cranberry pecan oat bars

cranberry pecan oat barscranberry pecan oat bars

With a busier than usual weekend coming up, this morning we decided to get a little uncharacteristically organised and prepare a few lovely little snacks for the lunch box to keep us satisfied whilst on the road.

Along with an easy peasy batch of blueberry muffins and sweet corn fritters, Grace and I stirred together this gorgeously simple batch of cranberry pecan oat bars.

I love these cranberry pecan oat bars.  Not only are they sugar free and chock full of amazingly nutritious bananas, dates, oats, cranberries, coconut and pecans but they couldn’t be simpler to prepare thanks to the muscle of a food processor.  Miss G. and I were easily able to whip these bars up and have them baking away in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

And these gorgeously golden bars make the perfect baby led weaning snack.  They are firm enough to withstand tight little grips whilst soft enough for little mouths to nibble on with ease.  Grace had no trouble demolishing the chopped pecans strewn throughout the bars, however if you think your little one isn’t yet up to the task simply leave them out.

To create these gorgeous cranberry pecan oat bars simply…

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pea, asparagus & chicken pasta w’ lemony ricotta sauce

pea & asparagus pasta w' lemony ricotta saucepea & asparagus pasta w' lemony ricotta sauce

Today’s pea, asparagus & mint pasta with lemony ricotta sauce has to be one of Grace’s all time favourite pasta dishes.  Even more so today thanks to the cutest little elk pasta shapes I bought over the weekend.

Miss G. adores the ricotta, lemon and mint flavour combination as well as the bright green peas studded throughout and I love this pasta dish because it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  This is the simple supper I most often turn to when I am all out of time and patience and just need to get dinner done and on the table.  It really is that easy.

For the little ones first beginning baby led weaning this dish is a winner.  The pasta, chicken and asparagus are simple for the little ones to hold and nibble on and once your little one has mastered the pincer grip the peas will be no trouble at all.

To create this easy peasy pea, asparagus & mint pasta w’ lemony ricotta sauce simply…

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banana date loaf

banana date loafbanana date loaf

We’re definitely the kind of family that has to have a baked goodie of some kind perched on the kitchen bench each and every day.

For us, it just doesn’t feel like home without a fresh batch of muffins or fruit loaf nestled on the kitchen counter ready to be devoured.

Pre baby our baked goodies were more often than not based on the traditional concoction of sickening sugar, heart stopping butter and overrefined white flour.  Yuck.

However since beginning baby led weaning and wanting to feed Grace lovely little nutritious and delicious treats my baked goodies have been given quite the health conscious make over.  Butter has been replaced with healthier oils like coconut, macadamia or olive.  Sugar has been kicked out and replaced with naturally sweet fruit (banana is our favourite) or agave syrup and overrefined white flour has been replaced with almond meal, wholemeal or spelt flour.

And todays banana date loaf is the perfect example of my new baking style.  Both free of sugar and gluten this little darling is not only totally good for you but absolutely delicious.  This loaf is gorgeously sweet thanks to the banana and dates and heady in the scent of cinnamon and almond.  The almond meal also provides the loaf with the most wonderful moist texture.  Miss G. loved this loaf for morning tea alongside her usual yoghurt cup and raspberries.

To create this sugar-free and gluten-free gorgeously golden banana date loaf simply…

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baked meatballs w’ simple tomato sauce

baked meatballs w' simple tomato saucebaked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Scrolling through the my lovely little lunch box home page I noticed I haven’t posted a meat filled supper in a very long time.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re definitely not vegetarian but of late it seems I have been conjuring up vegetarian based suppers rather than our usual meat filled fare.

Knowing how important a balanced diet is, today I am sharing one of our all time family favourites, the ultimate comfort food, baked meatballs with simple tomato sauce.

This supper is ideal for the little ones.  The meatballs are perfect little packages just big enough for teeny tiny hands to grip and nibble on with ease and the pasta sauce is an absolute favourite of every child.  Grace demolishes these meatballs, especially along side a little pasta.

Todays incarnation of meatball have been spiked with dried basil, lemon zest, garlic and spring onions making them light and full of flavour.  And they couldn’t be simpler to prepare, simply pop all of the ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine and shape into balls.  Grace helped with the mixing and shaping this morning and loved it.

I also love that these little darlings are baked.  It means I can simply pop the meatballs into the oven and get on with the hundred thousand other ‘to do’s’ on my list without a care in the world.  And I don’t have to worry about scrubbing the greasy fry pan clean!

