This salad is a quick, easy, delicious addition to a meal or a meal in itself. It is popular with all the family and an ideal way to get vegetables and salad into small children.
My son piles this onto his plate until nothing else fits: a bowl we made to last two meals lasted less than half an hour.
Anything that can be grated can be added or substituted. For the littlest foodies, chop the vegetables well after grating them to avoid them getting stuck in the throat. If I have it I often add some shredded kale, which I pulse briefly in the food processor before adding the same dressing by rubbing it into the leaves until they soften up, then tossing it with the rest of the salad.
For the salad
1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled and stoned
1/2 orange carrot, peeled
1/2 purple carrot, peeled
1/2 beetroot, peeled
1/2 apple, peeled
For dressing and topping
2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp french mustard
1 tbsp soft-shelled hemp seeds *optional*
1. Grate all fruits and vegetables, blotting with kitchen towel to remove excess water where needed. Add to a salad bowl and mix.
2. Heat a hot skillet with 1 tsp of the oil on medium to high heat and add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, using a spatula to coat with oil. Roast for approximately 3-4 minutes until browned slightly, be careful not to burn.
3. Mix the remaining oil, vinegar and mustard in a cup until well combined.
4. Just before serving, pour the dressing and 2/3 of the roasted seeds over the salad and toss well.
5. Garnish with the remainder of the seeds and hemp seeds (if using).
6. Serve as a side dish, or add chicken strips or boiled eggs to make it a meal.
Preparation: 15 min | Cooking time: 3-4 min | Servings: 2-4
I’ve been wanting to make a cucumber crocodile for ages after having seen something similar in some magazine, so an invitation to an animal themed 3rd birthday party was the perfect opportunity to create this very cool looking yet totally healthy snack! This croc requires a little bit of patience when carving the teeth, but I promise the outcome will be worth it.
Since this recipe uses a lot of toothpicks, adult supervision is required especially for smaller kids when devouring the crocodile.
I’m not sure if many people actually use a recipe to make pancakes, as the simplest version really only contain three ingredients (four if you add salt). Still I think it is fun to post some inspiration to how to give very basic food a twist and make it into a fun snack. We’ve included a sweet and a savory filling but the possibilities are endless, see more ideas in the recipe tips!
This is a great recipe to make with toddlers or smaller kids, as they like spreading the filling on the pancake and rolling up the strips into snails. I had the feeling that my son was slightly intrigued when I told him that we were making snails, i.e. something that usually doesn’t at all belong in the kitchen. Let your kids help decorate and make their very personal pancake snail and I’m sure they’ll have a blast!
Other tasty pancake toppings – though maybe less suited for rolling up – include sliced bananas, mixed berries, lime juice, shredded pineapple, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, thinly sliced cheese, strips of thinly sliced salami or shaved turkey, minced meat with herbs, soft-steamed strips of mixed vegetables, or thin slices of salmon.
You can use any kind of milk for this recipe – cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk etc. – though the taste will vary slightly. If you go traditional and fry your pancakes in butter, keep in mind that butter has a very low smoke point (the temperature where an oil or fat starts breaking down into different components and producing a blue-ish smoke, also marking the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation), so make sure to fry on low to medium temperature. If using oil, you could for example use refined coconut oil which has a higher smoke point and an adequate taste for frying pancakes.
A few days before my son’s 3rd birthday party, I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. “A car! …No, an elephant!” Then, after some thinking: “A train!!!” So a train it was. I looked for train-shaped cake tins but couldn’t find any in the local stores, and found the ones online simply too expensive for one-time use.
I decided to skip the carriages and only do a train engine. I used a 10 x 24 cm (4 x 9.5 in) loaf-shaped cake tin for the base, plus made a 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in) square tin from cardboard covered with aluminum foil – this cake cube was later set on top of the base to make the engineer’s cabin.
I knew I wouldn’t be having much time on the day of the party as I had a bunch of other food to prepare, so I chose to keep the decoration simple and frosted the entire cake with a no-sugar frosting, added round biscuits as wheels and piped some simple decorations on the cake. It is by no means perfect but I think considering that I was juggling a slightly squirmy baby at the same time, it turned out ok! The birthday boy loved his cake, which was the main thing.
You can of course also make this as a regular shaped round or rectangular/square cake. You might need to adjust the baking time according to the size of your cake tin(s). Check the color of the cake in the oven (it should be golden brown) and do the toothpick test – a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out slightly crumbly or clean.
We made these cute egg chicks the other day and my son was so excited, so I had to share. This is not a real recipe as such but inspiration for a snack that I’m sure your kids will love as well! How will you be serving your eggs this Easter?
