Tag Archives: toddler

Let’s dance

Sometimes when life gets a bit serious, the only thing for it is to dance. I mean turning the music up loud and singing and laughing with the little cherubs. We have gotten through witching hour with giggles by dancing to the following playlist.

The songs in highest rotation at the moment are:

“Girls just wanna have fun” Cyndi Lauper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIb6AZdTr-A

“It’s raining men” The weather girls! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5aZJBLAu1E

“Greased lightning” megamix, soundtrack from the movie Grease. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21g8j_john-travolta-olivia-newton-john-gr_music

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” Manred Mann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFDmst7ULGI

So don’t worry neighbours. If you hear these songs pumping out of our house, we are just shaking off the day 🙂

Hope you have a great week xx

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Family lunch boxes and mama’s remedy

I have my children’s head cold. This one has actually taken hold a bit so along with the family’s lunches, I have made myself a hot toddie.

Mamas hot toddie
In a mug add juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
Add 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
Add generous nip of rum
Top with boiling water
Stir to combine

This lunch includes:
Mango smoothie
In a blender, combine until very smooth
3 ripe mangoes sliced
4 tbsp quick oats
4 tbsp white chia seeds
4 tbsp rice bran oil (optional)
Top with soy milk.
Add to reusable pouches

Carrot and sultana wholemeal biscuits
Fruit box
Vegetarian schnitzel sandwich
Crackers with Vegemite
Banana

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Vegetarian larb salad

A country I love is Laos. It a wonderful place in South East Asia, a landlocked haven that until fairly recent years was undeveloped, supporting deep green forests with dappled light, hidden treasures and bamboo gullies, the magnificent Mekong River supporting river dolphins and glorious waterfalls, inland islands dotted with tiny huts, jewelled insects clinging to incredible flowers. The peoples’ culture is sweet, communal and incredibly generous. Spend time in Luang Prabang and you will know what I mean.

Anyhow, larb is served in most restaurants and is regarded as a national dish. It is fresh, spicy, aromatic and delicious served in crisp lettuce leaves. Its usually made with minced meat, generally pork. I don’t eat pork so I made a vegetarian version. We call it “cooked salad” and my children usually have at least two servings at dinner.

Admission: I’m a working mother, so there are two versions to this salad:
1. The “quick my children are walking up the stairs and need to be fed in 10 minutes” version; or
2. The fancy “I can serve this to anyone as a sharing plate on the table” version.

Cook’s note: I make this toddler friendly and then add fresh coriander and chilli seperately afterwards for the adults.

Ingredients

1 packet of Linda McCartney vegetarian mince (frozen)
2 cups of cooked brown rice (more if you like)
4 tbsp rice bran oil
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen sliced green beans
1/2 cup sliced fresh snow peas
1 tbsp Massells chicken stock powder (vegan friendly)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
good amount of fresh cracked pepper
3 cm white section fresh lemongrass finely diced or 1 tsp minced lemongrass
1/2 cup water
fresh lime wedges, coriander and hot chilli to serve.

Method

1. In a non-stick wok, heat 3 tbsp oil. Add cooked rice on high heat for 2 minutes. Add bag of vegetarian mince. Cook on high for another 2 minutes.
2. Turn down heat to medium and add remaining ingredients.
3. Cook for 5  or so minutes until everything is defrosted and hot throughout.
4. Serve immediately to toddlers with a lime wedge. I put a horizontal slice in the flesh to reduce spatter when squeezing.

For the adults, add lime wedge, coriander and chilli.

To make fancy, use fresh ingredients, not frozen. Cook the rice and vegetarian mince combination on high heat for an additional 2 minutes so it becomes a bit crispy before adding remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste and season if required. Serve in baby cos lettuce cups with tiny lime wedges and a sprig of coriander.

Yum!

Note: Leftovers can be used as a filling for wraps for lunches the next day.

Hope you have a lovely week.

vegan larb salad Vegan larb salad pan

Banana choc chip muffins with pear (vegan, high fibre)

These are lovely, moist in the middle, crispy on the top, with little sweet surprises from the chocolate and pear. We made these after breakfast then headed to the creek to eat them and enjoy some quality outside play. What a wonderful morning!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan forced)

In a large bowl combine until well combined:
3 very ripe bananas mashed
2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1 generous cup soy milk for 10 minutes
3 tbsp dark agave nectar
1/3 cup dairy free choc chips
1/3 cup rice bran oil

Mix in 2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour.

Spray oil 12 cup muffin tin and divide mixture evenly between the holes.

Slice a pear thickly. Trim slices to fit on top of muffin mixture. Gently place pear slices on top of mixture. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

Enjoy 🙂

Note: to transport warm from the oven, I tie them into a cotton napkin or clean tea towel. 20150108-214832-78512465.jpg

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Nutritious lunch for cherubs

This lunch is easy and will be gobbled!
Home made baked beans in a wrap
Fruit box
Pasta box
Peach, spinach and chia smoothie

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Baked Beans Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups of dried navy beans
3 425 gm cans of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp each of dried oregano and parsley
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Massell chicken stock powder
pepper

Optional extras
diced onion and garlic
frozen peas
frozen, chopped spinach

Method
1. prepare beans. Soak in cold water for at least 8 hours. Boil beans in large soup pot for at least one hour, until cooked and soft in the middle but still hold shape. Top up with boiling water when required.
2. Drain beans and return to large pot.Add remaining ingredients and cook for a further 30 minutes or so.
3. This makes a large amount, so I keep some in the fridge and freeze a batch.

