Sweet potato and mackerel bites

Mackerel is one of those relatively strong flavours that I’m surprised how readily babies and small children take to – mackerel pate has been a favourite food of my daughter’s since she weaned. She’s always been a fan of various versions of these, but they’re definitely not ‘just’ for children; they make just as good a…

Thai-meets-Scottish crab cakes to celebrate Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

The approaching end of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight prompted me to devise this recipe showcasing one of my favourite local ingredients – crab. Our house in East Lothian almost dips its toes into the North Sea, and fishing boats are a common sight from our windows. Though there’s little white fish left, mackerel, langoustine and crab remain plentiful, the…

Sweet potato and chickpea burgers with halloumi

This is an incredibly cheap, quick, healthy and satisfying meal (don’t scrimp on the cheese). In these hastily executed dinner photos I decided to add the halloumi to the side salad – this was a mistake. It’s much better in the burger. The burgers would also be a great kid’s or weaning meal, and freeze…

Sugar-free banana bread

  Makes one very large or two medium sized loaves. Ingredients 4 large, very ripe bananas 180g dried apricots or dates 120g butter 2 eggs 250g self-raising flour 50g wholemeal flour 1 medium apple or 80g apple compote 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Method Preheat oven to 180C…

Sweet potato falafels

These freeze well, and are as good for babies (leave out the chilli!) as they are for party snacks, picnics or lunch boxes. Ingredients About 450g sweet potato 200g gram or plain flour 1 tin chickpeas, drained 1 small onion 4 cloves garlic A small bunch each of fresh coriander, parsley and mint 1/2 teaspoon…

Quinoa and celeriac fritters (better than they sound)

Surprisingly delicious for a recipe that sounds off-puttingly healthy, these are great hot and fresh, and work really well for baby-led weaning. They freeze well: make up a batch, then open-freeze the ones you don’t eat before popping them into a freezer bag. The fritters defrost quickly, then crisp back up in a dry frying pan….

Weaning

The NHS weaning page is an excellent introduction to weaning essentials, and Nikki Duffy’s River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook includes a thorough and thoroughly useful chapter on weaning, nutrition, different approaches and the benefits of doing-it-yourself rather than relying on shop-bought. I also highly recommend First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson, a…

Sugar-free apple cake/muffins

Sugar-free is misleading, of course, as dried fruit is high in sugar – but unlike refined white sugar (or agave syrup, artificial sweeteners or processed honey), it also contains fibre and vitamins. Anyway, come on – what’s life without a bit of cake? As well as being good for very little ones (make sure you…

Cheese scones

Fool-proof and crowd pleasing, everyone needs a good scone recipe up their sleeve. Keep some of these in the freezer to quickly defrost when soup’s on the menu for lunch (try spreading them with Marmite). Ingredients 220g plain flour 2 level teaspoons baking powder 130g grated cheese (cheddar, gouda, whatever you have in the fridge…

Flawless Flour Tortillas and Tortilla Pizza

Tortillas (makes 8) • 200g plain white or wholemeal flour • ½ teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder • 2 tbsp butter, melted (or ideally lard) • 100ml hot water Note before we start: if you’re going to use all the tortillas as pizza bases, you don’t need to be as precious about kneading or resting the…