We get a lot of questions through our First 1000 Days careline from parents about what to offer their little ones to eat for tea. Most babies get their main dinner during the day so they just need a lighter meal at teatime. Something like scrambled eggs with toast or well-cooked pasta with chicken is suitable. When they reach the age of 1, your toddler should be able to eat what the rest of the family are eating for tea. But this might not always be practical! In our house, we don’t usually eat our tea until just before or after Ellen’s bedtime, at which stage it’s too late for her to eat a big meal. I prefer to give her some tea around 5.30 and I have a few (very plain!) meals that I rotate throughout the week. She loves to feed herself so I always include something that she can pick up and eat.
Some ideas include:
- Scrambled or boiled eggs with soldiers of toast
- Well cooked pasta with cold chicken and some chopped cherry tomatoes
- Baked beans with soldiers of toast
- Turkey burgers with steamed broccoli or carrot sticks
The turkey burgers are a favourite in our house with both Ellen and ourselves. They are handy to make up in advance and then freeze either before or after cooking. I usually cook Ellen’s burgers before freezing them as it’s quicker to reheat them when she’s yelling for food! Just make sure to defrost them thoroughly before reheating or cooking.
- Place the turkey mince in a large bowl and break up with a fork.
- Whisk the egg and add to the mince, along with the breadcrumbs and spring onions (if using).
- For baby or toddler turkey burgers, take about 2 teaspoons of the mixture and shape into a burger. For adults, you can use larger portions.
- You can freeze the burgers either cooked or uncooked.
- To cook the burgers, use a non-stick pan to fry the burgers in a little rapeseed oil on each side until cooked through. (Tip: They cook more quickly if they are quite flat in shape.)
- Allow to cool before freezing. Don’t forget to label them for the freezer!