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the simplest (and various) recipes to prepare for children – Italian Cuisine


Soups, creams and meat sauce: many proposals that will please the little ones (and also you!)

The weaning it started and you seem to propose to your child always the same recipes? Often pediatricians with their rigid schemes recommend one feeding routine which is not very varied, and if mum and dad are not kitchen lovers, the child does not eat new things. So let's try some different recipes together! Choose them obviously based on the progress of weaning your baby and the level of introduction of foods and complex proteins.

The autosvezzamento

Remember then that there is a new current of thought that promotes l'autosvezzamento. What is it? It is also defined "complementary feeding on request"And it is a logic according to which, in order for children to become passionate about food and say no to any ingredient, it is good to offer them a little bit, directly on the high chair, without shaking or passing what is proposed. They will choose themselves and taste what most intrigues them. If you want to know more, check with your pediatrician or area consultant, who will advise you best, or read the book "I wean myself alone! Dialogues on weaning"By Lucio Piermarini, Bonomi Editore.

Broccoli, robiola and rice

The broccoli children do not like it? False! It is indeed proposed in the right way, in one velvety for example, if the baby still does not eat usual foods, paired with potatoes and zucchini, which soften the intense flavor of broccoli. To prepare the cream cleaned and cut two broccoli florets, add half a potato and a quarter of zucchini and bring everything to a boil. When the vegetables are soft, blend everything, add the rice (choose the one for children, or the cream of rice, if your child still does not eat anything solid) and, when you will need, a quenelle of robiola. A trickle of extra virgin olive oil to complete the dish and it is made.

The minestrina with the chicken

White meat is one of the first to be introduced because it is light and easy to digest. Prepare a simple soup by boiling one chicken thigh (or a piece of rabbit), a carrot and a potato. Crush the vegetables with the fork, fillet the chicken (you can serve it cut into small pieces, if the child is already able to swallow more solid foods, or blend it with the broth) and add some pasta little baby.

Pumpkin, goat and cream of rice

In the autumn the pumpkin it is the main ingredient of velvety, both for adults and for children. Boil a slice of pumpkin with half a carrot and half a potato, crush everything with a fork (or shakes), add a tablespoon of cream of risor (read well on the packaging because often the doses and textures change branded) and del goat. The goat's cheese is in fact more digestible and gives flavor to the velvety.

Celeriac and potato celeriac

The celeriac It is not widely used in our kitchen, if not for example to prepare the capricious salad (with mayonnaise, celeriac, carrots and cooked ham, all cut into julienne). Its aroma is delicious, try it in one velvety boiling a piece with the potato and then adding fennel seeds that help the baby to digest. Pass it all, add a cream or a pasta of your choice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a grated parmesan and a good appetite!

The ragù for babies

Finally, do you eat solid? It's time to try a nice pastasciutt al ragout! Prepare it with celery and carrots cut into cubes tiny and put into the pot with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Separately cut a slice of lean veal. Add it to the vegetables, cook the meat with a tablespoon of tomato sauce (or, better, fresh tomato passed by you!) and a bay leaf. Serve with pasta to taste (also spelled for example), stars or tubes will be fine.

Past of decorticated lentils and stars

It is also important to include plant proteins in the baby's diet. Try with the lentils, but in a decorticated version, which avoid stomach ache and swelling. You can find them in the supermarket counter, they are red and very small. Cook in a moment in water with carrot and celery, a bay leaf. Blend everything and add a pasta or a flour to taste. Remember not to add parmesan because the protein dose is already given by lentils.

Cream of zucchini with spelled and steamed salmon

The salmon it is rich in Omega 3 and is fat. Do not exaggerate then in quantity but offer it to the children every now and then. Cook it simply by steaming, if you want it flavored with fennel. Then clean it from the skin and remove any bones and shake it with your hands. Serve it over one cream prepared with a courgette and half boiled potato. Carbohydrates are missing, which you will introduce with spelled flour or oats.

Lamb meatballs stuffed with cheese

I am not the sort of mother who feels sorry for people who don’t have children. Not even in my most smug moments (literally, only fleeting moments) do I think “People without kids are missing out!” or “People without kids must be so sad”.

