It seems to me an age ago that I was moaning about my little girl refusing to eat her porridge. Now, thankfully she tucks in to most things with little persuasion. We haven’t quite got to licking the plate clean stage but I can now rely on a few good staples to make sure she’s getting her fill. Each baby decides on his or her own preferences along the way, but as far as we are concerned, as long as there’s a tub of yoghurt, some nice bread, a tangerine, or few eggs in sight, at least she won’t be going to bed on an empty stomach.
But of course I want to keep helping her to develop new tastes and I want to get all the nutrients I possibly can into her rapidly growing little body. All the cooking is very time consuming – so along the way I’ve worked out a few tricks that work for me.
This recipe manages to sneak in some highly nutritional foods, whilst also being delicious and easy to eat with tiny hands. One of my habits (I’m sure most people do this!) is to batch cook and keep small portions in the freezer. Mashed potato is a great one to have handy and with a portion of mash to hand, these hot cakes can be a useful store cupboard dinner fix. They’re also pretty cheap to make – fish can be very expensive but I’ve found that tinned mackerel, which is very reasonably priced, has gone down a treat.
The small girl gives her full seal of approval for these – they were gobbled with gusto.
(makes 5 or 6 cakes)
4 tbsp mashed potato
2/3 tbsp plain flour *
1 egg (lightly whisked)
1 small handful of raw spinach
125g tin of mackerel fillets in sunflower oil
Chop the spinach very finely
Mix the egg, potato and flour and add the spinach. Flake the mackerel fillets into the mix and mix together until well combined.
Spoon a desert spoon full into a hot pan, flatten the cake – it needs to be about a cm thick to make sure its cooked properly throughout. Once the cakes are in the pan, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 3/4 minutes each side or until browned.
*If the batter seems too wet to hold together in the pan you can always add a bit more flour to the mix.