Appam is a quintessential Kerala breakfast and can seem quite tedious to make, especially if you are new to to the process. I love Appam and have had years of success with this quicker version of making appam with rice flour instead of grinding raw rice to make a batter, etc.
A few key things to remember when making appam using rice flour
The rice flour needs to be plain rice flour. No need to buy appam powder or any other ‘special’ kind. I’ve had success with pretty much all brands I’ve tried
The recipe calls for yeast. Use good quality, instant yeast. The kind you use for bread is perfect
Coconut milk is another key ingredient. I use full fat coconut milk which I thin down with some water. If using homemade coconut milk, add to the batter and thin down as needed with water
An appam pan is necessary to get perfect appams. These are typically round bottom pans or kadai and traditionally come in iron. Non-stick is available too. Use what works for you. I have the Nirali brand appam pan.
Using the right temperature to cook appam is critical. Check notes below recipe to learn more
Make sure the heat is maintained at medium. Too hot and the sides of the appam will get burned and centre will remain uncooked., Too low and you won’t be able to make an appam shape hold while swirling the pan.
If you plan to cook appam with rice flour for breakfast, start the prep the night before, add the coconut milk in the morning 1-2 hours before you need to serve breakfast. If you want to make appam for dinner, then start prep in the morning.
There should be minimum 1 cup thick coconut milk in the batter for this quantity of rice flour. If using homemade coconut milk, you can add remaining water to thin the batter or thin coconut milk (second milk, etc)
Test salt and sugar in batter and adjust to taste. The batter should be slightly sweet. This feeds the yeast and also lends a better flavour to appam
Leftover appam batter can be stored for 12 hours in fridge and used to make more appam
Fermentation will depend on room temperature and other factors. These are the timings I use in Singapore which is a warm place. In Kerala, it ferments faster
Always remember to use good quality yeast that’s active and check expiry to ensure it will work
Keywords: Kerala appam recipe with rice flour
Step by Step Pictures to make Appam with rice flour
Mix 1 tablespoon rice flour with water and cook in medium flame until you get a thick paste
Add remaining rice flour and yeast to this
Mix gently with fingertips and add more water as needed to make a soft yet firm dough. Cover and set aside to ferment for 8 hours or so.
After fermenting (the batter will have a fermented yeast-y smell), add the thick coconut milk and some water / thin coconut milk to get a pourable batter
Add salt and sugar to this. Mix well and keep covered for another 1- 2 hours.
The batter will bubble up in this time.
Gorgeous bubbles that will ensure super soft appams
Blueberry muffins recipe made healthy with no refined sugar added. Since LilS was born, I have been more mindful of use of refined sugar and flour in my baked goods.
I have been trying and loving recipes from Cookie and Kate recently and this healthy blueberry muffin recipe is adapted from hers too. So what makes these muffins healthy? Or rather, healthier?
They are refined sugar free
They use whole wheat flour (like atta or spelt flour)
Blueberries add a lovely colour and tang naturally
You can adjust sweetness levels without compromising flavour or texture
They are a great way to get some yogurt into your child, especially if they don’t like to eat it plain
I have used atta (Indian whole wheat flour) and spelt flour with equal success. You can also use a mix of all purpose flour and a healthier flour if you are worried about texture or a beginner baker. You may also like these blueberry streusel muffins or these banana oats atta muffins which are also great for toddlers.
May I also recommend this AMAZING mini muffin pan that I am now using? It needs no greasing and the muffins pop out of it so smoothly when baked. I am in love and have used it numerous times already. Well worth the price and clean up is super quick too. *Fan Girl*
Healthy blueberry muffins recipe using no refined flour or sugar. Perfect to make as a toddler snack.
1 and 3/4 cup atta or spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I have used regular olive oil and veg oil with success)
1/3 cup honey (can be increased to 1/2 cup)
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works better)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Pre-heat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line or grease your muffin pan as needed. I used my mini muffin pan
In a bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix them together with a whisk until well combined. You can also sift this mixture but who has time for things like that anymore? Not me!