Note: Eggs are the second most common food allergy in kids. Medical experts used to advise that babies under 12 months should not be given egg whites, as they are more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than the yolk. More recent studies have shown though that there is no benefit in delaying the introduction of egg whites to your baby’s diet. The current recommendation is that babies can be given whole eggs – yolks and whites – from 6 month of age, as long as they are no known food allergies in the family. Be sure to consult your pediatrician if in doubt!
For babies, toddlers and pregnant women (or anyone with a compromised immune system) the current recommendation is that eggs should be completely cooked to avoid the risk of salmonella. Use organic eggs if you can. If you prefer the carrot beaks to be cooked, throw them in the water with the eggs for around 3-4 minutes.
It always surprises me how simple it is to make a good soup, and tomato soup is no exception. We had this for dinner the other night and it made me so happy that the whole family could eat the same food without any extra preparations – even my 8-month old couldn’t get enough of it.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants (found to protect us from different cancers as well as promoting healthy skin and bones), dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins (especially vitamins A and C). Did you know that a tomato is technically a fruit? A fruit is generally defined as the edible part of a plant containing the seeds, while a vegetable is the edible stems, leaves, or plant roots. Who would’ve known!
Some babies are extra sensitive to acidy food like tomato and citrus fruit, usually showing mild symptoms like redness or swelling around the mouth. Stronger reactions are very unusual. If your baby seems sensitive to tomatoes it’s best to wait a few months and then try again.
Fresh basil gives this soup a real taste kick – if you don’t have any fresh one on hand though you can replace it with 1 tsp of dried, or even a click of green pesto. If you prefer your soup chunky rather than smooth, simply skip the hand blender in the end!
My son is intolerant to starch, so the desserts we make are never conventional but they still need to pass the yumminess test for a food-loving two-year-old.
When Theo likes something a lot we hear about it pretty quickly. The first bite is followed by a moment’s silence and then just one word – ‘more’. ‘More. More mummy!’ he pleaded, his voice threatening to turn into a wail when he had finished his first taste of biscuit. My husband liked it too, in fact he preferred it to the expensive Chokladfabriken truffles I offered up at the same time.
I buy almond flour for this shortbread instead of making my own from whole almonds, because I want it to be as fine-milled as possible. Thicker pieces would make more of a bar, which would also be delicious.
For my sons third birthday party, I wanted to make some special treats that not only tasted good but also looked cute. At the same time it needed to be reasonable simple as we had around 30 kids and as many adults coming around which meant there was a lot of food to be prepared!
These muffins were a bit hit – they were quick to make and decorate and still look lovely, and the kids really liked them. I’m glad I got to try them while preparing as there wasn’t a single one left after a short while. I take that as a good sign!
These muffins don’t contain any added sugar, so they’re purposely not very sweet – which works well though with the fruit filling and the fresh fruit on top. You can replace the wholemeal flour with regular white flour, if you wish. If you want a sweeter topping, you can stir a little bit of maple sirup into your whipped cream, or add vanilla for extra flavour.
Baby-led weaning is all the rage these days, but my daughter still loves purees, smoothies and mashed vegetables as well as pieces. That’s fine with me, as I can’t think of a better way to get in as many flavours and good fats as possible whilst she is still happy for me to feed her some things with a spoon.
It took me a while to think about steaming peppers. At first I tried to grate them, which just leaves a red, watery mess and then I tried giving her big pieces to chew. As she still has no teeth at 8 months and isn’t a very efficient gum-chewer, they just end up on the floor, but I wanted her to get used to the flavour and benefit from all the wonderful vitamins that peppers contain (super duper amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C and good amounts of folate and Vitamin B6). Steaming the peppers lightly with some other vegetables and then lightly pureeing with a bit of fat was an instant hit. We serve this delicious puree along with pieces of meat, fish or liver or sometimes even on its own, for breakfast. That’s right, veggies for breakfast, yippee! She loves it.
You can use any colour of pepper: we chose red for its bright colour and sweet flavour and the brighter the colour, the more nutrients it has. This is a good puree for babies who are crying out to be weaned before 6 months because it is light as well as being pure vegetable goodness, but for a slightly older or hungrier baby you can add a little avocado to this to bulk it out.
I prefer to make as much fresh food as possible but it is always helpful to have some food in the freezer. Freeze leftover puree in individual portions, for example in an ice cube tray, and pop out into a freezer-proof bag or container once frozen. Single puree cubes can conveniently be defrosted in the microwave or in a small pan on low temperature, whenever you need them.
A study by Newcastle University researchers showed that carrots cooked before chopping contained 25% more falcarinol than did those chopped up prior to cooking. They also found that naturally-occuring sugars giving carrots their sweet taste were found in higher concentrations when the carrots were cooked whole. For this reason, we recommend steaming vegetables before cutting them up if they will fit into your pan.
