Raw shortbread

Suitable from 12 months
Raw shortbread


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.

Recipe tips
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.

Butterfly muffins

Suitable from 8 months
Butterfly muffins


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! 🙂

Recipe tips
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.


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Sweet pepper, carrot & parsnip puree

Suitable from 4 months
Sweet pepper, carrot & parsnip puree

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.

Recipe tips
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.


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Smashed egg sandwich spread

Suitable from 6 months
Smashed egg sandwich spread


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.

Recipe tips
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.


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Raw chocolate brownies

Suitable from 10 months
Raw chocolate brownies


Our recipe for these dark, chewy, crunchy, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free no-cook brownies consists of just a handful of ingredients, all of them raw and unprocessed. Our raw cheesecake base morphed into a brownie one day when I was sampling the base and came up with the idea of adding some thick, chunky walnut pieces, freezing the mass and then cutting it into small pieces to turn them into tasty brownies.

They are delicious on their own, straight from the freezer or serve them with a raw hot fudge sauce (recipe coming soon!).

Recipe tips
I like these brownies chewy and I have found that the best way to make them is to put them in the freezer for about two hours and then eat them straight away. They can also be refrigerated, but they will be slightly softer. If you eave them in the freezer for more then a couple of hours, let them stand at room temperature for a short while before serving.

Use a food processor to process your ingredients for best results.


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Gruffalo granola

Suitable from 12 months
Gruffalo granola


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!

Recipe tips
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!).


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Gluten-free gingerbread cookies

Suitable from 12 months
Gluten-free gingerbread cookies


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? 🙂

Recipe tips
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.


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Spicy ginger & coconut balls

Suitable from 12 months
Spicy ginger & coconut balls


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.

Recipe tips
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.


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Children’s spicy latte

Suitable from 12 months
Children’s spicy latte


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.

Recipe tips
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.


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Homemade pumpkin pie spice

Suitable from 8 months
Homemade pumpkin pie spice


Pumpkin pie spice is a delicious and simple blend of spices that you can add to breads, cakes and apple sauce or use to make a pumpkin spice latte for you and a warm spicy milk for your little ones. We’ve even made a version of our chocolate balls featuring this delicious spice, spicy ginger & coconut balls.

Spices are a great way to add taste instead of adding sugary sweetness and they are healthy too. Cinnamon has anti-bacterial properties and is known to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It is also high in manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Ginger helps with digestion and is an anti-viral so it is used to boost immunity.

This is a recipe you can make with your toddler or child, he will love pouring the spices into a bowl and helping you mix them. Cinnamon is quite a strong spice and some are allergic to it, so we have put it as an 8-month plus recipe to err on the side of caution.

Recipe tips
If you are missing any of the ingredients you can substitute allspice.


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Lamb & beetroot burgers

Suitable from 10 months
Lamb & beetroot burgers


Whenever we are stuck for ideas for dinner and the day is getting late, we make burgers. Not just any old burgers, but a burger recipe my husband concocted a few years ago, one we haven’t yet managed to beat.

We made them again tonight and I suddenly wondered why we hadn’t shared this recipe with you before. It is the perfect family recipe – full of flavour, nutritious and a very easy way to get some extra vegetables into children who are going through a fussy phase.

We always let Theo help to make these, although this means that he’s handling raw meat. He loves to roll the mixture into balls or patties and I’m a firm believer that if you let children help they will enjoy both the process and the end result – eating them.

Recipe tips
If you don’t like or don’t have the vegetables used in these burgers, why not get creative and add your favourites, or the ones you have. You can make the patties any size you like – smaller ones will just take less time to cook. We usually make a combination of large and small depending who will be eating them.


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Pea, spinach & salmon puree

Suitable from 6 months
Pea, spinach & salmon puree


This is another quick and easy puree which is great for babies who have just started to eat. The avocado adds fat and creaminess and makes the strong taste of spinach a little milder, helping to make it more palatable for your baby’s taste buds.

Recipe tips
For the smallest babies you can blend this quite smoothly. For babies who have already been eating for a couple of weeks you can keep it chunkier to help them to get used to the feel of bigger pieces in their mouths. For older babies and toddlers you can serve this as a dip.


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Filled paprika with feta cheese

Suitable from 10 months
Filled paprika with feta cheese


More comfort food coming up, to match the chilly temperatures! Today we’ve made filled paprika, a recipe which is a frequent dinner in our little family as it’s easy to make and relatively quick. My 2-year old son, who’s named the dish “paki-paki”, loves helping to spoon the stuffing into the vegetables.

Recipe tips
Red and yellow paprikas are much sweeter in taste than the green kind. Use the type you like best, or mix and match for a colorful result! You can vary the spices and herbs used in the stuffing to make your own favorite version – try using half a de-seeded red chili, finely chopped, for a more fiery mince mix, or add sweet paprika powder, fresh basil, coriander or thyme. Serve the paprika on their own or with a side of rice, couscous, quinoa or bulgur.


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Raw chocolate cheesecake

Suitable from 12 months
Raw chocolate cheesecake


For my son’s second birthday I had a bit of a dilemma. Being 2 years old – and having some friends who are a bit older – I wanted to make a ‘proper’ cake. But we prefer to avoid wheat and we have never given him sugar, so I wondered if there were a healthier option that both adults and children would enjoy.

The first thing that came to mind was a raw food cafe in Soho that I visited often when I lived in London. One weekend, on the search for something yummy to take home to my family, I discovered their raw chocolate and strawberry ‘cheesecakes’. They looked like cheesecakes. They smelled like cheesecakes. They tasted like cheesecakes. How could this be in a raw food cafe? Well in fact they were made with nuts, seeds, cacao and fruit. At the end of the meal I took out the cakes and made my family guess what they were eating. Nobody could tell the difference.

So a few weeks before my son’s birthday, I began experimenting with raw cheesecakes. The first one I made was blueberry – a purple cake just didn’t feel quite right. Each one I made improved until it didn’t – hazelnuts made the base greasy and soggy, whilst too much almond made it taste dry and crumbly. Eventually I realized that soaking the cashews was really essential in getting a smooth topping and I settled on a chocolate cheesecake.

Recipe tips
A lot of raw cheesecake recipes say that soaking the nuts doesn’t matter and if you don’t have time to soak the cashews for 3 hours you can still make this, but the filling will not be as smooth and it really isn’t as good, so bear that in mind.

Use a food processor or a strong hand-held blender (e.g. a Bamix blender) to mix and process your ingredients.


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Vegetarian tri-color lasagna

Suitable from 10 months
Vegetarian tri-color lasagna


Fall and with that cooler temperatures are approaching – time for comfort food! This lasagna recipe was given to me by a friend many many years ago and proved popular during my college years as much as it is now in our little family. It has changed a bit over the years just as recipes change if you make them from memory so many times. We don’t eat pasta too often but there’s a definite moment of excitement when my two-year old comes home from pre-school and discovers a bubbling dish of lasagna through the oven door!
One piece of advice – you can save yourself a lot of time by using a square dish for lasagna! I learned the hard way after making lasagna for 20 children and adults at my son’s pre-school where they only have oval dishes. Let’s say I spent quite some time breaking off corners of pasta sheets to make them fit… 🙂

Recipe tips
If in a hurry and you don’t have pasta sauce at hand, use a can of hacked tomatoes with spices added (oregano, basil, paprika, black pepper). You can up the fiber in this dish by using whole-wheat pasta. Leftover lasagna holds well in the fridge for a few days, or can be frozen in individual portions and defrosted for later use.


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