Care to share your emergency baby/toddler meal?

(65 Posts)
blushingmare Thu 29-Aug-13 23:29:11

As I was once again faced with a hungry toddler and a virtually empty fridge this evening and used my fail safe, tried and tested emergency Philadelphia pasta dinner, I thought "wouldn't it be great if lots of people shared their emergency meals, then I wouldn't always had to fall back on this old chestnut!"

So, would you care to share the meal you make when you've got in late, have a starving child and discover to your horror that there's very little food in the house?

This is mine....

Blushingmare's Philly Pasta

1. Cook pasta
2. Chuck in some frozen peas and spinach with the pasta
3. Drain when cooked
4. Mix in Philadelphia

It's actually delicious grin

aturtlenamedmack Thu 29-Aug-13 23:36:50

Mines hidden veg pasta.
Aunt Bessie do big bags of finely diced mixed veg (carrots, onion, peppers etc).
Mixed veg
Smoked Paprika
Stock cube/marmite/sugar/hendersons relish (whatever you usually chuck in)
All cooked in a bit of oil for 5 mins
Tin if toms
Simmer a bit
Cook the pasta while you're doing this.
Into a bowl, cheese on top.
Ds loves it and I feel like I've got some goodness down him, which is rare.
In even more of and emergency it's pasta and green pesto with olives and parmasan (sometimes sausage or salmon too).

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 30-Aug-13 22:18:44

Erm we meal plan and the DC eat the same as

mummy1973 Fri 30-Aug-13 22:29:18

Beans on toast smile

Good old pasta and pesto. Never without a jar in the fridge. I also make big batches of cheese sauce/bolognese etc to put in the freezer that I can defrost and mix with cooked pasta.

Good for you Jilted, unfortunately for some of us it doesn't always work out like that. My husband doesn't get home from work until after the kids are in bed. I don't fancy eating reheated meals every night. And neither does he.

Nancy54 Sun 01-Sep-13 06:50:47

That sounds really nice, blushing! Think ill do that.

Mashed potato mixed with tuna and sweet corn always goes down pretty well here if in feeling uninspired.

Good idea to do an easy meals thread, gives us new ideas. Even for those who do meal plan and eat as a family, you might still want easy ideas, but if you don't, well don't bother posting!

Gooseysgirl Sun 01-Sep-13 06:57:13

My failsafe is similar...
20g small pasta shells boiled for 5 mins, add a handful of frozen peas for another 3 mins, drain, add Sacla squeezy red pesto sauce... done! DD is mostly a v good eater and will happily pick off our plates but at times when she's teething/ill and is off most food she'll still eat the pesto pasta smile

Gooseysgirl Sun 01-Sep-13 06:59:18

BTW great thread Blushing!

gintastic Sun 01-Sep-13 07:01:55

Egg fried rice. Boil rice with peas and sweet corn in the water. Drain, return to pan, add and egg and stir until egg cooked.

I meal plan as well, but the best laid plans...

Lurkymclurker Sun 01-Sep-13 07:04:17

We meal plan dinners but lunches are more difficult, our lunch fail safe is scrambled egg on toast

Jaynebxl Sun 01-Sep-13 07:05:42

When mine were tiny I always kept a packet of gnocchi in the fridge. Takes 1 min to cook and just needs grated cheese on top. Super speedy.
Nowadays our fave store cupboard super speedy meal is pasta egg and cheese. I cook the pasta then mix eggs and grated cheese. Drain the pasta, pour the egg and cheese over the hot pasta and cook for a other minute or two.

I always keep a bag of frozen peas and a bag of frozen peppers in to add to any meal. I also keep those frozen bags of mixed rice and peppers in as they are a life saver at times.

PicnicPie Sun 01-Sep-13 07:12:28

Some great ideas. Loving the special fried rice!

My fall back is always cous cous as its so quick to cook and then I add whatever veg I have - usually frozen peas and sweetcorn.

If I've got some Philly then will stir in a spoon of that, otherwise a bit of garlic pepper for flavour.

mrscog Sun 01-Sep-13 07:13:41

Baked beans with sweet potato mash. Sweet potato is way more nutritious than normal potato so it relieves some of the guilt.

JiltedJohnsJulie did you mean to sound like a smug arse?

Dobbiesmum Sun 01-Sep-13 07:14:31

Rice, the microwave Uncle Ben type with some chopped veg. I always get a couple of packets in as they go down a treat here. DD2 is 19 months and will inhale a bowl of it grin

nextphase Sun 01-Sep-13 07:55:14

Loaf of bread (presliced) lives in the freezer, so beans / spagetti hoops / eggs on toast.

Mine also love pasta and prawns - fry onion oir garlic if you have it. Tip in a tin of tomatoes, mash about if whole, and bring to the boil. Simmer while cook pasta. Throw in a handful of frozen prawns and serve.

