Homemade Laundry Powder recipe. {Video}

Hi friends,
One of my most highly requested blog posts & videos is to do a “how I make my washing powder”…
So here it is…washing powder1.jpgThe video can be found HERE. 

The recipe I use is by Sister Mixin and you can find it HERE. (I change the recipe slightly by adding in 1 bar of sard soap…)

The reason I make my own laundry powder is simply because –
A) I can. I have the time & desire to do so, you may not & that is fine.
B) I feel it saves us money. 
C) I also believe it is more gentle & more effective product than standard washing powders.
Laundry powder is so expensive & often full of extra fillers & chemicals, so by making my own I know what is in it and it is very cheap. All these ingredients are easily available at Coles or Woolworths & are very affordable, I always have them in my cupboard, as I use them for other uses as well.
I make mine in my Thermomix – you don’t need one to make this recipe, but I feel it would be easiest… If you don’t have a Thermomix, I would suggest you either grate the soap bars or blitz them in a food processor and then combine all the ingredients in a large clear container (a clear container so you can check that all the products are thoroughly mixed together)

I have been making this recipe for over 2 years now and I find it removes stains very well & all of our clothing is clean & soft. I do use white vinegar as a fabric softener occasionally (always with towels) & if I am washing our bedding I often add in some lavender essential oil (or even eucalyptus if we aren’t feeling well)

As mentioned in the video, I do occasionally buy washing powder. I bought one box of OMO sensitive to wash Tommy’s clothes before he was born, but I  have been washing his clothing with this powder for months and he has never had a reaction to it – none of us have. The other product I occasionally buy is Bosisto’s Laundry Powder – I only buy it maybe once a year, if it is on sale… And it is the product I like to have as my “back up” in case I run out of this mixture or I use it if we are all very sick.

I like making my own cleaning products, I currently make my own basic disinfectant spray, occasionally dish washer powder & stone bench cleaner. I have trialled making a few glass cleaners, but I’m struggling to find one I love – so for now I use the Method glass cleaner & also their timber cleaner/polish, I find both of those products to be really good. But if you have a great recipe for either of those I would love to try it out!
Please let me know in the comments below or on my social media any cleaner recipe recommendations you may have, or if you make your own laundry powder – do you use a similar recipe to this? I would love to have a read of yours!
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Have a great weekend!
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Feeling good, catch up & Choc-chip muffin recipe.

It’s a good week, to have a good week.

Hello friends,

I am so glad it is a new week, last week near killed me! I had the man-flu and I was down & out for a few days but thankfully a dose of antibiotics has me back to feeling alive!

I cannot handle being sick, it just knocks me around so bad… I was worried I was being a bit of a sook, but the doctor assured me it’s just I was hit harder with the dreaded cold/flu  that all 4 of us got. Apparently thanks to my frustrating health issue my body is “weaker”/more susceptible to getting knocked around a bit harder from really basic colds… Great. That’s just what you need as a Mum, because as you know Mumma’s ain’t got time to be sick! But it did explain why everyone else was getting better and I was getting worse!
Thankfully I’m much better and I vow never to take my usually fairly good health for granted again… I honestly told Trent to look up funeral homes, I may get a little dramatic – but I thought I was about to die. (Also I just want to say I am so thankful to Trent, for picking up my slack while I was sick, he took time off work and made sure I got rest!)
But thanks to my returning energy & good health my home is back in a neat & tidy state and life feels good again…

This morning LuLu & I whipped up a batch of choc-chip muffins! Nothing like freshly baked deliciousness to start your week off well…

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If you would like to make these scrumptious muffins this is the recipe I used….
Recipe – choc chip muffins  

It is almost the end of July… I have no clue where this year has gone but I am pretty sure  just last week it was January…
Our little man is now 7 months old!! I am sitting here with a dumbfounded look on my face as I type that, he is closer to 1 than newborn now (I am now almost crying!!)… And LuLu is 4 in October – FOUR! (I am still in melt down mode after celebrating her best little friends 4th birthday the other weekend… FOUR!!!) 

