I always struggled to get my toddlers to try vegetables beyond peas, carrots and broccoli. We all know how healthy spinach is, but it is next to impossible to get them to enjoy it. I find that if I want my children to try something new, the best way is to get them to cook with it. They will then try things that they never would have tried if I'd just plonked it in front of them. I think it is something to do with them seeing it as a fun activity and feeling in control. This is a wonderfully simple spinach recipe for them to cook, and to test this theory. If you think feta is a step too far for your toddler, use grated cheddar cheese or ricotta instead.
As with all Tickle Fingers recipes, you will find what you need to lay out and prepare first. The idea is to do everything in the 'Adult Prep' section before even getting your child into the kitchen to the 'Together' section. The recipes are intentionally designed this way so they are not having to wait around while you do something. It keeps up the momentum and helps to give them that sense of achievement of doing it all themselves.
- 225g (8oz) frozen spinach
- 60g (1/3 cup) feta cheese
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 3-4 sheets of filo pastry
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
- Thaw spinach & drain through a sieve.
- Finely chop parsley.
- Lay out: ingredients, large mixing bowl, 2 table spoons, child-safe scissors, chopping board or mat, pastry brush & cupcake tray.
- Put spinach, paprika & parsley in bowl.
- Crumble feta into little pieces, add to bowl & mix with tablespoon.
- Lay out 3 sheets of filo on top of each other on a chopping board or mat. Use child-safe scissors to cut out 12 squares (this is a great way to develop fine motor skills, but tricky for a very young toddler - you may need to do this bit for them in advance.)
- Brush olive oil all over each square with pastry brush.
- Place filo squares into cupcake tray & press down in middle to form cups.
- Spoon a tablespoon of spinach mixture into each cup.
Bake in oven for 12 minutes.
(Inspired by Life Lessons by Ziploc's Spanakoptia Cups)