These effortless meatballs are a must try and I promise will become a family favourite of yours too.

To create these easy peasy baked meatballs in simple tomato sauce simply…

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raspberry & almond scones

raspberry & almond sconesraspberry & almond scones

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to escape to the beach for a much needed family vacay.

We spent the weekend laying in the sun, swimming in the ocean, collection seashells and building sandcastles.

Miss G. loved every moment.

beach

Especially the ocean.

Miss G. was infatuated with the clear blue waves and stood in awe as she watched the waves crash and wash over her teeny tiny feet nestled in the sand.

beachbeach

She loved the ocean so much we could only pry her away from the waters edge to refuel and enjoy a few summer snacks.

Nestled on a towel we munched away on the best summer snacks, wedges of fresh watermelon and refreshing cool salads scrunched into fresh golden bread rolls.

It was perfection.

beach

The moment we returned home we instantly longed for the beach.

So in the hope of cheering us up I decided to bake these lovely little raspberry and almond scones.

They did the trick.

The raspberry spiked dough is perfection.  Not only does the marbled raspberry add natural sweetness to the scone but it also helps the scones remain tender and moist.  And the almond meal is a gorgeous alternative to the usual all flour scone, it creates a gorgeous texture and deep almond flavour.  And rather than using sugar I decided to opt for a little honey instead (NOTE: honey is not suitable for children under the age of one, please use agave or maple syrup instead if your child is under the age of one).

To create these gorgeous raspberry and almond scones simply…

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spinach & ricotta fritters

spinach & ricotta frittersspinach & ricotta fritters

What I love most about sharing my baby led weaning recipes on my lovely little lunch box is meeting and talking to you beautiful mama’s!

I love receiving your emails and comments and adore hearing all about your baby led weaning wins.

Lately, a lot of mama’s about to embark on the baby led weaning journey have been asking me the same question, ‘I am really confused about what foods to begin baby led weaning with, do you have any recommendations?’.

My answer each and every time: vegetable fritters.

When we first began baby led weaning with Miss G. vegetable fritters were our go to meal!

No only are they super simple to prepare and jam packed with a tonne of wonderful vegetables but they’re the perfect shape and texture for teeny tiny little hands to hold and nibble on with ease.  When beginning baby led weaning always keep in mind food offered to your little one should be chip shaped (i.e. long and rectangle) and have a texture that is able to be squished between your finger and thumb.

So far I have conjured up batches of sweet corn fritters, zucchini fritters, pea fritters, sweet potato fritters and carrot fritters and Miss G. has adored them all.

And although we may be nine months into our baby led weaning journey, Miss G’s. still adores her vege packed fritters so today I cooked us up a batch of gorgeously golden spinach and ricotta fritters.  Unbelievably simple to prepare, these delicious fritters are chock full of spinach and flavoured with lemon zest and a little parmesan cheese.

spinach & ricotta fritters

Miss G. couldn’t wait to tuck in and quickly gobbled up two spinach flecked fritters along with a simple salad of tomato and zucchini ribbons.

To read more of my tips on getting started with baby led weaning click here.

To create a batch of these gorgeously golden spinach & ricotta fritters simply…

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lime & coconut loaf

lime & coconut loaflime & coconut loaf

Grace is now officially 15 months old!

YIPPEE!!!

The days of constant napping, seemingly never-ending milk feeds, long sleepless nights and new born cries are long gone and I absolutely adore the lovely little adventures we now share.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss those precious newborn snuggles but watching your little one grow into a bright, bubbly and very inquisitive teeny tiny human being is just wonderful.  At times stressful, very stressful but mostly wonderful.

Lately, trips to the state library have become a lovely little weekly ritual of ours and we both cherish the day out.

Miss G.

Miss G. spends the morning painting, drawing, colouring, reading, singing, clapping and playing games with the other children.

There is always so much for her to do by the time we head home she is absolutely exhausted.

Miss G.

But just before she’s almost tuckered out Miss G. and I head to our favourite grassy spot next to the river to sit on our blanket and nibble on the goodies I’ve popped into the lunch box.

Today, along with fresh rockmelon slices and a yoghurt cup I added a couple of slices of this heavenly lime and coconut loaf.

WOW.

Chock full of zesty fragrant lime and shredded coconut this loaf is divine and couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  This gorgeous batter takes no more than a few minutes to stir together and after a quick trip to the oven the gorgeously golden loaf emerges smelling of sweet summer lime and coconut goodness.

To create this heavenly lime and coconut studded loaf simply…

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