I seem to write a lot about recipes that you can prepare quickly and easily if you are in a rush. Life can be hectic with small children and I’m not always organized, so I find it very useful to have a repertoire of quick and healthy dishes to choose from when one or more tummies needs to be filled and fast.
This recipe doesn’t need much introduction, other than to say that it is very quick to make, very tasty and very popular with children and adults alike. It can be used as a sandwich filling or served with salad. For smaller babies you can add some small cubes of avocado and cucumber (skins removed) and serve as a meal.
This homemade ‘egg mayonnaise’ is healthier than your average egg mayonnaise because it only uses a little mayonnaise. We recommend omitting the mayonnaise for children under 1 year as mayonnaise contains a fair share of salt. Substitute an extra drizzle of avocado oil as necessary.
For babies, toddlers and pregnant women (or anyone with a compromised immune system) the current recommendation is that eggs should be completely cooked to avoid the risk of salmonella. You can also make this recipe with soft-boiled eggs (approx 5 mins boiling time) if you prefer. Use organic eggs if you can.
Breakfast really is my favorite meal of the day. Even on busy weekdays, we try to sit down together for half an hour and enjoy breakfast as a family, talk about what we have planned for the day and just enjoy each others company. After these thirty minutes I’m ready for any battle to come!
Living in Sweden, I’ve taken on my hubby’s Scandinavian way of having breakfast, i.e. some sort of muesli or flakes on yoghurt or filmjölk (sour milk), usually with some fruit cut into it. I’ve tried quite a few different breakfast cereals and muesli mixes available but always found them either too dry, to sugary or simply tasting bland. Tired of this, I started making my own granola the other week for the first time. The whole family loved it and I’ve now made a few different varieties of which this one is my favorite. It is so easy to make and I’m seriously wondering why I haven’t tried it before!
This granola tastes great with your choice of milk (cow’s milk, oat milk, almond milk etc.), or sprinkled over yoghurt. Be creative and use the types of nuts and dried fruit you like best. Our favorite winter combo is to have it with natural yoghurt and chopped orange and banana slices. It can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for several weeks (although it has never lasted that long in our house!).
Pre-christmas time without gingerbread cookies – especially in Sweden – is simply unthinkable! There are 1001 gingerbread cookie recipes on the net, but we wanted to come up with a gluten-free, low-sugar version. We’ve tried a few different variations and this one came out best. The kids have given their approval!
I’m so happy that our son is now getting to the age where he really thinks that baking is a lot of fun, and if it involves the use of cookie cutters, even better! The other day, I bought some new shapes at the local second hand store, so our collection is getting quite extensive. Maybe this year we’ll even attempt to make and decorate a gingerbread house. I wonder who is having more fun, the children or me?
Unused dough can be wrapped in plastic foil or stored in an airtight container and be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Make sure to leave the dough in the fridge for an hour or so before using, to give the almond and coconut flours time to swell and to avoid having a very soft dough. If you are in a hurry or don’t want to deal with cookie cutters, you can simply roll the dough into little balls and flatten them onto your baking sheet.
This is a spicy, wintery version of our chocolate balls. December is a month when we all indulge a little more than usual, so it’s great to have some healthy recipes on hand to make special treats for the little ones and for us adults, too.
Both powdered and fresh ginger work just as well. Medjool dates don’t need soaking but they are a little more difficult to blend and you may need to add some water as you do so. I prefer using soft dates as they are easier to handle, but they do need to be soaked overnight.
A warming spice drink is a wonderful way to beat the winter chill. I spend half the winter with a warm drink or soup in my hands and my little ones don’t miss out because we mix them their own little winter lattes, sans caffeine of course. They love to help mix it and sit with their little hands wrapped around the warm mug.
We even bought them some glögg/mulled wine cups to use as miniature latte mugs. Children’s sturdy water glasses work just as well. Our mugs and glasses make exactly 100ml lattes. You can adapt this recipe to the size of the mug or glass you are using. This is a great recipe to make together with your toddler or child. Be aware that cinnamon is quite a strong spice and some children are allergic to it.
We use calcium-enriched oat milk for this recipe, partly because we don’t eat dairy and partly because the oats give a hint of natural sweetness. Cows milk, goats milk, sheeps milk, almond milk and soya milk (and probably any other milk you have in your fridge) will work just as well. Because oat milk is quite sweet, we add water. If you prefer you can use 100ml milk or whatever other combination you like.
Always check the temperature of a warm drink before you give it to your toddler or child in order to avoid the risk of burning.