I think, quite honestly, if I hadn’t had kids I would have been alright. I would have done something else, been someone else. I would have bred Shar-Peis or collected guns or become a foreign correspondent or something else equally child-unfriendly. But it would have been alright. I wouldn’t have been sad. I would have Christmassed in Barbados and spent Sunday mornings browsing in foreign antiques markets. I would cook more elaborately. I would read a lot of books.

But there is one area in which my heart does go out to the childless and it is this: they have to pretend, especially women, to like children they are not related to. They either have to pretend to like them, or self-defensively announce loudly that they are not “crazy” about kids or they are “bad” with kids or turn it around and claim that kids don’t like THEM. (It’s not me, it’s you.)

The plain fact is that it is hard to immediately take to strange children. Your own are fine. Your nieces and nephews are delightful. But other kids? Well, they’re just… whatever, really. Not repulsive or anything. (Although sometimes yes, totally repulsive) But mostly you just feel… nothing.

Unless you get to know them of course. Any child, once you get to know it, becomes the world’s most precious thing. But unless you see each other reasonably often, it’s hard to go wild about them.

This is a perfectly okay attitude to have if you already have children. The other day a friend whom I was supposed to be seeing for coffee asked at the last minute if she could bring both her kids. Both of mine would be occupied elsewhere. “No,” I said, guiltlessly. “Let’s do it another time.”And her children are perfectly nice. Any other time, when I also had my kids, they would be welcome at my house to smash the place up – we would all put funny hats on and sing songs and have a wicked time – but spend time with her kids, on one of my kid-free mornings? No. Unthinkable. Never.

But you can’t say that if you haven’t got kids because people go hmmmmm and think Oh, she doesn’t like children. Like one of the Witches in Roald Dahl. And it’s not that, s/he just doesn’t really like children she doesn’t know. She doesn’t hate them!! Just doesn’t really want to socialise with them. They operate at such an odd tempo, do little kids, and unless you are tuned to it, it can seem bizarre.

It’s all the interrupting that the childless can’t cope with. They probably think you shouldn’t let your children interrupt you, that Kiddo ought to just sit in a corner eating PVA glue while you gossip on for 3 hours about someone’s hideous new kitchen extension. They think you, the mother, ought to turn and say NOT NOW I AM TALKING.

Or, worse, they do that thing where they reach over to stop the hand of an eight month old who is banging a spoon on a table, because they believe that you are not stopping the child from making this awful noise because you are blinded by love or helplessly out of control.

(The fact is that there is so little joy and light in an 8 month-old’s life – can’t speak, can’t move, probably teething – that why shouldn’t the poor little bugger have a bit of fun banging a spoon about?)

Before I had children, all those utterly bizarre things kids do used to do my head in and I thought I didn’t like kids, but now I know that 1) you don’t really like kids you don’t know and 2) I didn’t understand them.

Now I don’t even notice when I am interrupted. In fact these days I am quite grateful for it – I talk so much and so fast that I can really wear myself out if left to rattle on unchecked.

And anyway I am usually just sitting in my kitchen with Becky B – in the middle of saying something scandalous – and I will be dragged hither to clear up a spill and she will be dragged thither to look at a Peppa Pig rocket and when this strange little ballet brings us back to within shouting distance of each other, we pick up where we left off. That’s just how it is. We don’t care. We usually manage to cover quite a lot of ground that way.

But when you don’t have kids you don’t GET to not want to be with them. People act like it’s “good” for the childless to spend time with their own ratbag kids to “get practice”. Me? I never expect anyone to want to spend time with my kids if they haven’t got their own. Why would they? Moreover, why would I? If I am going to see a friend who hasn’t got children I want to sit about in clean, fashionable (?!?!?!) clothes drinking alcohol and talking, uninterrupted, about that hideous kitchen extension.

Which brings me rather abruptly to lamb meatballs. Things have been a bit hair-raising round here the last few weeks. One of those times in life when eating, let alone cooking, sort of goes out of the window. We’ve been getting a lot of takeaway or having things that I can cook from memory, which only require 1 stale cabbage, some nutmeg and pre-grated Cheddar (strength 2).

