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The smart parent's guide to cooking for toddlers

18 March 2016

Toddlers may be small, but feeding them sure can take a ton of effort. But like most things, a little bit of planning and pre-work can go a very long way.

A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table. A close-up image of a plate of ramen with vegetables and a cup of spilled milk on a table.

Plan it out

Play with your food! Our digital designer, Annie, made these awesome cards to take the guesswork out of weekly meal planning, but you can create your own set, featuring your kid’s favourite foods. Just post them to your kitchen wall and say goodbye to all of those stressful, head-scratching, what-should-I-cook moments. Make sure to have two of each meal, so you can play a round of ‘memory.’

 

Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall. Three rows of meal planning cards are arranged to play a game of ‘memory.’ A close-up image of two meal planning cards hung on the wall, and the rest in a box on the wall.
 

Get prepped

The more you prepare in advance, the easier your life will be. Pick one day to wash, peel, and chop veggies, fruits and proteins (Sunday always seems to work well). Roast some meats and vegetable and make big batches of oatmeal, soups or stews. Stack them in the fridge and prepare to thank yourself later. 

 

Breakfast: ready to assemble

Oats, milk, fruit, done. Well, that was easy! Want to make it easier? Make a big pot in advance and divide it into individual portions saved in the fridge. Then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave just minutes before you’re ready to eat, and top with some pre-chopped fruit.

 

Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface. Ingredients for oatmeal are laid out graphically on a blue surface.
 

Lunch: reheat wonder

Like oatmeal, soups are simple to make in a big batch and freeze in individual portions. Just reheat and serve a bowl along with a simple sandwich. Talk about a time-saver. Here’s how we made our easy cauliflower soup:
 
1 head cauliflower
1 shallot
2 dl cream
3 dl vegetable stock
A handful of grated Parmesan cheese
A pinch of white pepper
 
Brown the cauliflower and shallots over medium high heat. Add the stock and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour in the cream and cook until the cauliflower is tender. Blitz everything with an immersion blender (or transfer it to a standing blender) until it’s nice and smooth. Add a knob of butter, the Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Done!
 

 

Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface. Ingredients for soup are laid out graphically on a yellow and white surface. An orange immersion blender lies next to a pot of prepared soup on a yellow and white surface.
 

Dinner: just add ______

So it’s the end of the day and the last thing you want to do is stand over the stove cooking. Good news! Remember the veggies you roasted earlier in the week? Just cook some noodles and toss them together, add a bit of sauce (tomato sauce, soy sauce, your choice) and relax.
 
1 packet ramen noodles
1 head broccoli
2  peeled carrots
5 mushrooms
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
Soy sauce (optional)
Sesame oil (optional)
Edamame and sliced radishes to garnish
 
First separate your broccoli into florets and slice the rest of the veggies into larger pieces. Dress them with some oil and roast them at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes. Boil and drain your noodles, toss with some roasted veggies, and add a bit of your favourite sauce. We used some sesame oil and soy sauce. Garnish with sliced radishes and edamame, and enjoy!

 

Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables. Ingredients for vegetable ramen noodles are laid out graphically on a pink surface. A pot of cooked ramen noodles sits next to roasted vegetables.
 

Made by

Interior designer: Emma Parkinson
Digital designer: Annie Svensson
Copywriter: Vanessa Algotsson
Photographer: Martin Cederblad
Editor: Linda Harkell