What dinners can I prepare whilst carrying baby in a sling?(19 Posts)
New DS is Velcro baby extraordinaire and for first few weeks have been totally dependent on DH to make dinner etc. I'm now trying to carry him in a sling for an hour or two during the day so I can get some things done, including preparing an evening meal.
However I can only do prep which doesn't involve cooking on the hob and other things which might be dangerous when carrying a baby.
So I'm looking for meals which can be prepared ideally entirely for oven cooking / microwave.
So far I have done salmon with spicy peppers, tomatoes and couscous, and sausages with roast squash, but I'm already running low on inspiration. Help! What other meals can I make?
You can cook whatever you would cook anyway.
I cooked a full roast dinner once, with newborn. Balanced him on my airborne knee and one hand (no sling) whilst dealing with the joint with the other hand, and flipping roast potatoes over.
You can cook anything you like, really! You also do not need to hold him every second of the day - put him down whilst you peel your veggies, for instance.
Mine was Velcro and in a sling, so I remember it well... I can't say I was keen on leaving her to cry it out while I arsed about cooking either. I know technically she would survive, but it's not like the phase lasts long.
But apart from avoiding full on chip pans (spitting) I just cooked like normal as in batches of bolognese and chilli (with loads of chopping and peeling round her), roasts (often did two chicken breasts in foil instead of a proper joint as I was craving meat-and-two-veg type meals but not planning on doing full Sunday lunch on a weekday). Also made flapjacks by the ton for the munchies when breastfeeding.
Where possible something which can survive being cooked too long is preferable - I always have started saucy stuff on the hob then put in a low oven to mellow which is ideal for if you get caught up in a cluster feed situation and really can't be doing with going to check the kitchen/stir.
Well done on your culinary delights so far - they sound delicious!
I cooked on the hob with baby in sling, just nothing that would spit. Just sort of stand sideways on. a show cooker is a good investment with velcro child as can prep and put on when you have a quiet patch or with baby in sling. used mine a lot with ds2 who insisted that from 4pm onwards was cluster feed time and ds1 and dd who for some reason didn't think that was a good enough excuse to not cook them any dinner .
or even a slow cooker rather than a show one.
I have one of these babies I may be more kamikaze as he's DC3 rather than PFB but I'll do stuff on the hob other than frying (oil spatter), but do find oven stuff much easier.
Last night I did a tray bake - chicken thighs, chorizo, new pots, courgette, peppers, olives, butter beans, lemon chunks. Toss in olive oil, throw in some oregano and salt, bake at 200C for about 45 mins (until chicken and potatoes are done). There are endless veg/flavouring variations on this and you can prep as you have time then just chuck it in when needed.
Just made the mix for pork and apple burgers/parties tonight. DH will quickly fry them when he gets in but they can be grilled too. Serving with roasted new potatoes and salad, so again no hob.
I find a tomato sauce is fine with baby in sling - prep veg (onion, celery, carrot), sweat in butter/oul with lid on so little stirring needed, add tomatoes, simmer with only occasional stir.
Oh another one: Roast chicken is also easy if you don't do the trimmings but just pull out of oven and serve with a nice salad. I serve this with roast new pots yet again (yes, I like these a lot and they need I parboiling!) Leftovers are great for quick lunches.
Baked potatoes whacked in oven with various toppings also good.
I've given this recipe a couple of times before, but here it is again (dead simple)
Sliced red pepper and a chili pepper (or two, according to taste) in the bottom of a good, ovenproof dish. Add lots and lots of chopped basil and garlic cloves (unpeeled). Lay chicken thighs on top (preferably with skin on, as it goes nice and crispy and adds to flavour). (Checken breasts will dry out, because of the long cooking time). Lots of fresh tomatoes dotted around (leave cherry tomatoes whole, quarter the large ones). If you can get different colours (red, orange and yellow), this is nice, but not essential. Season well with salt and black pepper. Add a few really good glugs of olive (or rapeseed) oil. Cook on a medium oven (140 deg Celcius) for about three hours. Long and slow.
Serve either with mashed potato and a green veg, or add new potatoes or a tin of chick peas before you put the dish in the oven at start of cooking process - this is even easier!
Leftovers make a lovely pasta sauce later in the week.
Avoid flambeé. And pancakes might be difficult.
A lot depends on how tall you are! I am short so cannot use the hob with a baby on my front in a sling. Tried to once and I nearly set fire to him. Can't reach the back rings with him in the sling either.
I used a slow cooker a lot and made stuff that didn't require much or any hob cooking.
Now he's six months and I throw him on my back if he's grumpy or needs a nap and I can get everything done. It doesn't last forever - just a few months of slow cooker meals
Thank you all, especially for the delicious recipes!
Also reassured that I am being a bit PFB, and that careful cooking on the hob isn't out of the question.
My first foray into the kitchen with the sling did end up with me knocking a jar of peanut butter off a high shelf onto his head so am maybe feeling a bit cautious!
The I Can Cook books are your friend! Not only will they be an investment for the future when your PFB will love to cook from them, but they are genius for ways of cooking things not on the hob (usually in the oven instead). Even if you don't want to cook the actual recipes (most of which are fab) it will give you ideas. You might need to scale up a bit - they quantities are small so that toddlers don't get bored with all the preparation.
I too had a velcro baby and cooked at the hob with him. As others have said, I just tried to minimise it and avoided spitting oil. A friend also did both with him and managed to drop him on the floor while opening the hot oven door! But he only slid out gently and wasn't hurt.
If he still likes the sling when he's older, a back-carry might work well.
waves hi plate I made this last night with ds attached, easy and delicious! www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2411639/lemon-and-oregano-chicken-traybake just add green veg!
Saw your post last week but didn't manage to post! Both of these traybakes are delicious and would be easy to do with baby in a sling.
Sticky citrus chicken
I halve the chilli as I find the full amount too much (chilli lightweight!)
Chicken red pepper and almond traybake
The lemon and oregano one sounds good
I'm not sure what sort of sling you have, but would recommend one of the carriers that holds the baby close to your chest - such as a fabric wrap one, or a bjorn-type. Like other posters, I had great success with a back carry once the babies were a bit older - had the advantage that they could see what I was doing, and I could pass them stuff to taste (though most of it ended up down the back of my t-shirt!
In the meantime, a slow cooker is your friend (lots of recipes on BBC Good Food etc) or hob or grill stuff you can leave by itself, such as steamed veg, pasta etc. with grilled veg or burgers.
Back carry is the way to go. DD was a velcro until she was about 18 months old. I used a Maya Wrap and had her on my back. I don't really remember what I did when she was a new born. Memories of those days are rather foggy.
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