Sorry this blog post has no real rhyme or reason, it’s just a bit of a chat/catch up post… I am aiming lately to have a new blog post up every week on either Monday or Tuesday and a new video up every Friday… So hopefully that pattern continues! Speaking of blogs and videos  – is there anything in particular you would like to see more of or a specific type of post done? Please leave a comment below or contact me on my social media!
Would you prefer our “no tv” update as a blog post or video?
The 2 videos I am currently editing are cleaning & grocery videos…
Any suggestions or questions that you have feel free to let me know!

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I hope you have a wonderful week, I feel like it’s going to be a great one!
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Deliciously Easy Chocolate Cake & the best ever chocolate icing. {Recipe}

Life is too short to say no to cake. 

A few days ago I posted a photo on my social media of a chocolate cake I baked with my daughter. I was instantly hit with comments & messages asking for the recipe.
Now to be honest, I kind of fluked the recipe – I combined a few different recipes from some old cook books.
Anyway, I winged it & it turned out amazingly! I am so in love with this chocolate cake & I think it will be my new go to recipe.
The icing is a chocolate icing I’ve been using for ages, it’s so easy & delicious!

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Now a few things about this recipe – I baked mine in a 9×13 pyrex dish – I don’t recommend using a glass dish if you haven’t done so before (or you don’t have the time to carefully watch it, I checked mine regularly & also ended up covering with foil for the last 10 mins).
I like the idea of using glass as it doubles as the storage tray, but it was very temperamental to bake with. (If you have any tips for baking with glass I would love to hear them!)
Using a rectangular baking tin would be the easiest.

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I, like the rest of the female population, really dislike this word, but it is needed in this post -this cake was super moist – it is incredible!! You have to try it!
My cake was baked on Monday & 2 days later from being on the bench it’s still very soft & delicious. I just stored it on the kitchen bench in the pyrex dish with some tin foil covering it.

I would love to know if you try this recipe out and your thoughts.
If you do any variations or improve it in anyway – please leave a comment below. Or share your cake with me on my social media!

Snap Chat; Bindy_30 
Enjoy your cake!
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Let’s eat cake!

Making hearts with my sweetheart. {Easy D.I.Y Clay Ornaments}

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday…
So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart! 
This past week we made some little clay ornaments…
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour. 


“Not salt dough, clay ornaments” –
Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
  • Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
Useful items;
  • Small/medium sized sauce pan.
  • Spatula/wooden spoon.
  • Measuring  cups.
  • Bowl.
  • Wet chux/cloth.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Cookie cutters.
  • Straw.
  • Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
  1. In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients. 
  2. Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes. 
  3. Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring. 
  4. When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat. 

  5. Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour) 

  6. When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
  7. Start rolling it out flat – you don’t want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball. 

  8. Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you’ve made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
  9. If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw. 
  10. To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit)  for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could’ve had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so – but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night. 

  11. Once baked/air dried – decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.

This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty – so if you didn’t want to paint it – you don’t need to. If you didn’t want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments. 
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones! 
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play – but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see’s a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don’t have to sit down and do actual lessons – play based learning is so wonderful for little kids. 
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
Make sure you hashtag #MotheringwithHeartandJoy or share it to one of my social media accounts!

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I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. 


To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.

On the blog today; making hearts with my sweetheart! ❤️❤️This clay ornament recipe is very easy and is handy to…
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, February 8, 2016

Meal planning for warmer weather with Mission Foods.

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang & Mission Foods.

Hello friends,
Today I bring you a very tasty post. I have had such a delicious week organising this post for you.
The lovely people over at Mission Foods sent me a wonderful box of scrumptious food last week. So I thought I would create for you a mini meal plan, basically some easy and guaranteed yummy dinner or even lunch ideas! 
I think these meals are perfect for the warmer weather, I love healthy & delicious meals that aren’t too heavy in the warmer months.