We often have the stuff for maccaroni cheese even if the fridge looks empty!

Most of the above are short on fruit and veg! Emergency puddings - tinned peaches with icecream / pot of custard.

MousyMouse Sun 01-Sep-13 07:56:39

tin of beans. toast.

Northernexile Sun 01-Sep-13 08:01:12

Great thread! Mine will normally eat cheese on toast with beans on the side. If the beans are on top of the toast she just eats the beans and leaves the toast!

Pinebarrens Sun 01-Sep-13 08:03:56

mine is the same as yours op! good idea for a thread smile

WantedGSOH Sun 01-Sep-13 08:06:11

Omelette with random things...

Ham, pepper, tomato, paprika
Cheese, frozen spinach, herbs
Grated apple, cinnamon, yogurt
Etc etc

I use this when BLW my 8 month old of I feeling he's had a lot of wheat based carbs during the day

Or I microwave a baked potato & put Phili or Unsalted butter with it.

Similar to yours op but I buy soft cheeses from Asda with things like pesto and sun dried tomato for a btw of variety. Add some spring onion, peas,swerve, cherry tomatoes and chicken/ham and toss with pasta.

Spinach and cheese omelettes.

I did a kind of kedgeree the other day with rice, peas, scrambled egg and mackeral.

Shop bought Sushi blush

Thurlow Sun 01-Sep-13 08:18:44

Pasta and pesto too here, with frozen veg thrown in to make it a little healthier. Failing that there's always eggs and beans.

Marmite pasta (a la nigella)

Boil pasta and drain.
Melt butter and tsp marmite
Mix in pasta and grated cheese

(Marmite is full of vitamins isn't it?!)

Fridge omelette is my most regular standby meal.

I chop up whatever veg is in the fridge and fry it in a little olive oil. If we've got ham I sling some of that in too, add a handful of frozen peas.

Once cooked down I add beaten eggs, and either chopped herbs from the hanging baskets by the kitchen door or paprika.

Once the bottom is cooked in chuck over

Phone! Aaaargh!

Chuck over some grated cheese and shove it under the grill.

It always goes down a storm and takes minutes.

DontmindifIdo Sun 01-Sep-13 09:19:17

JiltedJohnsJulie - we normally all eat the same too, but sometimes DH can't be home intime to eat with DS, or we fancy eating late in the evening, or if we've had a big lunch, DH and I often don't want more htan a snack in the evening, yet DS will still want a proper dinner (he'll eat the same quantity at lunchtime regardless of what we put in front of him). Or just we fancy eating food that's very spicy which makes DS poorly.

Anyway, our fall backs are:
Whenever I do spag bol I make double the amount, it doesn't take much more time, then I pack up 'toddler portion' sized amounts of sauce and put it in the freezer, that on pasta.

Or good old pesto pasta, although I'll often stick some extra veg in the blender with the pesto to add hidden veg in it.

Another is fishcakes with beans.

Or pitta bread pizza - whole meal pitta bread, a little bit of garlic puree, spread over one side, do the same with a bigger amount of tomato puree, sprinkle of oregano and grate some cheese on top, stick under the grill. (any veggies you have to hand, stick under the cheese). - although this is normally a lunch time "don't fancy sandwiches again" meal.

And if all else fails, we have a 'kitchen picnic' - basically the contents of the fridge put on the kitchen table and help yourself.

noblegiraffe Sun 01-Sep-13 16:48:44

Omelette. Or frozen fish fingers and chips. We always have those in blush

OP I'm impressed that you have emergency spinach!

Cheese on toast.
Crap picnic - bits of cheese, ham, tomatoes, cucumber, bread and butter

Mine have loved a chippy tea from an early age. DS was requesting sausage with chips and curry sauce from an alarmingly early age blush

Oh yes we always have fish fingers and frozen pease, peppers and spinach

Eggy bread too

bigkidsdidit Sun 01-Sep-13 16:59:42

Either pasta, frozen veg, and pesto


Frozen mash (which is wonderful and only potato, no crap) with baked beans and cheese

Or boiled egg and marmite soldiers

bigkidsdidit Sun 01-Sep-13 17:01:20

Julie that was a really gobsmackingly smug post complete with smiley smile

Personally the DC eat at 5 and DH and I eat at 8.30-9 ish so even though I meal plan we only have lunch and breakfast together

PoppyAmex Sun 01-Sep-13 17:06:35

Frittata w/ chorizo, potatoes and loaded with whatever veggies are lurking in the fridge. Super fast.

Fresh pasta with smoked salmon. Literally minutes from fridge to table and one of DD's favourites.

Rice with veggies and tinned octopus (another of DD's faves).

