Meal preparations takes time, and with our busy schedules, any thing to save time in certain parts of our routine would be welcomed with opened arms. For folks who are pretty klutz in the kitchen (like moi!), baby meals can take quite abit of effort and it’s honestly not a fun session with a wailing baby who demands to be carried, like pronto!
I’m speaking from experience and I suppose I’m not the only one (please tell me I’m not!) – it gets difficult when I need to be at the sink to wash and chop ingredients when baby V wants to see what I’m up to but yet she can’t get a glimpse of it. More often than not, I end up rinsing and dicing speedily or space out the steps (i.e. drag the procedure) just so that she can be propped up at my waist and mummy becomes a one-arm swordswoman to complete the remaining mission with the free arm. We tried putting her on the high chair right in the kitchen so she could still watch some action – thankfully, that attempt did appease her for a while (say, 15 mins?), until whatever had to be in the pot or oven was being thrown in to cook.
If you have read our first 3-course homemade meal for baby V (Stir-fried Vegeroni Pasta with Pan-fried Salmon,Tomato Omelette and Zucchini Sticks with Rolled Oats), those 7 ingredients (Pasta, salmon, tomatoes, eggs, zucchini, mozzarella cheese, rolled oats) can actually transform and cook up more than 10 other different baby food – adults can have them too, so you save time cooking separate meals = WOOHOO!! Whether you are an SAHM or your bub is with a caregiver while you’re at work, this translates to maximising the potential of those ingredients while keeping costs minimal – double YAY! And then, it frees up your time so you could spend these extra pockets on playing with your little one or just cuddling up in bed :)
Read on to find out how to create those bonus meals!
*Meal Idea #1 – One-pot Pasta or Baked Pasta or Fried Pasta – 3 meals!
Combination: Pasta, salmon, tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella cheese
Method: One-pot pasta allows all ingredients to be simmered in pot and it offers a slight soup base meal. Baked Pasta requires an oven; simply add ingredients and cooked pasta onto baking tray to bake. We did an easy baked pasta previous – recipe here. Fried Pasta leaves ingredients on pan to fry; add VCO/olive oil/butter if preferred. Onions and garlic lend a dash of extra flavours too. These make a trusty wholesome meal and easily one of those fave recipes I’m keeping in my bag of tricks :P
*Meal Idea #2 – Fried or Baked Cheesy Zucchini – 2 meals!
Combination: Zucchini, mozzarella cheese, eggs.
Method: Coat sliced or diced zucchini with beaten eggs and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Pan-fry or air-fry with Air Fryer or bake.
*Meal Idea #3 – Baked Salmon Steak with Rolled Oats – 1.5 meal!
Combination: Salmon, rolled oats. Mozzarella cheese is optional, but would be extra yums too!
Method: Coat salmon with rolled oats and bake in oven. Top with cheese for optional melted goodness.
*Meal Idea #4 – Salmon and Tomato Omelette – 1.5 meal!
Combination: Salmon, tomato, omelette.
Method: Refer to this method for Tomato Omelette. Mozzarella cheese is optional, but would be extra yums too!
*Meal Idea #5 – Rolled Oats with Cheese and Tomato (Savoury) – 2 meals!
Combination: Rolled oats, cheese and tomato
Method: Cook rolled oats over stove – I usually use two tablespoonful of rolled oats and fill pot with slightly more water to cover the rolled oats. Cook over small to medium fire, and stir as necessary to avoid oats sticking to pot. Add more water if you prefer softer oats and cook to boil.
*Add cheese and tomato for a unique twist. Or drizzle sliced salmon in for a dose of Omega-3 and DHA – 2nd meal option!
*Another suggestion that is great for adults too – do a wholly nutty one: mixed nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc! Can be served as breakfast too!
*Meal Idea #6: Rolled Oats Porridge (Plain/Sweet) – 2 meals!
Combination: Rolled oats
Method: Just have it neat. Feel free to add milk (fresh milk, breastmilk or formula for extra calcium). Another option would be to include fruits (blueberries, bananas, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, oranges etc) for additional Vitamin C – 2nd meal option! Makes a great breakfast to start your bub’s day too.
Meal Idea #7: Rolled Oat Fingers – 1 meal!
Combination: Rolled oats and zucchini
Method: We did rolled oat fingers with potato and the steps are pretty easy. Follow the steps and use zucchini in place of potato. Due to the colour of zucchini (as boring looking as potato), fret not that they fall short at the looks department but the taste and texture would still be yums!
Hope this was useful in sharing multiple meal ideas that can be done easily with some simple ingredients. Am a noob chef so nothing too fancy here for now and basically, most meals are conjured up with my humble imagination and limited time. Keep this page as your secret weapon: no time for meal planning? Simply mix and match to rotate the meal ideas over the week, and voila! Happy cooking, mums and dads; happy munching, little ones! Enjoy the simplicity of homemade meals!