BUTTERNUT, PLANTAIN AND BEETROOT CHICKEN BAKE
Hi. It does eventually get expensive buying baby food be it cereals or already prepared food and upsetting when the Little One wastes all that food. I know a lot of mums spend a lot of time worrying about what to feed their babies once the weaning process begins. Regardless of your baby’s eating habits (fussy or eat anything), once baby no longer survives on breast milk alone, we mums start to worry, poring over the internet for healthy, budget-friendly, tasty recipes that will feed both the family and the toddler. And if yours is a fussy eater like mine, part of the search would be on ideas to get him eating. I’ll share the same advice I got from family and friends. Try different things until you find what works. What to try?
- Different tastes
- Different food textures
- Different food colours
- Different feeding times
- Eating preferences for example; my son likes to hold on to a spoon while being fed. So I make two spoons available. One for him and one to feed him with. He also likes distraction. So someone clapping, knocking or just playing gets his attention and he eats without screaming the house down. Exhausting, I know. Lol.
- The water trick. I act like he’s about to get a drink and then I shovel spoonful of food into his mouth. (Luckily, he hadn’t developed trust issues. Lol)
Over time I have come to discover he is quite partial to baked beans, plantain,sweet potato, peas and oats. His food also has to be well puréed or he won’t have it. My biggest concern is that he has a balanced diet, but the challenge is he’s not keen on meat. I think I might have a budding vegetarian on my hands, he probably shares that trait with his mum, if his dad is to be believed (I eat meat. I’m just not keen on it) Lol. So to ensure he gets protein and animal fats, I give him egg yolks, sometimes chicken, beef or fish which I blend with his food. I have also discovered the wonder and miracle of chia seeds, quinoa and hemp seeds. In another post I’ll tell you about quinoa and hemp seeds. But before you go off on me, see excerpts below please:
“Hemp seed is widely renowned as one of the most nutritionally complete foods. It is an excellent and easily digestible source of essential fatty acids and has the perfect balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to sustain human health. EFAs strengthen the immune system and nourish the brain, skin, and almost every system in the body, so they are very important for babies and children. We recommend ensuring that everyone in the family consumes at least one teaspoon of shelled soft hemp seed at least once per day.” http://littlefoodies.se/baby-child-nutrition/superfoods/hemp-seeds/
“Yes. Hemp seeds contain all of the 21 known amino acids. With the 8 essential amino acids that all of us need, baby, child and parent. Feeding vegan kids is becoming almost the norm these days. For breastfeeding mothers, the EFAs from hemp can be a big help in replenishing the 11 grams of EFAs that are pulled from the mother daily through breastfeeding. The extra EFAs needs to come from a food source as the body does not replenish them on its own. ” (1 part omega 3: 3 parts omega http://www.hempcanadabulk.com/can-we-feed-hemp-foods-to-kids/
After giving up on bottled foods and cereals, I decided to get creative and develop recipes, especially as everyone was telling me keep going until he finds something he likes. In case you are wondering , my son is a very busy fourteen month old , going on three years old toddler. I’d like to share a recipe I have developed for him which also worked for the family.
BUTTERNUT, PLANTAIN AND BEETROOT CHICKEN BAKE
- 1 whole butternut squash
- 1 or 2 plantain( depending in you)
- 1 medium sized beetroot
- 1 whole onion( White or red)
- 1 whole medium sized ginger grated
- Minced chicken – 200 grams
- chia seeds – 10ml
- Olive oil – 10ml
- I sachet tomato paste – 70 grams
- 3 Maggi cubes
- I large tomato
- I large red pepper
- 1 cup full garden peas
- Salt to taste
- Milk- 40ml
- Peel the plantain and cut into 3 or 4 parts, then place in a pot
- Peel butternut and cut into small pieces. Place into same pot as the plantains. Cover with water and bring to boil.
- Then peel beetroot, place in another pan and bring to boil.
- Chop up onions, pepper, tomato and ginger. Keep aside.
- When butternut and plain rain are cooked, drain and transfer to a blender
- Pour in 20 ml of milk into the plantain and butternut and blend until smooth.
- Remove from blender and then blend beetroot with remainder of 20ml milk
COOKING THE CHICKEN
- Pour 10 ml of olive oil into a wok (a deep frying pan would do) and place on medium heat,
- Add onions and tomato paste
- Add the minced chicken
- Add a pinch of salt and cubed chicken stock to taste
- Stir continuously, breaking up the chicken as if making a mince sauce for bologonese.
- When chicken is cooked, add the grated ginger and mix in properly. Add pepper if needed but take baby’s portion out first.
PREPARING THE BAKE
- In an oven safe glass (casserole) dish, lay your base as the butternut mash
- Next pour in your cooked chicken mince
- Add half of your chopped up red bell pepper, and tomatoes
- Add half the peas
- Put in the remainder of the butternut mash, covering up the vegetables entirely.
- Pour the blended beetroot on top,
- Garnish with the remaining peas, bell peppers and tomatoes
- Drizzle olive oil
- Sprinkle basil leaves and chia seeds on top.
- Put in oven and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes
If your baby is as fussy as mine and doesn’t like lumps in his food, I recommend that before the bake, remove a sufficient portion of food with all the ingredients and blend into a purée. To do this, you would need to add some extra milk. Use your discretion. If feeding baby at once, warm it and feed. If not, store and freeze.
PS: if you make this recipe, kindly share your results. Questions and suggestions are always welcome.
Everyday is an Adventure.