Frozen foods to make ahead
When you have a bit of extra time, make a few meals to freeze. They'll come in handy when you’re exhausted and the kids have to eat now!

Cottage pie


  • 15ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 30ml tomato paste
  • 15ml fresh parsley, chopped
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 15ml butter
  • 30ml milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion until golden. Add the garlic, celery and grated carrot and fry for a few minutes longer. Remove from saucepan and set aside.
  2. Fry mince in the saucepan until browned. Add the onion and vegetable mixture back into the saucepan. (At this stage you can blitz the meat and vegetables in a food processor for a few minutes to make it easier for a younger baby of about 9 months to swallow.)
  3. Return to the saucepan, add the tomato paste, parsley and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly and spoon into foil freezer containers.
  4. Mash the carrot and potatoes with the butter and milk and spoon over the mince. Let it cool completely and freeze.
  5. There’s no need to defrost this one or preheat your oven when you’re serving it. Just pop it into a cold oven, set the temperature to 200°C and bake for about an hour.

For Baby

Carrot & potato purée (suitable from 6 months)


  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 baby potatoes, peeled and quartered


  1. Put the carrots and potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain (reserving cooking liquid) and mash.
  2. Use about a quarter of the mash for baby. Thin with reserved cooking liquid if needed, spoon into ice trays or any other suitable container, cover with tin foil or cling wrap and freeze.
  3. Set aside the rest of the mash for use in the cottage pie.


This is great comfort food for both children and adults. You can sprinkle a little grated cheddar over the top before baking if you feel the need for a little extra flavour and pampering.

You can also easily stretch both your rands and this meal by adding a tin of baked beans.

Chicken and vegetable balls


  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 courgettes, topped and tailed
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 15ml fresh parsley, chopped
  • 15ml fresh thyme or sage, chopped
  • 50g oat bran
  • cake flour for dusting
  • sunflower oil for frying


  1. If you have a food processor, fit it with a grater disc and grate the onion, apple, carrot and courgettes. Remove from food processor and fit the steel blade. Place chicken breast in processor and pulse a few times. Add grated fruit and veg, herbs and oat bran to chicken and whizz together for a few seconds. Season with salt and pepper (for babies older than 1 year).
  2. If you don’t have a food processor, grate onion, apple, carrot and courgettes by hand and use 500g chicken mince (available from some supermarkets) instead of chicken breast.
  3. Form into little balls using your hands. Roll in flour and fry in shallow oil for about 5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
  5. Cool completely and freeze in layers separated by wax paper or foil.


These are delicious hot or cold and make perfect finger food. Keep a good supply in your freezer ready for an impromptu picnic (with cubes of cucumber, carrot and cheese) or serve with the hidden vegetable sauce over pasta.

Hidden vegetable pasta sauce


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 courgettes, grated
  • 10 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tins chopped, peeled tomatoes
  • 120g tomato paste
  • 5ml vegetable stock powder
  • 30ml brown sugar
  • 30ml salt and black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, courgette and mushrooms and fry for a few minutes more.
  2. Stir in the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. Pour water into a tomato tin and add to the sauce, then stir in the stock powder and sugar and bring to the boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil leaves at the last minute and season to taste (add salt and pepper only if your child is older than 1 year).
  4. Let the sauce cool down completely and freeze in ziploc bags or a Consol glass bottle (leave enough space for sauce to expand when it freezes or the glass will break).

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