I often prepare the bulk of Jonah’s food as I always like to make my own healthy adjustments to what he eats and add things if necessary. I like him to receive an array of nutrients and I find if I purchase him pre made food from the supermarket it does not offer that. There is also so many preservatives, sodium and artificial sweeteners in baby and children’s food despite many parents believing it is only found in “grown up” food. This is one of the main reasons I like to make meals for my son myself. I don’t always get it 100% right as far as flavour and texture goes. Infact, I remember the earlier days when Jonah was 6-8 months old and he was exclusively on puree that I would experiment with different vegetable and meat variations (for dinners) and some were quite terrible and I had to start again! I would taste some and want to spit them out!! However I persisted and I got better and better.
Although I never recorded many of the puree I made Jonah in the early days, I am wanting to make a point of now recording and healthy recipes I make him now as a toddler so that I may repeat them in future, and also give other mums some inspiration for meal ideas.
I have just created a healthy macaroni cheese recipe for Jonah, inspired by this vegetarian blogger I saw making something similar. I didn’t quite like everything she put in hers, or even what she left out – so I used her idea of making my own mac cheese sauce in the food processor and came up with my own. So here is it:
Healthy Macaroni Cheese
2 cups of macaroni pasta
1 large carrot
2 small white potatoes
1/2 brown onion
3 large cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Large handful cashew nuts
Large handful grated full fat cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup home made bone broth
salt and pepper to taste
Chop vegetables into smaller pieces and steam them over high heat. Add carrots into the steamer first as they are a lot harder than the other vegetables and take longer to cook. The aim is not to overcook the veggies as then they lose more nutrients. Once the vegetables are just steamed through, put them in a food processor but put the saucepan of water under the steamer aside to use to cook the pasta in – it’s full of nutrients from the vegetables. Add minced garlic to the processor, the large handful of cashews and grated cheese, spoon in the sour cream and pour in the bone broth.
**I use the broth instead of water to assist in blending as it ensures the cheese mixture is packed full of nutrients including gelatine which is hard to get from food these days, it is anti inflammatory and excellent for joint development. Predominantly it is amazing for gut lining and overall digestive health so I try and include it in our family diet as much as possible – and this is one recipe it can easily be used in as a replacement to water plus it adds flavour to the sauce.
Blend on high for about 1 minute. The cheese mixture should resemble something like the below:
Turn the pasta on to cook through whilst the macaroni cheese mixture is cooling to the side. Once the pasta is the desired softness simply pour into a bowl, add some of the cheese mixture and stir through. This recipe would serve 6.