Meal 1 – Nachos.
Everyone loves nachos, this is so easy. You can either have them just as chips & salsa, but I was making mine as an easy dinner so I placed the chips into an oven proof dish, tipped the salsa over the top and then added some grated cheese. I popped the dish into an oven at 180degrees for about 15-20mins (basically until the cheese melts to your liking) and voila – super simple lunch/dinner. This is also a tasty meal to serve if you have friends over watching sport on TV or for afternoon drinks. Like I said, everyone loves nachos. 

Meal 2 – Cajun Chicken Wraps.
This meal takes a little more effort, but it is still so easy & incredibly delicious. We eat a lot of “bbq cajun chicken” (I’ll share that recipe another day)  That meal inspired this dish, I wanted to do chicken wraps – but I didn’t want to use pre-bought crumbed chicken strips. So I made my own coating and I think they are delicious. 
 You will need;

  • Chicken breast (I used about 480g)
  • Crumb coating. 
  • Seasoning to add if you wish. I used cajun & season for all.
  • Mission Wraps. For this dish I used the red quinoa wraps, so delicious.
  • Salads for filling. (Spinach, avocado, onion, capsicum, cucumber, tomato)
  • Cheese.
  • Mayo or sauce of your liking. I used homemade mayo. (Thank you Thermie!) but ranch dressing would be yummy too! 
  1. Slice up chicken into strips.
  2. Prepare crumb mix by tipping some crumb into a dish and adding seasoning. (Before I added the seasoning I crumbed a few small pieces of chicken for LuLu & set them aside) 

  3. Coat the chicken in the mix and place on baking tray.
  4. Pop into oven at 180degrees for about 1/2 an hour or until the chicken is completely cooked through. 
  5. While chicken is cooking, prepare your salads. 

  6. Warm wraps in microwave or you can wait until after you’ve assembled the wraps and toast them on a flat press toasted sandwich maker.
  7. Once out of the oven assemble your wraps.
  8. Enjoy!

Meal 3 – BBQ Beef burritos.
This meal was a new one for us, I don’t normally cook beef burritos, but I thought I would be adventurous & attempt something new. Well, I am glad I did – this meal was delicious. It once again takes a few steps, but it’s so easy.
You will need;
  • Beef. I cheated and bought pre cut beef strips, they worked really well.
  • 125g of salsa (just don’t use your whole jar when you make nachos)
  • 35g of BBQ sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Mission Foods taco seasoning 
  • Salads for filling. Capsicum, tomato, onion, spinach and cheese.
  • Any sauces you like, I used tomato chutney and it was delicious. 
  • Mission Wraps, we used Chia & Red Quinoa – they were perfect! Chia seeds are an amazing superfood to add into your diet. They contain omega-3 fats, protein, calcium and dietary fibre. Chia Seeds are an ancient grain that are known as having a little bit of everything! 
  1. Finely chop (or crush) 1 clove of garlic, place into a bowl. Add in salsa, BBQ sauce, seasoning mix and combine with a fork.
  2. Add beef to a marinating dish and then tip the above mix over the meat. (I saved a few strips of plain beef in a little sandwich bag for LuLu) 

  3. Place in fridge. (I prepared mine about 2 hours before lunch) 
  4. Prepare salads. 
  5. Cook beef on BBQ.
  6. Once beef is cooked warm wraps or toast them after assembling. 
  7. Assemble wraps and enjoy!
Meal 4 – Ham & salad wraps.
Honestly this is a meal that is so popular in our house, even growing up we ate this a lot as kids for lunch – I think everyone enjoys this meal. Trent has been on night shift this week, which means we have a bigger lunch, he takes left overs to work and LuLu and I either have leftovers as well or we make something easy together at night. He has been enjoying being my taste tester and having lots of healthy & filling meals made for him. He took the left over beef wraps to work, so I had to organise another meal for LuLu and I. So I made ham & salad wraps – so simple but very yummy and filling (you could use any cold meat filling, slice chicken or turkey would be so good as well!). These work great for a lunch (I’ve made them for Trent a few times this week already just as an extra thing for his lunch box) but they are also a good light dinner option. 
We used the Red Quinoa wraps for this meal. Red Quinoa is a wonderful superfood to add into your diet, it was once known as the “mother of all grains” by the Aztecs. It has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids that are key for human nutrition. 
I know ham & salad wraps are a basic meal, but I’ve been pretty unwell this week so I didn’t have much energy to create something fancier, it was quick & easy and a much better alternative than driving and getting take out! I feel good serving LuLu Mission Wraps because they are free from artificial colours of flavours and are also a great source of fibre.
LuLu loves them and ate most of her dinner so I was happy.

