My First Halloween

When my husband and I bought our first place together we were young, carefree 20 somethings and we partied a lot! Every year we hosted a fancy dress Halloween Party which went on till the early hours!

Fast forward a few years, our children came along and the parties still happened but they tended to start earlier and be done by 7pm… at the latest! My son’s first experience of Halloween was at 9 months old (he looked so cute in his baby pumpkin costume) and my daughter was a baby witch at just 5 months!

We still have our annual parties now with our almost 13 year old son and our 10 year old daughter, and a mountain of their friends as-well as their amazing mums and dads who have become great friends over the years. Invariably the parties no longer finish at 7pm and all 4 of us (and a few stragglers) are up till dawn!

I’ve always loved these Halloween parties, from decorating the house in fake cobwebs to baking spooky snacks and so I wanted to inspire you, which is why I asked my colleague and friend Annabel Karmel to share with us some of her favourite seasonal recipes so that baby doesn’t have to miss out on all the spooktacular fun!

Happy Halloween!!

Sarah Almond Bushell

Sarah Almond Bushell, MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD, Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist

Sarah Almond Bushell, MPhil, BSc (Hons) RD, Registered Dietitian & Children’s Nutritionist

A Guest Post By Leading Baby & Children’s Cookery Book Author Annabel Karmel

Come Halloween, let’s face it, routines fall slightly by the wayside when it comes to mealtimes as children eagerly anticipate the treat element of trick or treating! 

All Hallows’ Eve offers the ideal excuse for those extra tempting tasty ‘treats’ usually in the form of sweets, cakes and chocolate! But, baby needn’t miss out on the foodie fun.

If you’re weaning your little one, use this occasion to your advantage; with an abundance of in-season sweet root vegetables lining supermarket shelves and grocery stalls, autumn is the perfect time to start your weaning journey.

So, excite their palates and get those taste buds busy with my autumnal favourites.

Cauliflower , Red Pepper, Sweetcorn & Pumpkin recipe by Annabel Karmel

CAULIFLOWER, RED PEPPER, SWEETCORN AND PUMPKIN

 Simple but nutritionally supercharged, this puree provides your baby with vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid, and it provides a nod to Halloween with power-packed pumpkin. 

 Prep: 5 minutes 

Cook: 20 minutes 

Makes: 6 portions 

Suitable for freezing

Method

1.     Put the pumpkin and red pepper into a steamer. Steam for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and corn and steam for another 8 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

2.     Blend to the desired consistency using a stick blender.

Ingredients

200g pumpkin, peeled and diced

½ red pepper, diced

250g cauliflower, cut into florets

75g tinned sweetcorn


Leek, Pumpkin, Purple Sweet Potato & Courgette recipe by Annabel Karmel

LEEK, PUMPKIN, PURPLE SWEET POTATO & COURGETTE PUREE 

These weird and wonderful purple sweet potatoes are perfect for baby’s first Halloween! 

Prep: 5 minutes 

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 portions 

 

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Method 

1.     Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the leek, pumpkin, sweet potato and courgette.

2.     Stir over the heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until soft. Blend until smooth and stir in the cream cheese.

Ingredients

A knob of butter

100g leek, chopped

160g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced

75g purple (or normal) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

175g courgette, diced

150 ml unsalted vegetable stock 

1 tbsp cream cheese


Chicken, Apricot & Butternut Squash recipe by Annabel Karmel

CHICKEN, APRICOT & BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Super charged and protein packed – this vibrant orange puree features seasonal hits such as apple, carrots and butternut squash. 

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 5 portions

Suitable for freezing

 

Method

1.     Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, apple, carrots, squash, garlic and apricots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring up to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend until smooth.

2.     A good way to introduce texture to your baby would be to blend half of this, finely chop the remainder and then stir the two together. 

Ingredients 

1 tsp olive oil

50g onion, peeled and chopped

50g dessert apple, peeled, cored and chopped

75g carrots, peeled and diced

200g butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

½ tsp garam masala

400g can chopped tomatoes

100ml water


Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup with Cheesy Croutons recipe by Annabel Karmel

PUMPKIN & SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH CHEESY CROUTONS

Warm up tums with a bubbling bowl of spellbinding soup served with star croutons!

 

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 portions

Suitable for freezing 

 

Method

1.     Heat the oil in a saucepan.

2.     Add the onion and ginger and fry for 3 minutes.

3.     Add the diced potato and squash and coat the mixture.

4.     Fry for 2 minutes, then add the stock. Bring up to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Whiz using a hand blender until smooth.

5.     To make the croutons, stamp 4 stars out of the white bread using a star cutter. Lightly brush with a little oil on both sides.

6.     Put the croutons on a baking sheet, grill on one side then sprinkle with the cheese and grill on the other side until golden. Serve on top of the soup.

Ingredients

Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

½ tsp ginger, grated

200g peeled pumpkin, diced

150g peeled sweet potato, diced 

450ml unsalted chicken stock 

 

Croutons 

2 slices of white bread

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper


I hope you have enjoyed this blog and if you have toddlers or older children do check out my Healthy Halloween Party blog.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

For lots more recipe inspiration look no further than Annabel’s Baby & Toddler Recipe App – with over 350 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features, this is the handiest of apps for tasty, nutritious mealtimes (and clean plates)! Available via the app store or visit www.annabelkarmel.com  for more information.

Annabel Karmel founder of annabelkarmel.com

Annabel Karmel founder of annabelkarmel.com

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