For someone who happily serves her hubby Coco Pops for dinner most nights, having to prep 3 wholesome meals per day for #babyjake is utterly overwhelming.
And I detest grocery shopping. I push the limits, delaying my weekly outing to Woolies until things are on the brink of survival & starvation (down to one roll of toilet paper vibe).
But as long as I have the following 5 Miracle Ingredients in my pantry and fridge, #babyjake eats like a king.
Updated note for Toddlers: I first wrote this blog post in 2015, when Jake was less than a year old. He is now 3 and a bit… and nothing’s changed… I still hate grocery shopping, I still keep these same ingredients in my pantry, and I still rely on them for feeding Jake. Just this morning (we are out of milk and eggs – toilet paper too haha), and he needed breakfast – so I opened a tin a chickpeas, sliced some avo cubes, and made him a little plate of meze style breakfast.)
So go ahead and add these to your list of compulsory, household staples… and you’ll never be caught off guard:
- Tinned Lentils or Chickpeas (or any other legumes, butter beans / red kidney beans)
- Tinned Sardines or Salmon
- Full Cream Cottage & Cream Cheese
- Boiled eggs
Boil several eggs at the beginning of each week, and leave them in the fridge all week long.
Cottage and Cream Cheese usually have a good 10 – 12 days worth of fridge shelf life at a time. Remember to always opt for Full Cream / Double Cream versions for your baby.
Avo’s can stay in the fridge for what feels like eternity (and if they rot, put them out for the birds in your garden. #babyjake and I feed the birdies every morning).
As for the tinned goods, those are A-OK until 2027.
And from these 5 ingredients, I am able to whip up the following easy, yummy and wholesome lunches (and no reason these can’t be for dinner too!):
(#babyjake ate these from around 6 ½ / 7 months)
- Lentils, Cottage Cheese & Avo
- Sardines, Avo & Cream Cheese
- Egg, Avo & Cream Cheese
- Avo, Cottage Cheese & Peanut Butter (another pantry staple, preferably Organic)
- Lentils, Mashed Egg & Cream Cheese
Tip: for quick and smooth mashed egg, mash the egg on a flat plate (not a bowl), with a fork. Easy peasy.
For toddlers, you obviously don’t need to mash anything together, just serve as a selection of finger foods.
Tip: to add more bulk, or if you’re baby prefers a smoother texture, you can add an Organic baby food veggie to the mix. And while I prefer to make and freeze my own steamed veggies, there’s nothing wrong with using quality ready-made versions. Opt for simple flavours like butternut, apple or sweet potato. All of which make great accompaniments to the 5 miracle ingredients.
Ps: I keep some Organic baby food pouches / jars in my nappy bag, hand bag, grocery cupboard and cubbyhole… just for those really manic situations, like the time #babyjake and I got stuck in unexpected load shedding traffic for 2 and a half hours.
Baby Food for thought
- Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. They’re also rich in fibre and iron. Remember that babies need additional sources of iron from around 6 months.
- Cottage and Cream Cheese, great source of Protein and Calcium
- Sardines as you may know from me already, are the ultimate brain food for your baby. You seriously need to get over yourself if you aren’t yet feeding your little one sardines. Read more here.
- Avos are loaded with the good fats that keep your heart healthy. They’re also a good source of fibre and potassium. And they’re good for healthy eyesight!
- Eggs don’t get enough attention. They are a complete protein food, with the correct balance of saturated and unsaturated fats. Also an excellent source of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Omegas and folic acid! Now that’s a literal all rounder.