Monthly Archives: September 2013

Autumn recipes

In the cooler weather, my girls and I have been enjoying some hearty, warming meals of soups and stews. Here are 2 of my favourites:

Slow cook beef casserole

This recipe is easy to prepare, as all you need to do is brown the meat and onions and then add all the other ingredients together in the slow cooker.


This recipe is a great source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin A and lycopene. Vitamins C and A, as well as lycopene from cooked tomatoes are excellent antioxidants providing protection for your body from illnesses.


Lean beef chunks



Baby potatoes



Tinned tomatoes

Worcester sauce

Dried mixed herbs

Brown the meat in a frying pan with the onions and garlic (no need to cook the meat properly, just brown the outside to keep the juices in).

Transfer to the slow cooker and add the carrots, baby potatoes, mushrooms and tinned tomatoes, as well as a dash of Worcester sauce and a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs.

Minestrone soup

 This recipe is so easy and it is a great choice for the whole family!



Small pasta, barley, split peas (soup mix)

Grated carrot

Onion, garlic

Olive oil

Tinned toms

Marigold stock – 2 teaspoons

Add about 1 litre boiling water (more if it’s too thick for you)

Sauté the onions, garlic and grated carrot in the olive oil until soft, add the tinned tomatoes, Marigold stock, pasta/barley/split pea soup mix and 1 litre boiling water. Simmer gently until the pasta, barley and split peas are soft.

Serve with some fresh granary bread for a delicious meal.

This recipe is a great source of fibre, protein, vitamin A, selenium and lycopene. Vitamin A, selenium and lycopene are excellent antioxidants.

Watch out for my next posts on:

– Feeding a vegetarian toddler

– What are appropriate drinks for toddlers?

– Gluten free diets

– More on fussy eaters

I would love to hear from you…what would you like to read about??

 Paula x 


Getting back on track

Tips for ‘Getting back on track’ after the summer holidays


The summer holidays are over (sob, sob) and if you are like me, your children probably had a treat every day in the summer holidays! We had an ice cream every day when we were in France, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That’s what holidays are for, aren’t they??

Not sure how to stop all the treats? Have a look at the tips below for some ideas…

–       Get back into your routine of regular meal times and bedtimes

–       Have a set time for one treat per week eg. Friday cake sale or Saturday treat

–       Try to keep yourself and your children as active as possible (go for a cycle/walk/swim together)

–       Offer a variety of foods from all five food groups…see below for ideas

The five food groups

1.    Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and other starchy foods

–       Offer at each meal and some snacks

–       Try to use wholegrain varieties

Examples of portions: (for 1-4 year olds)

½ – 1 slice of bread

¼ – ½ a bagel

3 – 6 heaped tablespoons wholegrain breakfast cereals

½ – 1 ½ Weetabix

5 – 8 tablespoons of hot porridge made up with milk

2 – 5 tablespoons of rice or pasta

½ – 1 ½ egg-sized potatoes or 1 – 4 tablespoons mashed potato

1-3 crackers or large breadsticks

¼ – ½ pitta bread

¼ – ½ tortilla wrap

2.    Fruit and vegetables

Offer at each meal and at some snacks

Examples of portions: (for 1-4 year olds)

¼ – ½ apple, orange, pear

½ – 1 banana

3-10 small berries or grapes

2-4 tablespoons of raw, freshly cooked, stewed or mashed fruit

1-3 tablespoons of raw or cooked vegeatbles

½ – 1 clementine, tangerine or mandarin

½ – 2 tablespoons raisins

½ – 1 kiwi fruit, apricot or plum

 3.    Milk, cheese and yoghurt

–       Three toddler portions per day

–       Try not to use baby bottles anymore

–       Use full fat products from 1-2 years and semi-skimmed milk for 2-5 years*

 Examples of portions: (for 1-4 year olds)

100 – 120ml of whole or semi-skimmed cow’s milk

125g pot of yoghurt

2-4 tablespoons of grated cheese

Cheese in a sandwich or on a piece of pizza

5 – 7 tablespoons custard

3 – 5 tablespoon cheese sauce

½ – 1 tablespoon ricotta or cottage cheese

4.    Meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses

Two to three toddler portions per day

Examples of portions: (for 1-4 year olds)

2 – 4 tablespoons of ground, chopped or cubed lean meats, fish or poultry

½ – 1 whole egg (boiled, poached, scrambled)

2 – 4 tablespoons pulses (beans, lentils, dhal)

1 – 2 tablespoons hummus

½ – 1 tablespoons peanut butter

 5.    Foods high in sugar and fat

ONLY include in very small amounts

Examples of portions: (for 1-4 year olds)

1 plain biscuit (Eg. Rich tea or Digestive)

1 small piece of cake

4 – 6 crisps

 *You can use semi-skimmed milk for children from 2-5 years and skimmed milk for children over the age of 5 years, if your child is well grown and eating a variety of foods. It is recommended in the UK to give vitamins A, C and D to children from 6 months to 5 years of age.

These websites provide further information and ideas for feeding children:

Paula x