In a separate bowl, add the oil and honey and beat together with a whisk.
Add the eggs and beat well, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Mix everything well together
Gently pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a silicon spatula or wide spoon. Do not be tempted to over mix at this stage, just combine everything as gently as you can
The batter is a bit tick so I use a spoon to pour into the muffin pan.
At the end, add 1-2 blueberries per muffin and gently press into the top. I prefer doing this to adding the blueberries to the batter because that makes them sink to the bottom and become gooey on baking
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Start checking from around 17 minutes and bake until the top turns golden brown and a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out with wet crumbs
Cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes and gently invert onto a baking tray and cool completely
If you make normal sized muffins, you will get around 12 of them. In that case, add 4-5 blueberries per each muffin
This yields a mildly sweet muffin. Increase amount of honey if you want it a tad sweeter. You can also add some sugar on top of the warm muffins as soon as they come out of the oven, for a crispy outer layer
You can add some cinnamon powder for extra flavour and health kick
Keywords: healthy blueberry muffin, toddler friendly snacks, muffins for toddlers
Step by Step Pictures for Making Healthy Blueberry Muffins
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using)
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, oil, and eggs
3. Add yogurt to this and whisk again until well combined
4. The wet ingredients should be smooth but a few small lumps from the yogurt is fine
5. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
6. Fold GENTLY with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix the batter
7. Spoon into the muffin pan
Chicken meatballs recipe that are baked and have a hint of spices and masala for your picky toddler!
Toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters and it may amaze you how a lovely 9-10 month old who gobbled up any mush you served her can suddenly turn into this spoon-grabbing, projectile spitting toddler in 3 short months. Well, that’s what happened to me anyway.
I introduced chicken and fish to LilS around month 13 and they are part of the weekly meal plan around 3 times. Chicken is an easy meat to cook for toddlers and meatballs are just perfect if you want a make-ahead, freezer-friendly recipe for your kids.
What I love about this chicken meatball recipe is that they’re baked and not fried, yet they turn out soft and perfectly flavoured. On the topic of flavour, I used the base chicken meatballs recipe from Pinch of Yum and added my own Indian touch to them in the form of spice powders and turmeric. Resulting chicken meatballs are totally amazeballs!
They are a freezer-friendly food I always have in stock. They go into spaghetti, fried rice, and rice porridge with ease. The base recipe is also customisable so go ahead and add some shredded vegetables (I’ve tried carrots and cabbage with success) or almond flour, or anything else you’d like to experiment with.
By the way, these chicken meatballs are not just for kids, they totally work for adults too. I often steal 3-4 and add to my meal. Lightly panfrying them in coconut oil makes them taste amazing and like you just baked them up.
Chicken meatballs recipe – A classic favourite with an Indian twist, these chicken meatballs are baked and include some super food spices too.
350 grams minced chicken (I use free-range, hormone-free chicken from Sasha’s Fine Foods)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I make my own – please see notes below)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Pre-heat oven to 200C
Add all ingredients into a large bowl
Bring together gently with wert fingertips
Make into balls and place on a greased baking tray (I spray or spread generously with olive oil)
Bake for 15-20 minutes
The bottom may be darker than the top and that’s fine. Remove and cool completely before freezing, if you choose to do so
The meatballs can also be made with minced turkey
Adjust all seasoning to taste
To reheat frozen meatballs, thaw for 30 minutes and pan fry with a few drops of oil. I find that microwaving makes them dry and rubbery so avoid this. You can also directly add frozen meatballs to pasta sauce while cooking. I also do the same with rice porridge.
I have made variations with shredded vegetables added like carrot, cabbage, broccoli, etc. A great way to sneak in vegetables!