Courgette fritters with leftover mash (or ready made turnip mash from supermarket).

absentmindeddooooodles Sun 01-Sep-13 17:16:19

Pesto pasta here too. Always find something or other togo in it. Frozen peas or salami etc. As long as theres cheese ontop it goes down well :-)

HerrenaHarridan Sun 01-Sep-13 17:34:53

I can't remember what it's called but you know the filled pasta you get it's like ravioli but the pasta is thinner.

I buy packets of that and spilt into 3 in freezer.

Emergency dinner = boil kettle,
pasta out of freezer in bowl,
pour boiled water over,
frantically look for spring onions or anything thing else I can hack up with scissors.
When the water is cool enough to touch drain, top with cream cheese and stir.

We almost always have a big tub of tuna sweetcorn sandwich filler which I throw over cooked fusilli and serve with chopped cherry tomatoes and grated carrot it is lush.

Packet of cooked chicken pieces again almost always have plus jar of tomato pasta sauce - slice chicken, chuck in with pasta and sauce at last minute.

I buy pasties for dp that I bang in the microwave he loves them, thankfully toddler ds does too so one of them with beans/bob spaghetti.

Dd1 had smoked sausage, butter fried egg and beans the other night - took less than 5 minutes total.

For us adults I do curry - cooked chicken pieces again, big jar of tikka sauce, binb rice for me , chips for dp - 10 minutes.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 18:13:37

Beans on toast
Cheesy pasta with frozen veg
Asda kids ready meals/tinned ravioli

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 18:15:02

Gnocchi ratatouille with tinned ratatouille - I blend the ratatouille into a smooth sauce as DS won't eat anything that is recognisably a vegetable hmm

Or sometimes, ratatouille, chickpeas/butter beans, couscous.

Spindelina Tue 03-Sep-13 13:10:32

Chips omelette:
Cook some oven chips (from a packet or homemade i.e. pieces of potato tossed in oil)
Stick in frying pan with whatever leftover / frozen veg is to hand
Crack in a couple of eggs and cook them through.

Great as a food to eat while breastfeeding, too!

I do the same as you OP, but I use grated cheese as it glues the veg to the pasta so the kids can't avoid eating a bit.

Sometimes I do it with pasta, sometimes with rice, I fill their bowls by layer to maximise gluing.

RNJ3007 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:18:14

I do bigger portions when I cook easy freeze things, so usually have some bolognese sauce or mac'n'cheese or mushroom risotto or casserole or pots of sweet potato mash in the freezer.

Otherwise, we too do fridge omelettes or 'scrambled beans' (baked beans mixed into scrambled eggs) on toast.

dashoflime Fri 06-Sep-13 23:34:53

Pasta with tomato puree and olive oil.
Tinned ravioli

ceeveebee Fri 06-Sep-13 23:40:34

Ha, I was going to say cheesy pasta, made with garlic and herb soft cheese but that's your own recipe

Omelette, with mushroom, spinach and cheese
Houmous or fish paste on toast/pitta
Homemade chicken nuggets - I make batches, cook and freeze
Fish fingers
Spaghetti hoops on toast in dire emergencies!

I also have a freezer full of portions of food - I always cook extra and freeze a portion of whatever

PoppyAmex Sat 07-Sep-13 04:47:20

Ceev what's fish paste and where do you get it? I'm loving the sound of it and DD is fish mad so I think she'd like that too.

OP I'm impressed you have spinach in as a standby.
Those that have bolognese etc in freezer, do you cook from frozen?
Sweet corn and frozen peas seem to be popular.
We normally always have fresh pasta and sauces in fridge, they have a really long date. Packets of microwave rice too

nextphase Sat 07-Sep-13 07:26:16

Mashed up fish, from a tin or jar usually.
Try near the tinned tuna, or the tins of fruit in your local supermarket. The Brand i know is Shipmans, but there are probably loads more.

LittleMiss yep, I freeze the bologanase in a silicon muffin tin, and then pop them out into a freezer bag. One lump per child (mine don't like too much sauce) ina bowl in the microwave til boiling. If I'm doing it for adults also, I just pop into a small pan with a tiny bit of water on a low heat, and turn up when they start falling apart (otherwise they burn before they defrost?!)

ceeveebee Sat 07-Sep-13 07:35:44

Poppy, yes it's retro shiphams paste!!
When we went to Portugal they give you fish pâté with bread before every meal and DD loved it, this was the closest I could find

If she likes fish then tinned mackere or sardinesl on toast a good standby too

ceeveebee Sat 07-Sep-13 07:35:57
PoppyAmex Sat 07-Sep-13 07:41:02

Thanks Ceev and Next.

I'm actually originally from Portugal and just remembered the little round sardine parcels some restaurants used to serve in the late 80's! I didn't know you could still get them.

I'm on a mission to find some now!

