Feeding little ones Part II: Lunch and supper

Tagine

Food has taken on a new meaning for me in the last few years. It’s an everyday miracle and this is what I try to remind myself when I am inevitably reaching for a cinnamon bun or a bar of chocolate. Even more so when I was pregnant, the food I ate was actually helping me create another human – another total miracle.

As the son of a food writer, I imagined Dylan would be sipping spirulina smoothies by now, but that’s not the case. In fact his palate is quite delicate, he’s a pasta lover. What I have begun to understand even more deeply is that we each have our own journey in food, and that eating is learning. Just because I offer him food it doesn’t mean he will eat it; he’s surrounded by food all day long but he still wants pasta and that’s okay, it’s a lifelong journey and an adventure.

Chard and ricotta pasta for Dylan

One of Dylan's all-time favourites.

Chard pasta
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Toddler-friendly tagine

This tagine – the gentle base – is popular with little ones thanks to the natural sweet notes from the dried apricots. I have suggested using some salt here during the cooking process – for small kids I would leave it out. For older kids, try serving the dish with the optional add-on: a garlicky herb smash. They might also enjoy helping you bash the seeds from the pomegranate – just don’t do so near a white wall.

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Oven-Baked Squash Risotto

Some risottos are better than others – one too many mushroom numbers put me off for a long time. But this is a crowd-pleaser, and one that I find goes down with kids.

Squash
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Family tacos

In my experience, the most successful family meals are when there are lots of things in the middle of the table for little hands to reach and grab for – the more colour the better. The salsa in this recipe is quite spicy and is intended to add some punch for the more adventurous palate, so I suggest splitting the salsa into spicy and non-spicy, so everyone is happy.

Tacos
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