But the other night, despite feeling pretty sorry for myself, I did have the chutzpah to conjure up a BRAND NEW THING, which are these cheese-stuffed meatballs. Not as hard as they sound and actually really unusual and delicious, sort of half-Greek, half-Indian – like a really beautiful supermodel.

So here we go, this would serve 4 people with sides.

500g best lamb mince
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small bunch coriander
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (leave these out if you don’t have them)
1/2 small pack of Feta cheese
salt & pepper
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 pint chicken stock
1 large handful medium Matzoh meal
1 egg
groundnut oil for frying

1 Put the onion, garlic, 1/2 the bunch of coriander and all the spices into a whizzer and whizz. Don’t clean the blender out.

2 Add these to your lamb mince and smoosh around with your hands for a bit. Then throw over the matzoh and the egg and a large pinch of salt and smoosh about more to combine. Try not to think about how cute lambs are.

3 Put a non-stick pan on over a medium heat with some oil in it and while this is heating up start shaping your meatballs in the usual way but put in a pinch of feta cheese – about the size of a small marble, and pack the mince around it. You will discover the best way of doing this by trial and error – by the third meatball you’ll have nailed it. It is easiest to work with mince if you have wet or damp hands.

4 Fry off the meatballs for about 15 minutes, turning so they are nice and crunchy on the outside. Keep the heat at a medium, at no point out blue smoke to be anywhere in your kitchen.

5 While these are browning, whizz your tin of tomatoes in your dirty whizzer, then scrape it all out into a casserole dish or any pan with deep-ish sides. Add your stock and a large pinch of salt and about ten turns of the pepper grinder, stir and bring this to a simmer.

6 Add in your meatballs as they seem browned on all sides (some may open up to reveal the cheese within, don’t worry about this) and cook the whole lot on a simmer for about 45 minutes until the tomatoey sauce seems to have reduced and thickened. Tinned tomatoes are vile and it’s only by cooking them and reducing them that you can turn them into anything edible.

7 Sprinkle over with fresh coriander and eat at dinnertime after the little weasels have gone to bed and you finally get to finish a bloody sentence.

The Christmas menu for children – Italian Cuisine


The most awaited day of the year is approaching for the little ones, but in addition to gifts and surprises we also think about their festive lunch.

You know, Christmas Day is a big party for the little ones who are preparing for a long time and with enthusiasm for this magical moment of the year. It is not only Santa Claus and the gifts that await, but also the opportunity to spend a day with the family, playing with little brothers and little cousins.
Here are some ideas for a Christmas menu dedicated to children, which will bring to the table the fun and magic of Disney characters!

The Christmas appetizer for children

We know that if the children exaggerate with the starter then they will hardly eat the rest of the meal. It is in fact the most appetizing lunchtime and often the most delicious preparations are found! Make with them simple little star-shaped canapés, helping you with a biscuit size, with smoked salmon and philadelphia, or cooked ham and cheese. Alternatively, on the Vigil, prepare a Santa Claus bread, dividing the dough into different parts to make Santa Claus before baking it.

The first of Christmas for the children

If you do not appreciate the typical ravioli in broth that instead love the adults so much or the traditional baked pasta, you can amaze your children with soft star-shaped gnocchi such as Potato Stelline Disney Mickey Mouse from Patarò, and dress them with the same sauce used for lasagna. The ragù for example, even game, is ideal.

The second Christmas for children

A baked chicken with potatoes, or a fillet of sea bass in salt with a mixture of side dishes, will be the perfect second for children, even for Christmas. To make the dish even more cheerful, they are perfect Croccomagie di Pizzoli, potato croquettes with the unmistakable shape of Mickey Mouse.

Christmas cake for children

At this point probably the tummy of your children will be definitely full, but the Christmas dessert does not give up! So do not miss a slice of panettone or pandoro with a light cream made with ricotta and chocolate chips. Alternatively, the cream can be accompanied with i Crockki Bites by Zàini, cereals and red fruits with yoghurt cover or cereals with cocoa cover.

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