Theonlyoneiknow Sat 07-Sep-13 07:50:56

Put 25g flour, 100ml milk and 25 g butter in jug, micro1 min then stir and repeat Three times. Add lots of grated cheese and add to pasta. Very quick mac n cheese smile

Eggy bread is another favourite here

ceeveebee Sat 07-Sep-13 07:52:37

Poppy let me know if you find it anywhere in the UK - very handy for on-the-go too as they don't need to be kept in the fridge

My kids love green pesto pasta with cheese and fried pancetta. I slice up some cucumber on the side. Done

I recently found out that mashed potato can be frozen. I usually unintentionally make more than I need (never have been good measuring by sight!) and was thrilled to learn I could bag it up and pop it in the freezer. So now I defrost and heat portions in the micro and serve with fishfingers, baked beans and veg

summermakesmesneeze Sat 07-Sep-13 08:07:09

I make toasty pizza- toast the bread, spread over tomato purée, add some thinly sliced beg of your choice (quickly fried first-don't use much oil), a little grated cheese and melt under the grill. Or microwave if like me, your rented house has a grill that threatens to burn the place down.

summermakesmesneeze Sat 07-Sep-13 08:24:44

Sometimes, if its very late, and I deem that lunch was healthy enough... cereal. And fruit. blush

scarecrow22 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:26:26

fantastic thread, thanks OP

We keep fresh ricotta and spinach or other pasta 'parcels' in freezer and take out handfuls as required -4m cook from frozen, max.

I also make instant fish pate (poppy and ceev might like this) with smoked mackerel and cream cheese (like Philly) and if you are feeling like a domestic goddess then a splash of lemon juice and a twist if pepper too. My dd would eat polystyrene with this on. Can add spinach if want.

Slightly more work but very easy is cheats feijoada (Portuguese bean stew for want of a better description): fry onion and garlic with chopped chorizo/pancetta/bacon, tip in two or three tins of beans (ideally a mix of kidney, canellini, borlotti, say), a tin of chopped tomatoes and half a pint of stock; bring to boil and simmer for up to an hour if you have time. You can add tomato paste, left over pasta sauce, herbs/bay leaves etc if feeling posh!
(Ceev I grew up in Portugal smile )

When I was pregnant doctor recommended best meal for keeping up iron levels was baked beans on wholemeal toast with a glass of orange juice, so no guilt at that meal

A handful of frozen peas chucked into any very hot bowl if food will cool it quicker while they 'cook' if toddler is getting antsy!

summermakesmesneeze Sat 07-Sep-13 08:26:46

And that was veg, not beg, naturally..

DoItTooJulia Sat 07-Sep-13 09:18:01

I can only imagine JJJ wasn't being smug but her sentiment looked so written down.

Anyway ours is risotto. Always got risotto rice in and frozen veg. Handful of cheese in and bobs your uncle! Dinner in 10!

PoppyAmex Sat 07-Sep-13 09:28:21

Ceve found them here and might order some or ask mum to send some from Lisbon.

But since I'm not entirely sure about the ingredients, have started looking online for fish pate recipes (thanks for your scarecrow - by the way, DD is half Portuguese and unfortunately not crazy about feijoada/bean stew so not sure where I went wrong!)

PoppyAmex Sat 07-Sep-13 09:56:48


Snakes and bastards, just read that fish pate is out during pregnancy. Now I'm craving it like mad.

<takes weirdly obsessed self away from thread>

IJustNeedANap Sat 07-Sep-13 15:51:26

This is a great thread! I've pinched loads of ideas.

My emergency is omlette with whatever veg is in the fridge

DD doesn't like touching pasta at the minute so that really limits what I can give in a rush

Thurlow Sat 07-Sep-13 17:41:19

I just had to do an utter emergency meal of a bowl of baked beans, sone oatcakes and some tinned mandarins blush

Eddiethehorse Sun 08-Sep-13 11:56:44

for some reason i ALWAYS have broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge. I dont know why i buy so much of it. Steam both, blend with cream cheese with garlic and herbs and a handful of cheddar, serve with pasta or rice. 1 year old loves this.
or a similar version of feijoada.
DoItTooJulia - How do you make a risotto in 10mins? DD LOVES risotto!!

PoppyAmex Sun 08-Sep-13 12:05:14

Thurlow why the blushes? Sounds very resourceful and plenty of vitamins so they won't get scurvy grin

A lot of cream cheese recipes here, I never buy it but will investigate now - wonder if the salt content is toddler friendly?

Thurlow Sun 08-Sep-13 14:57:11

It just felt like a terrible meal! I normally at least make pasta but toddler was too hungry to even wait for that. I must try and remember that low salt, low sugar baked beans are really quite a good food.

Poppy, we buy the value cream cheese as it's so cheap it doesn't feel as though it matters if we don't use it all. But it is actually lower salt than the main brands.

sharond101 Sun 08-Sep-13 22:09:53

I do the frozen mash too and serve it with all sorts of leftovers I also freeze for emergency dinners.

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