You can use freshly minced onion and garlic too but that would add more moisture to the chicken mix so compensate with more breadcrumbs as needed
Semolina porridge recipe that is perfect for babies who are ready for solids and busy toddlers! I started feeding this semolina porridge to my daughter from the 8th month and is part of her weekly menu, usually for breakfast.
There are a few good things going for this smooth and creamy semolina porridge:
It’s easy to make
Uses very few ingredients
It’s healthy and filling for babies and toddlers
You can use as a base recipe to add toppings based on your baby’s age
It’s a welcome change from ragi porridge and cereal
A few important things to note when you make this semolina porridge recipe for babies and toddlers.
Semolina or rava is a product of wheat. Make sure you watch out for any allergies or tummy issues when feeding to a young baby
If preparing semolina porridge for a baby under 1, use water as the base and add some expressed breast milk or formula in the end for flavour. For babies over 1, you can prepare this using cows milk. Again, make sure your baby has already tried cows milk and has accepted it
You can add in a lot of different things to the porridge like ground nuts (again, always watch out for allergic reactions), dry fruits, fresh fruits, berries, turmeric, cinnamon, honey (for kids over 1 year only), jaggery, the options are really endless
You can use a nut milk like almond milk instead of cows milk for todlders
I am sharing the recipe for semolina porridge which I made for my daughter when she was around 15 months old so it uses cows milk, dried apricots, cinnamon powder, and a small amount of money.
Creamy and delicious semolina porridge recipe for babies and toddlers. The recipe is very versatile and you can customise ingredients according to your child’s age and taste preferences
1/4 cup semolina / rava
1 cup milk (use water for babies under 1)
1/2 – 1 cup water
2 dry apricots, chopped (substitute with raisins, prunes, dates, etc)
A pinch of cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp of honey or maple syrup (or jaggery, etc)
A tiny pinch of salt (optional)
Dry roast the semolina until a light golden brown
Chop up the apricots into small pieces
Bring milk + water to boil and add the semolina
Cook in a low flame stirring frequently until you get a thick and creamy porridge
If the semolina doesn’t feel cooked and the mixture gets too thick, add more water
Add the salt (if using), cinnamon powder, and honey / maple syrup. Give everything a good stir and bring to room temperature before serving
Please read the detailed notes I’ve shared above before preparing this semolina porridge for your child.
Keywords: Baby food, Indian baby food, toddler recipes
Step by Step Semolina Porridge Recipe for Babies and Toddlers
Dry roast the semolina until a light golden brown
Chop up the apricots into small pieces
Bring the milk and water to a boil, add roasted semolina and the apricots.
Continue to cook in a low flame until you get a creamy and thick porridge. Add more water or milk if the porridge is getting too thick. The semolina should be very soft and cooked when done (around ten minutes or less).
Add honey/maple syrup (for younger babies) and cinnamon powder plus salt, if using. Stir well and serve at room temperature.
One of the biggest parts of being first time parents is all the decisions you need to make for your new baby! The number of things you “need” for a child is overwhelming to say the least and there are so many options out there. One thing I will admit about myself is, I am quite obsessed with the stuff I buy for my daughter. I don’t walk into a store and pick up stuff for her, everything I buy is a result of extensive research and after reading multiple reviews.
One item I got stuck on is her high chair. We had to wean S sooner than expected since she had reflux and related discomfort and her paediatrician recommended slowly introducing solids to her at around 5.5 months. I panicked and went to Ikea to buy her high chair the same day. Then I came home and realised she can’t use it for another couple months because she couldn’t sit up completely unassisted yet. So we used her Baby Bjorn bouncer which really wasn’t ideal (since it bounced when she was in it) but we made it work for a short while.
Fast forward a couple months later, Oribel sent us this gorgeous marshmallow blue Cocoon High Chair and I was so upset we didn’t chance upon it sooner. The recline on this chair is PERFECT for younger babies and a great height for feeding parents/caretakers too.
S was around 8-9 months when we received it and by then she was quite used to the Ikea chair but HATED the buckles. We constantly struggled to keep her in because she would easily wiggle out half her body and try to lunge herself on to the ground! Yes, I birthed a feisty child.