Mumma & Bubba meals. (I use 1/2 a wrap for LuLu’s)

LuLu loved these wraps. 
We regularly buy Mission Wraps for healthy lunches & dinners so it has been a pleasure to work with them on this post & I’ve enjoyed trying some new meal ideas. 
I love their new range that include the Red Quinoa & Chia Seeds wraps, the addition of Red Quinoa and Chia doesn’t alter the tastes at all of the wraps – we think they tasted great with all of our meals and it’s good to know you are adding a bit more “good stuff” to your diet by enjoying them! 
You can pick up a packet of these delicious new Mission Wraps at your local Woolworths or selected independent grocery stores today for RRP. $4.79
I hope you enjoyed this yummy post, what is your favourite filling for wraps? 
Enjoy your week.

Recipe; Roast Pumpkin Soup.

Hello my lovely friends!

Boy is it chilly or what? And it’s going to get colder! A cold snap is headed our way in a few days… So I am here with a delicious meal idea that will keep you toasty warm!
Roast Pumpkin Soup!

Roast Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Roast Pumpkin Soup.
Now this recipe is for a Thermomix, but you could easily just use a big pot on a stove top and a stick blender. Sorry it’s a bit vague, I kind of made it up and it’s just been in the notes on my phone & I adjust them each time I make it! But the last 2 batches of this soup I’ve made have been perfect! 

Ingredients;
  • 1 Parsnip 
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 potatoes 
  • 1000g – 1500g of your choice of pumpkin (I’ve used Butternut, Jap & Kent – all taste great!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • Stock (it is up to you whether it be chicken or vegetable) I use 2 tbsp of the Quirky chicken stock paste & 1 tbsp of Vegetable stock paste. 
  • 500g of water or until the consistency is to your liking – we like a thicker soup.
  • 100g of pouring cream. 
  • Seasoning of your choice.
  • (I also added 2 carrots to my last batch just to add in extra veggies as I was feeling unwell, it didn’t taste any different, so if you wish to add in a few carrots to get more veggies into this soup it is fine!)

Steps;

