Denise Phillips rustles up a trio of tasty recipes that are perfect for satisfying those hungry little tummies and take very little time to make

Shredded chicken taco pockets

Children love an adventure in cooking and, for some kids, the more creative it is the better. To speed up this recipe, use leftover cooked chicken. Combined with avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, it makes a tasty supper for little ones, as well as the whole family. The joy of this dish is that you can eat it hot, cold or warm to suit the household dining timetable

Shredded chicken taco pockets

Shredded chicken taco pockets

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes – Cooking Time: 15 minutes – Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 taco shells
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 400g chicken boneless breast, cut into 2cm strips
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 avocados, peeled and stone removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 tin 200g sweetcorn, drained

Method

  1. Dust the chicken with paprika.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
  3. Shred the cooked chicken and mix with lime juice, chopped avocado, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber and sweetcorn.
  4. Fill each taco shell with the chicken mixture. Serve immediately.

Salmon filled tomato ‘footballs’

This is a delicious combination of flaked salmon, peas and chopped tomatoes, all packed into a beef tomato. I have always tried to introduce new flavours to my children from an early age, so that their taste buds and palate can develop. You can make this recipe using smaller tomatoes and pretend you have lots of ‘footballs’.

Salmon filled tomato footballs

Salmon filled tomato footballs

Preparation Time: 15 minutes – Cooking Time: 15 minutes – Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large firm-fleshed beef tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300g cooked salmon, flaked
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 100g frozen peas
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan/cheddar cheese (this is optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  2. Cutting across, slice a ‘cap’ off the top of each tomato to reveal the seedy pulp inside.
  3. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully loosen the pulp from the tomato sides, then scrape out with a spoon, making four hollow tomato shells.
  4. Sprinkle inside the tomato shells with a little salt to draw out and remove excess juices, then turn upside down and set aside.
  5. Combine the salmon, breadcrumbs, peas, lemon juice and tomato pulp together.
  6. Carefully fill the tomato ‘footballs’ and arrange on a baking dish lined with baking parchment paper.
  7. Top with the grated parmesan/cheddar cheese if using.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Traffic-Light Kebabs

Young children like attention-grabbing finger food and these three-colour kebabs make meal-times interesting. Different colour vegetables provide different vitamins, a top priority for growing toddlers. I like to serve these kebabs with a small portion of pasta-with-pesto, a family favourite. As an alternative, you could always have them with a plate of cold meats, salmon or even shepherd’s pie.

Traffic light kebabs 3g

Traffic light kebabs

Preparation Time: 10 minutes – Cooking Time: 10 minutes – Serves: 2 toddlers

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 100g butternut squash, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • ½ yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 courgette, cut into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes

Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables.
  2. Par boil the carrots and butternut squash so the mixture is just soft.
  3. Thread on to wooden skewers so you have a traffic light of colours – starting with tomatoes, red peppers, butternut squash, carrots, yellow peppers and finally green courgettes.
  4. Cook on a griddle pan or grill until soft and golden.
  5. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil together and drizzle over the kebabs.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through.