Enter the Cocoon and it really WAS like a cocoon. The seat was larger overall and the tray, oh that gloriously large tray, was in itself enough to keep her happy. I started teaching her to self feed at this time and we would just put food directly on the chair for her to experience the texture and start feeding herself. Worked like a charm!
We have been using this chair 2-3 times per day for 9 months now and I feel very comfortable doing a full, honest review of our experience.
What we love:
The tray. It’s the best part about this chair. The size is generous, the top part comes out making clean-up super easy and it’s dishwasher safe too, if that matters. We usually take it out, wash, and bring out the next meal on it and set it on the tray holder, like my royal toddler seems to expect
The seat. It’s really like a cocoon and has a thick padded seat covering which is easy to wipe clean after every meal.
The flexibility. The Oribel Cocoon is one of the very few chairs in the market that can be reclined and height adjusted 6 ways. The tray can be inserted all the way in or with some wiggle room and for my toddler, it’s all the way in so she’s securely inside. Often, we don’t use the buckles (she HATES it) and she’s still quite safely nestled in
The looks. Let’s be honest, it’s important that your kids’ furniture is not sticking out like a sore thumb in your home. The Cocoon is a gorgeous piece of furniture and I picked out the cool marshmallow blue which complements the greys and pops of colour in our home perfectly
The quality. It’s sturdy, great quality and shows no sign of wear after regular (ab)use for over 9 months
The accessories. The newly released seat liner (seen in the pic below) has been a game changer in quick clean ups. It catches most of the crumbs and can be cleaned up easier and quicker than wiping the chair after each meal. Bonus: You can also use this seat liner on a stroller or car seat, in most cases.
You can also see below how the chair looks without the tray. In this form, you can roll it up to the dining table and have your child eat at the table rather than off the tray.
The tray is food safe so you can also just put food directly on it for self-feeding!
Below, you can see how the tray easily accommodates an ezpz mat, which is our go-to for most meals for S. The Ikea high chair tray does not fit an ezpz mat and this was a bit of an issue for us when S started getting more comfortable with self-feeding.
Things to note:
The crevices. Crevices tend to be a challenge in any high chair because food goes everywhere and clean up can be tedious. The main part of this chair that gets some food stuck is the buckle openings in the seat padding. We take it out once a week for a deep and proper wipe down. This is an issue for pretty much all chairs and one that the Ikea chair does better on because it’s small and no frills
The size. I know, I just spoke about how I love the large tray size but the overall size of the chair, while great, can seem unwieldy in a smaller apartment or home. We keep ours in the balcony which works perfect but with the tray attached, it may not fit around a regular dining table set up. Without the tray, however, the chair would work very well against a dining table
The wheels. While a good idea in theory, the wheels on the front of the chair are not very smooth to use and I find that I drag the chair more than I roll it, which can get a bit awkward
The cup holder that comes with the chair can be attached only if the tray is removed. We haven’t found a use for it yet, but I’ll update here if that changes
There’s really no perfect high chair out there but I can see very few reasons to dislike Oribel. It grows beautifully with the baby and at 19 months, S is still loving hers!
Want to try out this high chair for your little one? Here’s USD 20 off your purchase, just use code NAGS20 when checking out. Looking for retailers that sell the Oribel Cocoon High Chair? Here you go.
This post is sponsored by Oribel. All words and opinions shared here are my own and completely honest, as always.
I never really attempted a peanut butter muffin recipe or peanut butter anything much before I had a kid but somehow, when thinking of easy toddler snack ideas, peanut butter muffin type recipes seem to pop up in my mind often.
I’ve been baking up snacks every weekend for my almost 17-month old which she typically eats through the week. Baking her snacks myself gives me that much more control over how much processed food and sugar enters her diet. For now, I have kept it very minimal.