  1. Peel and cut all vegetables (I leave my onions and garlic whole), space out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and some seasoning if you like, but DO NOT OVER SEASON, it is better to season at the end when you can taste and adjust. It is very easy to over salt this dish especially if you are using a Thermomix with stock pastes. I do a very light sprinkle of roast vegetable salt on my veggies.
  2. Roast vegetables at 180-200 degrees for 1-1.5hours (until veggies are soft) make sure to turn veggies occasionally. You may have to remove the onions & garlic early so they don’t get too roasted (burnt!).
  3. Once the veggies are soft & nicely roasted start adding them in small batches to the Thermomix (or pot) and blend until smooth, then add more – blend and keep repeating until all veggies are smooth and combined. I start by blending the onion and garlic first so it is chopped up very fine, then the parsnips & potatoes & finally the pumpkin.
  4. If using a Thermomix add 3 tbsp of stock paste of your choice (I use 2 of quirky chicken and 1 veg) and 500g of water. 
  5. For non Thermomix users; 1 Tablespoon of Veggie stock is apparently equal to one stock cube. Basically if I wasn’t using the Thermomix stock paste I would add in my favourite stock in stages, stir & taste – if the taste was to my liking but the consistency was too thick I would perhaps add water, but try to only use stock. The water added in the TM recipe is because the water & stock paste = liquid stock. Sorry I can’t be more helpful in this step! The stock paste made in a Thermomix is hard to compare to anything from a shop, it is amazing.
  6. Cook soup for 15-20mins at 80-90 degrees, speed 2.5 (I cook mine on speed 3 sometimes but be aware that it can get hot and a bit splashy sometimes) 
  7. If on stove top heat soup for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. Blend on speed 4-5 for 10 seconds after it has been heated. (Be careful of splashes!)
  9. Add cream.
  10. Blend for 30 more seconds gradually increasing speed from 1-8.
  11. If your Thermomix is too full to safely blend at speed 8, just blend at a speed you feel is safe. Sometimes mine is a bit full and I only go to speed 5 because soup splash burns don’t sound like fun to me! 
  12. Season to your liking. I find if I use the Quirky chicken paste stock it adds a lovely flavour & it also adds enough saltiness. Cumin is a nice addition to soup but add it in slowly and carefully because if you season too much it’s hard and pretty much impossible to fix. Trust me! As mentioned above I also like roast vegetable salt. Onion salt can also be added.
  13. This recipe can be frozen, we freeze half the batch to have as a quick & easy dinner when Trent is on days off. I freeze it in a ziplock bag so it can freeze flat in my freezer. I just slide it out of the bag and into a microwave safe bowl to reheat (you could also reheat it on the stove top). Trent said this meal is the only meal that tastes as good reheated as it does freshly made and I agree!
Sorry this recipe isn’t exactly perfect. I just go by taste, I’m not a food blogger so writing recipes isn’t my strong suit!
But I can assure you this soup is delicious & lovely and will warm you up! So I hope it has given you at least a basic recipe to work with! I have made this countless times, LuLu loves it & finishes her whole bowl. Trent likes it & I have also cooked it twice for my Mum and she loved it – which says something because she is incredibly fussy and will not eat anything she doesn’t like!!
A perfect addition to this soup is some fresh bread, I make a fresh loaf before the soup so we have lovely homemade bread to dip in the soup – but bread from the bakers is just as nice!

Yummm!!!


I hope you all stay toasty warm during this chilly cold front that is about to hit us!!

1 degree! We are going to get down to 1!! Brrr!! 

If you make this soup I would love to see your photos or hear what you think! Tag me in your photos or leave me a comment on social media!
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Stay warm & have a lovely weekend!

Homemade Baby & Toddler Food.

Hello!
Let’s talk about baby & toddler food. 
This blog post has been very requested. But just as a disclaimer I want to stress I am no expert in child nutrition, I just am a Mumma that believes homemade is the best & I am passionate about making nutritious, wholesome and delicious meals for my daughter.
I’ve always made LuLu’s meals, she has never had a meal out of a jar or a pouch, simply because if I wouldn’t eat it, why should I expect her to eat it.
Now you may think why on earth would I bother making homemade baby food, but the benefits of making my own baby food is huge for me;

  • I know how, where & when it was made.
  • I know exactly what is in the food, no fillers or preservatives that are commonly found in most baby food that are sold in the supermarkets. 
  • I know all the ingredients are fresh & healthy.
  • I can change recipes to suit my daughter and her tastes.
  • It is cost effective.
  • It makes me feel good & satisfied knowing I am feeding my daughter the best I can.

First food ideas;
Now it’s up to you personally when you start feeding your baby purees or what to start with. LuLu was almost 5 months when we started giving her solids. We did start with farex for just a few days, but moved on to vegetable & fruit purees fairly quickly. 
When beginning with fruit & vegetables we started off with individual purees, I would make a few servings and freeze them in ice cube trays or in the heinz freezer trays and then when I needed them I would pop them out & microwave them (or you can reheat on the stove). Just standard first foods, pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, pear etc. This was before I had my Thermomix so I would just use a stick blender to make it smooth after steaming the food, but I always left a few small soft lumps so she got use to texture & lumps. As she got use to 2 different foods, well then I would combine those 2. 
When preparing fruits for your baby some fruit needs to be steamed (pears, apples etc) and some fruits that are softer (berries, melon, banana etc) you just add in and blend without needing to steam.