Serving suggestions
Excellent layered with dairy free sour cream (Tofutti brand I use), avocado pieces, chopped tomato and salsa.
Wraps as shown above
On toast
Served in little lunch containers.

Freezes beautifully for batch cooking.

Enjoy 🙂

10 days in the life of a lunch box

 

 

 

Hi! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog so I thought this one should be full of lunchbox ideas. I am a working mum and I highly value healthy home made food for my children. I make a lot ahead. We even have a box in our freezer called “the bakery” and I’m reminded if it’s running low! We use cooler bags with small containers generally. We also have a stainless steel lunchbox for my eldest used in place of all the containers. Maybe you might enjoy incorporating some of these lunchbox components.

Lunch boxes are always packed the night before and everything put in the fridge for morning. It’s the only way I have found that works in our house.

Here are some ideas below that I regularly use and my children love. The photos aren’t always great because I assemble the lunches at night – no pinterest worthy photos here, just basic, healthful food to fuel growing bodies 🙂

Baked tofu, cheese and vege sticks.
Creamy soy milk jelly pots.
Dairy free, egg free “cup cakes” (date and apricot is a yummy combination).
Free range egg and spinach wholemeal sandwiches.
Coconut and vanilla chia pudding.
Wholemeal, dairy free scrolls.
Celery boats with dairy free cream cheese and sultanas.
Crackers with cream cheese and vegemite.
Yoghurt topped with fresh fruit.
Zucchini slice, cherry tomatoes and pepitas.
Savoury vegetarian muffins (insect shaped silicone molds have proven very popular).
Stemed vegetables with yoghurt dip.
Pasta salad with creamy sauce or plain with fresh vegetables mixed through.
Oven baked pita bread with hommus topped with peas.
Steamed corn on the cob.
Avocado splashed with lemon juice (slice in skin for easy scooping).

 

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Vanilla and coconut chia pudding

This is my favourite, go to pudding recipe. My toddlers sit on the kitchen bench and make it. As usual, this is the combination of a few recipes off the internet. Chia seeds are around 20% protein and very nutritious. I pack this pudding as a treat in lunch boxes and serve it to soothe sore little throats. Now I buy chia seeds by the kilo!

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups liquid – can of coconut cream plus remainder made up from soy milk
1/3 rounded cup chia seeds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 or 3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup/agave nectar
Pinch of salt (small)

Method
1. Whisk all ingredients together in serving dish (I use a Pyrex dish with plastic fitted lid).
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (best overnight), stirring occasionally.

Serving
Top with chopped, seasonal fruit or by itself. It doesn’t last long in our house, no matter what it is served with.

Substitution
You can substitute the vanilla extract for vanilla paste or the scraped seeds of a vanilla pod.
These photos show a dark agave and black chia seed mix, hence the deep colour. Using white chia and maple syrup results in a paler colour.

Activist note
I have ditched dairy so learning about dairy free inclusions to my favourite recipes! Wish me luck.
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Quickest tahini sauce

In our house, food seems to sound more appealing if I offer it with a sauce. This is my quickest, creamy, delicious, vegan sauce. You can add a variety of additional citrus, apple cider vinegar, chopped herbs, spices like smoked paprika or garlic to adapt for a variety of foods.

Tonight I kept this sauce simple and added it to a fresh vegetable box for my children’s lunches.

Too easy!

In a small bowl, combine equal parts tahini, hommus and coconut cream. Stir well to combine. Add optional extras to taste.

This is super easy with a lovely creamy consistency. If you want it less nutty, reduce the tahini by a third. More bite, add citrus or vinegar.

I hope you love this sauce as much as my children

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Lunches for cherubs

Welcome to the latest series from Whistling Kite Collective, lunches for little hands.

Tomorrow’s offering consists of:
– natural yoghurt and pureed apple
– tofu and vege stir fry
– fruit box
– celery boats with cream cheese and sultanas
– coconut vanilla chia pudding
– crackers with vegemite

The eldest gets a carrot and the youngest gets milk with lunch.

It seems like a lot of food but its for a long day.  We mothers just do the best we can don’t we?

I would love to hear about any quick, healthy go to recipes you might use!

Here’s to appreciating our good fortune in being a resident of the first world.

Love xx
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Whale shark exploration!

Lately, my eldest and I have been talking a lot about where animals live across our planet. She has been asking lots of questions about which animals live where (land and sea), where are their beds, what do they eat? Today we enjoyed learning about whale sharks.

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What a great activity. I found a very cheap plastic figurine of a whale shark (AU$3) at a local variety store. First we set up the clam shell pool on the back deck and filled it with water together. Then we busted out the laptop and watched a short National Geographic documentary on whale sharks in Western Australia wearing cameras on their dorsal fins! http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/australia-whale-shark-crittercam-vin

The You Tube video of multiple whale sharks swimming was great too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5a3XJhJd4

My cherub then took her new plastic whale shark to the water and replicated what she’d seen them do in the videos (feeding, big gulps, swimming with the powerful tail). This toy even made it to the warm bubble bath and the talk continued about all of the whale sharks parts (tail, gills, dorsal fin, pectoral fins, eyes, mouth).

photo1(1)This image shows my cherub replicating whale shark feeding behaviour (like in the videos), coming to the surface, gulping water and swimming. She was talking about little fish sitting under the whale shark’s fins .

Embedded learning following her natural curiosity. I don’t know what early educators would call this, but she was engaged and excited. She taught her father all about whale sharks over dinner. It was lovely to see her describe her experience. “Daddy, a whale shark is as long as two of our decks lined up! That’s big, Daddy.  This is how they eat (insert gulping action)”.

Hope you have a great week and learn something new.

Big love xx