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Recipes for fun food the whole family can enjoy, from soft foods and purees to toddler treats finger foods and family meals.

These are our favourite fun foods from Mealtimes Made Fun.

Crudité platter

serves 2

  • 4 baby carrots, washed
  • 2 florets cauliflower, washed
  • 2 florets broccoli, washed
  • 4 mini corn spears, washed
  • your choice of dip

1. Lightly steam all the vegetables for 10–15 minutes until they’re soft but still crunchy.
2. Pour the dip into an interesting container and serve alongside the veggies.


  • 1 x 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until a creamy paste has formed. Serve with the crudité platter.


  • 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 60ml (¼ cup)
  • Greek yoghurt 60ml (¼ cup)
  • sour cream 60ml (¼ cup)
  • finely grated cucumber
  • a pinch of chopped, fresh dill

1. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and garlic together in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the yoghurt and the sour cream until smooth.
3. Add the olive oil mixture to the yoghurt mixture, stirring until well combined.
4. Finally, stir in the cucumber and dill. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Popular dip options that require less effort are plain yoghurt, chunky cottage cheese and smooth plain cottage cheese.

Cheesy biltong wheels

serves 4

  • 50ml salted butter
  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 100ml Marmite or Bovril
  • 160ml (⅔ cup) grated cheddar cheese
  • 125ml (½ cup) biltong shavings

1. Spread the butter over both sides of each slice of bread. Spread Marmite or Bovril over one side of each slice of bread and sprinkle with the cheese.
2. Roll each slice up tightly over the cheese filling to resemble a Swiss roll. Cut into 2cm wheels.
3. Roll the wheels in the biltong shavings and serve (the biltong should stick to the butter).

Hint: This is an easy and healthy snack to serve at children’s parties.

Find finger snack ideas for babies and toddler here.


makes 4 baby portions

  • 250ml (1 cup) samp, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 375ml (1½ cups) sugar beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 750ml (3 cups) water ½ onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced 1 tomato, diced
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable stock powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt 5ml (1 tsp) mild curry powder (optional)

1. Place the samp, beans and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the saucepan and cook for approximately 3 hours, checking every 30 minutes that the water hasn’t cooked away (add more water if it has). When the samp and beans are soft there must be about 1 cup of water left in the saucepan (add or drain accordingly).
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for a further 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. This is a lovely late afternoon or early evening winter meal.

Also read fun fruit ideas to encourage healthy eating.

About the book

Mealtimes Made Fun by Debbie Wareham and Kim Jurgens contains over 120 healthy, delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes for fun food, using only South African ingredients.  The authors also give ideas for healthy children’s party snacks. The book is jam-packed with everything you need to cook for your family. Mealtimes Made Fun is available at all good bookstores.