Making meals;After she was introduced to a variety of fruits & vegetables through purees I got to start thinking about meal ideas where I could combine a lot of veggies & some protein & also some pasta or rice. 

  • Breakfast;

For her breakfast/morning tea type meals, I would pre-make a combo of fruit that I could add to her baby cereal. I would freeze them and just pop it out when I needed one. These also work great to be mixed in with plain yoghurt. We would either do a berry mix or peaches, papaya & apple. I would always add at least one banana to each mix as I found the banana made the mix more creamy. I would make these in batches. You basically use whatever combinations you think taste great. (Frozen berries can help make this more convenient, but after the frozen berry issue in Australia I would highly recommend only using fresh!) 

This mix is pear, apple & blueberry.


Dinners; 

The first meat she started with was chicken & I poached that then stick blended. Chicken mince is also another way of incorporating meat into meals, but I do find it can cause the texture of the puree to almost be a bit grainy once it’s been blended. So instead I preferred poaching chicken breasts. 

 Tuna & salmon are 2 other meats she loves – after making her first tuna dish for her I thought for sure she may not like it as it smelt strongly of fish – but she loved it! I ended up eventually making a cheesey tuna pasta bake meal which became a strong favourite for her. Occasionally I would add in kale or spinach just to change it up. But tuna was always a fail proof meal for LuLu.  We introduced beef to LuLu around 7-8 months and she loves all sorts of meat now! When making a lot of the meals to freeze I would either pop a piece of sliced cheese or sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of each little portion & when I reheated the meal the cheese would melt and it would add extra cheesiness. 

Baby Bolognese with risoni. I found risoni was a great pasta for babies, it was small enough they didn’t have to chew it but big enough to give them a different texture. 
How I store all the meals, in ziplock bags that are labelled. 

Where to find recipes & inspiration;

We used all of those recipes. I really love the pick & mix ones, you can literally add in whatever you like or have on hand. And you can use them from the point where your baby is ready to eat mixtures of food right up to when they are toddlers if you wish. You just adjust the consistency of it. I use to blend all of these meals to a slightly lumpy soft texture but obviously the older the baby the less blending needed. I also use to freeze these meals. To start off with I used the Heinz baby food trays, they are perfect portion sizes. As LuLu got older I used a clean muffin tray & would let the food set over night & then I would pop the little meals out and put them in a tupperware container in the freezer. The muffin trays were perfect portion sizes, I still use them if I happen to make her a bunch of little meals. (Sometimes it’s easy to have a few prepared meals stocked up in the freezer for easy lunches or dinners).  

  • Another great source for recipes for babies & toddlers are the free little books that are often given to you in sample bags or handed out at the nurses clinic or pharmacy. The recipes in those they can either be used just as they are or you can just use them as inspiration and alter them to suit your taste.
                           

  • Talking amongst friends is really great, you find out what recipes are great & what ones aren’t so awesome (but keep in mind everyones tastes & children are different). I was fortunate enough to have a friend that also made most of her daughters meals as well, so we would share ideas & recipes. 
  • The internet is also overflowing with wonderful recipes for children! Two of my favourite websites are;
    One Handed Cooks
    Louise Fulton-Keats
    But by searching for yourself you will find sites that are your style & what you like. 
  • If you have a Thermomix there are endless ideas online for recipes for kids as well as the wonderful book “Cooking for your baby & toddler” by Louise Fulton-Keats, I own this book and love it. I’ve made a lot of meals out of it! (She also has a version of this recipe book available that doesn’t require a Thermomix and also on her website she has some wonderful recipes listed!) 
  • Pinterest is a treasure trove of wonderful ideas, I have a board full of baby & toddler food ideas, you can find it HERE. 
Toddler meals;

Breakfast; 

For the past few months the breakfast LuLu has been enjoying is a healthy porridge mix I made, it has LSA, quinoa & chia seeds sprinkled through it. Occasionally I throw a few different types of nuts into the Thermomix and blitz them and stir that through the mixture as well. I like the fact she is getting a little bit of nuts into her diet everyday. Some days though she only wants a banana and some toast. We just roll through the stages and adapt & change her meals as it suits her.

