Mealtimes for a busy mom and a fussy little eater can be a big challenge. Today we share three fun recipes from the lovely new cookbook Mealtimes made Fun, published by Random House Struik. Recipes like these make mealtimes easy peasy.

According to Random House Struik’s website, Mealtimes made Fun is a South African cookbook targeted at the whole family. The authors, sisters Debbie Wareham and Kim Jurgens, are well aware of how demanding life as a working mom can be and they have tailored recipes that will appeal to babies, toddlers and the whole family. Only locally available ingredients have been used and South African favourites included.


This book follows the baby-led weaning approach and contains helpful suggestions as well as information on how to make the transition from beast milk/formula milk to solids as easy as possible for both moms and their babies. There is an in-depth section on breastfeeding as well as the right time to introduce solids. The baby-led weaning method suggests making the baby part of mealtimes and having them finger-feed from the high chair tray while the family is enjoying their meal.

Mealtimes made fun contains over 120 healthy and easy-to-prepare recipes that range from purées for baby to delicious meals for the whole family.


Bacon and egg pita

Makes 4 mini pita pockets
1 egg
15 ml (1 Tbsp) full-cream milk
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
1 rasher bacon, diced
1⁄2 tomato, diced
4 mini pita pockets

Whisk the egg and milk together. Heat 5 ml oil in a frying pan over medium heat, pour in the egg mixture and stir to make scrambled eggs. Set aside.
In a separate pan, fry the bacon until cooked through. Remove the bacon from the pan and heat the remaining olive oil until hot. Fry the tomato until soft.
Heat the pita pockets according to packet instructions.
Mix together the three fillings, spoon the mixture into the pita pockets 
and serve.

Mini pita pockets are much easier for small hands to handle.


Shark sub

Serves 1
1⁄2 x 170 g can shredded tuna in
water, drained
15 ml (1 Tbsp) mayonnaise or smooth plain cottage cheese (retain a spoonful to stick on the eyes and fins of the shark)
2 cherry tomatoes, washed and diced
1⁄4 small onion, peeled and grated
1 hot dog roll, buttered if preferred
2 raisins
4 slices Gouda cheese,
sliced into triangles

Mix the tuna, mayonnaise or cottage cheese, tomatoes and onion together.
Fill the roll with the tuna mixture and place in the middle of a plate.
Dip the raisins in a drop of mayonnaise or cottage cheese and place on top of one end of the roll as eyes.
Dip the longer end of each cheese triangle into the mayonnaise or cottage cheese and place in position as shown.


Pasta rice with creamed spinach sauce

Makes 4 baby portions
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) uncooked pasta rice
1 large bunch Swiss chard
spinach, washed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) salted butter
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cake flour
200 ml full-cream milk
50 ml fresh cream

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Half fill a deep saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Blanch the spinach for 2 minutes. Immediately after removing the spinach from the hot water, hold it under running cold tap water, then squeeze out excess moisture and chop up finely. Place the spinach in a blender and chop
some more.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk in the flour and
cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until a thick sauce has formed. Stir in the cream, spinach and pasta rice and cook for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Recipes and images extracted from “Mealtimes made Fun” by Debbie Wareham & Kim Jurgens (Struik Lifestyle). The book is available in bookstores at the recommended selling price of R240. Thanks to Kim Taylor from Random House Struik for sharing the images and recipes.

Karla Janse van Vuuren

I am a lover of the sweet things in life - a freshly baked macaroon, a bouquet of flowers from that special someone, the pur of my darling cat, sunshine on my birthday, and wet kisses and gurgling laughs from little ones. Baking is my passion and if I could be in the kitchen the whole day creating fabulous cakes I would be completely happy. I love writing and creating pictures and places with words. If time and money was no object, I would travel the world, take beautiful pictures and sample a lot of interesting food! Baballama is a platform for me to share my love of sweet and delicious things.