
Take the pan off the heat, add the spinach, and stir for 30 seconds, until the spinach wilts slightly.
Empty the contents of the pan on to some absorbent kitchen roll, and set aside to cool.
Sautéed pepper & spinach

Sautéed pepper & spinach

Wash and dry the frying pan, lightly oil, and heat.
In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it. Add half the milk and beat with a whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in the rest of the milk.
Once smooth, stir in the cooled pepper and spinach, and the grated cheddar.
Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of mixture into the hot pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes on both sides until golden brown.
(I will often finish the pancakes off in a hot oven for a couple of minutes to make sure cooked through, as I find with my hob they can be brown on both sides yet still a little soft in the centre.)
I cut into strips to serve to the little one, and serve with some halved cherry tomatoes and a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt with some grated cucumber stirred through it.
This usually makes around 9 little pancakes, so leftovers can be frozen, or kept in a fridge for up to 2 days. Just reheat in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.
 

Delicious Cheesy Mixed Veg Pasta For Little Ones

Pasta

I am always on the lookout for new meal ideas for Little Squirrel. Recently I came across this fabulous website which is just packed with recipe ideas for baby and toddler… One Handed Cooks.

Last week I tried out their Cheesy Carrot & Broccoli Pasta.
Pasta has become a firm favourite with Little Squirrel, especially since I started using kids pasta shapes. The pasta shapes seem softer then regular pasta when cooked, and easier for the little one to manage.

So this recipe went down pretty well, and was quick and easy to make. However, Little Miss Squirrel picked out and discarded every single bit of broccoli that was in her dish (like mother, like daughter).

Then, just the other night Mandy of Sneaky Veg posted a picture on Instagram of a delicious looking Pasta and Peas dish that flicked a little lightswitch in my head… substitute the broccoli for peas! Well, it was a huge success. Little Squirrel demolished this generous helping of pasta in less than 10 minutes…!

From this to this in less than 10 minutes!

From this to this in less than 10 minutes!

I tend to make bigger portions than I think she will eat, as quite often a lot ends up on the floor, but she completely hoovered this up (bar a couple of mouthfuls I might have had 😉 and a little bit of debris on the floor)!
This veg combination has a lovely sweetness which is just delicious with the gooey melted cheese… mmmmmm!

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 baby/toddler-sized portion of pasta
  • olive oil
  • 1 small carrot or half a large carrot, grated
  • approx 5cm of a leek, halved lengthways then finely sliced, washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp frozen peas, boiled for 3-4 minutes and drained
  • a handful of grated cheddar cheese
Method
Start by cooking the pasta.
Once the pasta is ready, drain and set to the side.
In a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and then add the grated carrot and sliced leek.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes on a moderate heat.
Lower the heat and add the pasta, peas, and cheese, and stir.
Once the cheese is beginning to melt, decant on to a plate, and allow to cool to a temperature that is safe for your little one. (The cheese bind the veg to the pasta, making it harder for little fingers to pick out the veg).
Dish up, and watch it disappear!!!
Satisfied Squirrel

Satisfied Squirrel

Hummus… A Baby-Friendly Recipe

Hummus

I had posted a photo of this homemade hummus on Facebook, and a couple of my friends asked me to send them the recipe, so I thought I would just pop it in a wee blog post…

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Method

Put all the ingredients into a blender/food processor and whizz until your preferred consistency.
Transfer to a dish, and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and chill in the fridge.

Other options would be to add chopped parsley or coriander, or a pinch of cumin for different flavours.

This literally takes 5 minutes to prepare, and then time for chilling in the fridge. It is perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner… I spread it on toast fingers or inside toasted pitta strips for Baby Squirrel, and she seems to love it (despite the serious expression in this photo)!

Baby Squirrel & Hummus