I think being adaptable is vitally important in parenting, well in our parenting style anyway. Babies & toddlers change daily so being able to be in a mindset where you have to accept sometimes they will love what you give them – whether it be food or activities & some days they will hate it. I always have back up meals in the freezer in case LuLu doesn’t like what I serve her and if worst comes to worst normally she will happily eat a banana or some avocado.  

Lunch;  

I do struggle sometimes with lunch ideas for her as she isn’t a fan of sandwiches at all, so each day is something new. For a super easy go to lunch I have a supply of healthy pasta sauce I’ve made in the freezer and that over some pasta with cheese & a side of avocado is normally always a winner. She loves avocado! This is the pasta sauce recipe I use, HERE.  

In my freezer I also have a good little supply of homemade sausage rolls that are loaded with veggies & also some healthy mac & cheese. She isn’t a huge fan of the mac & cheese sometimes, but other times she loves it! I find these meals super convenient lunches or for quick dinners when it is just LuLu & I at home when Trent is on night shift. 

Other good lunch ideas are zucchini slice, healthy muffins, scrambled or boiled eggs, leftovers from dinner the night before & sometimes if we are having a treat day we just pop some potato gems in the oven and share a few ‘tatos’! 

Dinner; 

LuLu is now 20 months, for the past several months she has eaten what we eat for dinner. I just make a toddler sized serving for her. Sometimes I have to alter her meal slightly. For example; if we were to have cajun chicken which is a spicy type of chicken we BBQ I will just BBQ a plain section of chicken for her, but she eats the same salad as us. 

That is LuLu last year enjoying her first grown up dinner which was a toddler version of ours. (Chicken & salad)
LuLu’s mini pizza with a side of vegetables covered in the healthy pasta sauce. (I also use that sauce as the pizza sauce on her pizzas) 

For a few more dinner ideas; LuLu enjoys scrambled eggs, homemade pizza, risotto, roasts, steak, pumpkin soup, fried rice, chicken alfredo, crispy chicken & sausages (I buy our sausages from our local butcher that have less preservatives than supermarket ones). But mainly whatever I eat, she eats. That also applies for our venison that we hunt. LuLu enjoys her bambi burgers & steaks. 

Dessert; If we do dessert it is a healthy greek yoghurt. She has occasionally eaten those yoghurts in the pouches but they are a rare treat if we are out shopping. They are loaded full of sugar & preservatives so normally I steer clear of them and pack some yoghurt in a Tupperware container and keep it in her freezer lunch bag and she has that instead. I did make some custard the other night for the first time & she enjoyed a few spoonfuls of that! 

Snacks; With snacks I try to regularly bake a healthy treat and keep that on hand, whether it be banana bread or healthy muffins or cupcakes. Trent eats them as well for work so it’s good for all of us.
A few of the recipes we’ve used & loved for treats are;

Banana bread.  

She also loves the little packs of sultanas & also dried apricots. We try to keep her snacks healthy, mainly fruit and a healthy baked treat occasionally. We do also sometimes let her eat the baby muesli bars but I personally am not a huge fan of them. But sometimes when we are out that’s all I’ve got on hand. I am currently on the look out for a recipe to try and make my own, so if I find a good one I will be sure to share it! Afternoon tea is always a little fruit salad that she enjoys after her nap while watching Play School. I change the fruit to what is in season, at the moment grapes, blueberries, strawberries & mandarins are the fruit of choice.   

Drinks; In the way of drinks she only has water & milk (cows milk & breast milk, up until recently. I just weaned her a few days after she turned 20 months). She does occasionally have a healthy smoothie if my Mum or I make one, but that’s it. Shortly I will start letting her have some homemade juices, but flavoured milks & store bought juices are just loaded with garbage and offer no nutritional benefit so I see no sense in giving them to LuLu.


