Wednesday, 08 July 2015
Flavour without the fuss
Add flavour to your little one's food without adding any extra salt or sugar
We all know we shouldn't add salt and sugar to our own food, let alone our children's food - so what are the alternatives? Over the years Little Dish have learnt how to create tastes children love without taking shortcuts for their healthy supermarket meals. Here are their top tips for happy tummies and empty plates.
Squeeze half a lemon on to steamed broccoli florets or green beans for a tasty twist. Little helpers will love being in charge of the squeezing.
Tear basil into a tomato sauce, sprinkle parsley or chives into an omelette or blitz basil with toasted pine nuts, Parmesan and a little olive oil to make a yummy homemade pesto. If you have a little herb dodger in the family, opt for dried herbs – they're harder to spot.
Experiment with spices
Try making a mild curry sauce with turmeric, cumin and coriander. You'll need to heat the spices gently in a little oil and make sure they don't burn. Mix mild curry powder into a cheesy sauce to give it a delicate new flavour, or add a small pinch of chilli powder and lemon juice to mashed avocados for a yummy dip.
Sprinkle in some seeds
Add sesame seeds to steamed green veg and carrot batons or sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds into roasted veg.
Give garlic a go
Crush or finely chop garlic and cook it gently in a small amount of olive oil so it releases flavour into your sauces.
Try tropical twists
Slice open a vanilla pod and add the wonderfully aromatic seeds to plain yogurt. Layer chopped mango, banana and strawberries with the yogurt for a quick and easy pud.
Create yummy compotes
Steam rhubarb with the zest and juice of an orange and a little grated ginger or soften chopped apple with a tablespoon of water, a handful of raisins and a pinch of cinnamon. Two delicious compotes to liven up a bowl of yogurt or porridge.
Mix fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries or chopped dried fruit, like figs and apricots, into porridge and granola instead of adding sugar.
Passion fruit pulp and seeds are fun for little hands to spoon out and have a lovely crunch to them - a perfect topping for puds and porridge.
Little helping hands
Ask your little ones to use their children's scissors to help chop fresh herbs and sprinkle them into their food. Children are more likely to try new tastes if they've helped create them.
Introduce a new tastes reward chart
Celebrate with stickers when your little ones try a new taste for the first time.
Take the super spice challenge
Put a pinch of each spice on a plate and challenge children to smell and sprinkle them. How many can they name?
Encourage little green fingers
Plant some herbs with your children and put them in charge of the watering. Little ones will be more willing to try herbs in their food if they have grown them themselves.
Co-founded by mother of two Hillary Graves, Little Dish creates meals that are made from 100% natural ingredients, are low in salt, contain no added sugar, and no additives or preservatives.