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!

Little Yums From Plum Baby- A Review

littleyums A few weeks ago the lovely people at Plum Baby sent me a couple of packets of their Little Yums for Little Squirrel to try.

Little Yums are teething wafers made of buckwheat, fruit, and veg, and are organic with no added nasties (sugar, salt, flavours, colours, preservatives).
They are suitable from 6 months onwards, and each box contains 6 packets of 3 wafers.
At present there are two flavour combinations… pumpkin & banana, and spinach, apple & kale.
I tasted both flavours myself, and thought the flavours were very subtle, with both the apple and the banana being the predominant flavours.

Little Squirrel is over 13 months now, loves her food, and really enjoys experimenting with different tastes and textures (some more than others, also mood-dependent). She has gobbled up these Little Yums wafers quite happily when I have presented her with them, with very little mess…
Happy baby = happy Mum. No mess = bonus! 😉

Tucking into Little Yums

Tucking into Little Yums

I would definitely buy these again as they are really convenient to carry around in the changing bag, and are a healthy snack while on the go. I really like that they don’t create much mess either, especially when out and about at other people’s houses or in public places…
I think Little Yums would have been really excellent in the early stages of weaning as they are perfect for little hands to hold, and almost dissolve in the mouth.

I was sent two boxes of Little Yums from Plum Baby for the purpose of this review.
All opinions are my own.

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

Carrot & Lentil Soup… A Baby-Friendly Recipe

Carrot & Lentil Soup For Babies

Now that Baby Squirrel is eating pretty much anything we put in front of her (mostly), I am keen to cook more meals that both Baby Squirrel and Mr Squirrel and I can enjoy.
This soup is just perfect, and is easily transformed into a meal for the adults in the household with the addition of some simple ingredients. Read on to find out more…

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 80g red lentils, rinsed
  • 500ml stock, made with baby stock cube

Method

In a large pan heat the olive oil on a high heat, then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots.
Stir well, so the vegetables are coated with the oil, cover, reduce heat and sweat the vegetables for around 10 minutes.
Next, add the lentils and stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for around 20 minutes.
Blend using a food processor/blender…

Carrot & Lentil Soup Collage

For the little ones, I serve this as is, or use some toast fingers dipped in the soup.

With the addition of a little salt, pepper, croutons and grated parmesan, this makes a lovely meal for Mum and Dad too… mmmmm!

For the adults...

For the adults…

This is a lovely warming soup for an Autumnal/Winter day, and freezes well for those days where baby won’t let you put her down!

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