These muffins, which I baked in these donut muffin pans, very so simple yet so delicious that we ended up taking a few to work as well. Perfect snack for kids and adults alike!
They are simple to make and contain only very few ingredients:
Very little sugar
And some baking powder
The donut shapes ensure that the muffins get cooked uniformly and they are easier to hold for smaller toddler hands. I also love using this mini muffin pan for toddler muffins so that’s another option you can try too.
Banana oats atta muffins with are perfect for a healthy snack for toddlers and babies.
When I was pregnant with Sameera, I had a ton of people comment on the amazing food and snacks i going to be fed (cooked by her food blogger mom, of course!).
Even if I didn’t intent to be this mom who made most if her kids’ snacks and meals from scratch at home, I didn’t really feel like I had a choice in the matter.
Well, actually I am kidding. I am TOTALLY that mom!
While the first year of Sameera’s life was spent in a blur of colic and reflux and terribly short naps. she has now blossomed into a pretty active and curious toddler with a decent appetite. I mean, she won’t snatch food out of your hands and eat it but she has so far not rejected anything put in her mouth or in front of her. For that, I am thankful.
Of all the meals I plan for my toddler, snacks (and dinner!) are the hardest. Her current 15-16 month old schedule is such that she takes snacks immediately after her afternoon nap so she’s fairly hungry and a glass of milk and biscuit may not cut it.
Enter homemade baked goods!
She loves banana and we do offer it in the fruit form, cut into small pieces but that does get boring quite fast and also, I always end up with overripe bananas lying around often.
These banana oats atta muffins are not quite as indulgent as my favourite banana cake recipe but they are still delicious even with very less sweetener and made with oats and atta or whole wheat flour.
Mix together – maple syrup or honey and oil with a whisk
Add the eggs and beat again.
Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Next, add the atta or whole wheat flour and oats. Gently fold to combine without any lumps
Grease your muffin pans with some olive oil (if needed) and pour the batter in, filling about 3/4 of the way
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean
Cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes and gently invert onto a cooling rack
When completely cool, store in an airtight container. Keeps at room temperature for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Gently warm before serving to your toddler. You can also pat some butter to the warmed muffin before serving.
Note that honey is not safe for babies under 1 to consume so use maple syrup or other sweeteners of choice if you are serving this to your baby under 1
If your banana is really ripe, you can cut down the sweetness further. I cut it down from the original recipe and our muffins were just fine
If you want to make eggless banana oats atta muffins, try this recipe with flax seed meal – mix 1 tbsp flax seed powder with 3 tbsp warm water and use in place of 1 egg. If you try this out, please let me know how it turned out
The cinnamon lends a lovely flavour so I don’t add any vanilla. You can add some if you’d like
You can also add nuts like almonds or walnuts, finely chopped, to the muffins
The milk I used is full fat cow’s milk. Again, if serving to babies under one, use a nut milk or add water.
Millet flour pancakes that are gluten free and also toddler friendly, a big hit from my recent experiments to please the 1 year old in the house who has been on primarily Indian food and textures for a while.
It has been a personal goal for me to try and include different flours (both from grains and seeds) into our diets, including for LilS. She has so far been a champ in terms of her food habits – her appetite is not big but she will try anything. Wonder who she takes after with that, haha.
While we stuck to mostly Indian food for the first 6 months after introducing solids to LilS, I started trying new toddler-friendly soon after she turned a year old.
These pancakes were born out of one such experiment.
They were received really well, I am happy to say.
These millet flour pancakes:
are spongy and soft
retain the softness for a good while after they have been made
are perfect for self-feeding, if you follow baby-led weaning
don’t take very long to make at all! A bonus for busy moms
Add the dry ingredients – millet flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sugar – to a bowlMix well until combined and add the milk and eggs to this. Whisk gently until combined and make sure the batter has no lumpsHeat a pan and spread some butterPour about 1/4 cup and let the batter spread to form a thick circleCook on both sides until golden brown