Being a mommy is no easy task. There are so many things to juggle, and so much to do making it easy to become overwhelmed. You already have enough on your plate. So, if you need some meal inspo and cooking tips for your little ones, chef Amanda Manyatshe is here to hold your hand.
Mom of two Natasha Bosman-Langa, often works unpredictable hours as a fitness coach and trainer in Kimberley. “When a person gets home late, you don’t really know what to feed these kids man,” she laments.
While the 29-year-old and her husband can deal with the occasional late meals in the week, she often has to quickly prepare something from a box or packet for her two growing toddlers.
“If I come home at 7PM and I have to cook, Kagisho and I can eat a little later than them, but sometimes it is a bit of a struggle, to make something very quick for my kids. And when you are tired especially then, you don’t always want to resort to takeout’s. I don’t really like takeouts.
“Having a supportive husband is what’s helping or kind of helps make the situation a bit easier, we don’t feel that pressure too much because when I am busy he is busy feeding them or he will also be busy making noodles for them.”
Work smarter not harder
Helping your family stay healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. But before you panic, Manyatshe says, “Breathe, don’t stress. Our kids are happy to just have food in their stomachs.”
She also adds that there is no shame in a little takeout here and there.
Manyatshe is a chef and mother based in Cape Town. Through her food business, For The Foodie In Me, she is on a mission to discover flavours across the continent.
The Eastern Cape-born culinary maestro has made quite the waves in the culinary industry even joining the South African People of Colour at the Table, a networking initiative that fosters opportunities for skills exchange and collaboration between people of colour in the food and beverage industry on the continent.
She shares some of her own kitchen tricks for feeding hungry kiddies:
Loaded noodles: Instant noodles. You can bulk them up with frozen veggies and your protein of choice. Sprinkle some cheese on top of that’s what your little people like. It doesn’t have to be super expensive to hit the daily requirement food groups.
Breakfast for dinner: From scrambled eggs and sausages to sandwiches. You made the effort and they will appreciate it.
Opt for convenience: Choose meals that cook while you continue with what needs to be done at home when you come back. If you have the option of slow cooking, use it. Then you just need to add rice and veggies to finish the meal.
When in doubt, YouTube babes: Use online platforms that share quick family meals. You could be done in less than 1 hour with some of the options available. One pot meals are definitely a go to for me. And bakes. The leas dishes the better.
Did you know?
There are many nutritious ingredients that can be added raw into your child’s favourite meals and snacks, enhancing the nutrient content, and also helping to improve the texture and flavour. This according to celebrity dietitian, Andrea Du Plessis, who says that oat bran goes a long way.
Oats is regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat. The oat bran refers to outer layer of the oat groat.
“This ingredient can add texture into porridges, smoothies, smoothie-bowls, muffins, rusks and even soups, as it is a thickening agent,” says Du Plessis. “Best thing is that the flavour is neutral, so it can be combined with varied ingredients without interfering with the taste or flavour profile of the final dish.”
Good for adults too
Oat bran helps to reduce the GI (glycemic index) value of a food, making it more suitable for diabetics and people that are sensitive to high glucose foods. “The oat bran helps delay the breakdown of ingredients into simple sugars, thereby reducing the risk of spikes in blood glucose after consuming a meal or snack. It is also beneficial for the digestive system and as an added benefit, it can help improve cholesterol levels.”
TRY: This quick and easy fish finger and slider recipe
Fish Finger Sliders & Smiles
- 415 g McCain Smiles
- 400 g Sea Harvest Fish Fingers
- 6 slider rolls, buttered and toasted
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) mayonnaise
- ¼ cup (60 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 head of cos lettuce, shredded
- 6 small blocks of cheddar cheese (roughly 1 x 1 cm)
- 6 baby tomatoes
- 6 toothpicks
1. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.
2. Arrange the Sea Harvest Fish Fingers and McCain Smiles onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Season with salt as soon as they come out of the oven.
3. To make a crunchy pink sauce, add the mayonnaise and tomato sauce to a small bowl then add half of the shredded lettuce and mix well to combine.
4. To assemble, add three fish fingers to the bottom half of a toasted slider roll, then top with slices of avocado. Top with crunchy pink sauce and a little more lettuce and then close up the slider. Thread a piece of cheese and tomato onto a toothpick and use it to secure the slider.
5. Serve with the sliders and Smiles and extra pink sauce for dipping.