That ultimately is my theory when feeding my daughter, if it is pointless garbage I am not going to feed it to her. I want everything I am feeding LuLu to be good & nutritious. I am not going to introduce to lollies & chocolate “just because”, of course in time she is going to realise that sweets exist and then we can enjoy them in moderation, but while I control what she eats I want it to all be good & healthy. Clearly some of the foods she eats have sugar, everything has sugar – fruits have natural sugars. But she doesn’t need to consume excess sugar in my opinion – nor does she need to fill her body with fillers, dyes & preservatives. Now that she is nearing 2, I am relaxing a tiny bit with what she eats, under 1 I feel I was very strict about her diet. Even up until recently I was very cautious on what she eats, but now I am more open to letting her have the odd biscuit or chip if I am snacking on one.
Feeding LuLu good and nutritious food is something I am very passionate about and I enjoy sharing my knowledge (not claiming to be an expert) with other Mummas. I am not judgemental to parents who use store bought baby food, everyones lives are different & maybe you just don’t have the time to cook baby food. I do have the time though & that’s why I think for myself using store bought food for her first foods was totally unacceptable, for me. I had no excuse not to make it. So from her first foods it was just a gradual procession into making all her meals & I am so glad I have. It is very satisfying to me to know exactly what my daughter is eating and when & how it was made. 
It has also made me adjust what Trent & I eat, now that LuLu eats what we eat for dinner, I am more conscious on making sure our meals include a decent serving of vegetables and we are eating healthily. 
A basic change I made to most of our “meat & 3 veg” meals is swapping mash potato for mashed sweet potato. Sweet potato is delicious & flavourful and is also packed full of good stuff. We eat it most nights if we are having a steak, sausages, chicken etc. Of course we still enjoy a good regular mash potato on some nights, but sweet potato mash is a favourite now in our household. 
LuLu is a normally great little eater, sometimes she is a bit fussy or picky but I think a lot of that is too do with her teeth & also working out what she likes & doesn’t like. She is currently cutting molars so she’s a bit picky with what she wants to eat, so when she is a bit irritable I just offer lots of food and let her pick & choose.
Our most recent obstacle with eating with LuLu was she was very restless in her highchair, so we have packed the highchair away and now she eats all her meals at a little table we bought from Ikea. The change was instant, in her highchair she would have a few bites – get frustrated and restless and not eat until we got her out. But the first meal she had at her new little setting – she ate perfectly. So at 20 months she transitioned from highchair to her own dining chair/table set up & for us it works perfectly.


I am aware that the way I feed my daughter may not work for everyone & some find it ridiculous. But it works for us, I am more than happy to put in the extra effort to feed her wholesome & nutritious meals that are good for her. 
My goal in writing this is to give other parents some ideas on meal recipes for their kids & maybe inspire 1 other parent to make their baby’s meals themselves instead of buying them at the store. I think we are responsible for our children’s nutrition and while we can I think we should introduce them to as much healthy food as possible and use this time to make sure they eat very well. Today I was looking back to find photos of different meals I’ve made LuLu since she started solids and wow the change in her appearance and also her development is astounding – this is another huge reason why I am so glad I make all her meals myself, they are developing constantly at this stage in their lives, they grow & change every single day, they are learning so much & their bodies are growing – giving them good food as fuel is incredibly vital.

So I hope you took something away from this post, I hope it possibly made you also feel passionate about feeding your child the best you can & everyones best is different. I have the time & means to dedicate myself to LuLu – that is a choice we made & one I am so proud of. 
If you have any questions or comments for this post please leave them in the comment section or contact me on any of my social media listed below! I post a lot of what I cook during the week on my social media, so if you want any ideas please make sure you follow me!

healthy pasta sauce, homemade nut butter, healthy cakes, beef ragu, fish cakes.

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