Category: Meals and Food

Today’s Lunch: Annabel Karmel Tomato and Tuna pasta

One of the things I find challenging as a childminder is consistently coming up with new meal ideas. For the childrens midday hot meals I tend to follow Annabel Karmel recipes as I find them to be easy, tasty and nutritious. Today I gave the Tuna and Tomato pasta sauce a go and served it up with baby pasta shells (Conchigliette).

Today’s taste tester was a 15 month old who polished it off and loved handling the baby pasta shells and popping them in to her mouth. I always find tomato based dishes are popular with babies and the added mascarpone makes it extra tasty whilst the pasta took just 5 minutes to cook.

I was able to make it from ingredients that I mostly had in my store cupboard anyway so by just popping an onion on my shopping list this week it was an easy one to create. I love the fact that many of her meals are freezable too. This works really well for me as I need to batch cook and have meals ready to go especially on busy days when I have a midday pre-school pick up.

See which other Annabel Karmel recipes we’ve enjoyed –

Today’s lunch: Tomato Soup

Cooking with kids: Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

This morning we enjoyed a cooking session and made these easy Chocolate Cornflake Cakes.

“Hand up who likes Cornflakes?” I asked them – their hands shot up in the air, “Hands up who likes Chocolate?” – Again, both hands shot up in the air!

The children (Aged 35 months) lined the cake tin with cases, helped me weigh out the cornflakes, broke up the chocolate into pieces, helped stir the cornflakes, golden syrup and butter on the hob and finally helped combine the mixture with the cornflakes and spoon out in to the individual cake cases.

We had to wait 5 minutes for the mixture to cool down before transferring to the cake cases so to make this wait more fun we turned the 5 minute sand timer over and I told them to watch until all the sand had passed through before we could move on to the next part. This proved a fantastic visual aid that really helped them to wait patiently for the required length of time.

They had great fun and really enjoyed the whole process.

Areas of Learning covered: Communication & Language, Mathematics, Physical Development, Understanding the World and Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Today’s lunch 

Today’s lunch was another pasta and sauce recipe taken from Annabel Karmels ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book. It’s another sauce that can be put together in minutes yet is still very tasty. This time it was a case of mixing 200ml of passata with 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche, 1 tablespoon red pesto and 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. As always my 20 month old mindee polished her portion off and wanted more and I may have just eaten what was left in the pan!

Today’s lunch: Quick pasta sauce

Today’s lunch was another recipe from Annabel Karmel’s ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book.

It combines penne with creme fraiche and parmesan and I include brocolli and ham as Annabel suggests. It’s ready in minutes so is a great one to make when, like today, we are having a busy day and I want to get fresh, healthy food on the table in under ten minutes!


Today’s lunch: Pasta and Sauce with hidden vegetables

The children were very hungry by lunchtime today after our morning at soft play. On today’s menu was pasta and hidden vegetable sauce from Annabel Karmels ‘Feeding your Baby and Toddler’ recipe book. This was another recipe I turned to when I was having problems getting my son to eat any vegetables.

In the book Annabel says that “if babies are reluctant to eat vegetables, one solution is to resort to disguise” so this blended sauce with lots of vegetables in is fantastic.

This recipe provides beta-carotene, folate, potassium and vitamins C and E.

The children loved it and ate it all, even my fussy eaters.

I awarded them at the end of the day with “clean plate” reward stickers which they loved!


Today’s lunch: Sweet potato and carrot soup

For today’s lunch I tried another soup from the Fussy Eater chapter in the Annabel Karmel ‘Feeding your Baby and Toddler’ recipe book. This time I went for Sweet potato and carrot soup with ginger and orange which I served with some fresh wholemeal bread. This recipe provides beta-carotene, folate, potassium and vitamins C and E. I thought it smelt and tasted divine and my 19 month old mindee clearly agreed with me judging by her clean bowl. I was going to freeze the rest but having tasted it I may just have it for my dinner!



Today’s lunch: Tuna Pasta Bake

Today’s lunch came courtesy of Annabel Karmel’s ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book.

I use this recipe book a lot and the Tuna Pasta Bake is a fab recipe packed full of a rainbow of vegetables. Unlike the ‘Feeding your Baby and Toddler’ book it doesn’t list the nutrition information for each recipe but when the meal is packed full of lots of colourful veggies such as yellow peppers, courgettes and brocolli you know it’s a great healthy meal for your child.

Today’s ‘taste tester’ was my 19 month old mindee and her finished bowl was testament to a tasty dish!


Lunchtime Funtime

As an OFSTED registered childminder it is my duty to positively promote the health and well-being of the children in my care. By encouraging healthy eating habits in childhood we can help influence health and well-being in later life. The food I provide is fresh, healthy, wholesome and nutritious.

I am committed to providing the children in my care with a healthy diet. To grow and stay healthy children need to eat a nutritionally well balanced diet.

So I wanted to start to share some of the meals we enjoy here at Aston Childcare.

For lunch today my son and 18 month old mindee enjoyed Cream of Tomato Soup and fresh baked wholemeal bread.

I started making this recipe when my son hit an incredibly fussy stage with eating, and, at my wits end, I turned to Annabel Karmel’s  Baby and Toddler recipe book and “The Fussy Eater” chapter!  It claims “This tasty tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes, carrots and onion is popular with children. Blending vegetables into a soup is a good way to encourage your child to eat more vegetables”. And sure enough, he loved it. It provides beta-carotene, potassium, and Vitamins A, C and E.

I am glad to say that  it is now a firm favourite here.