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Give your kids a healthy start in life, with these gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free recipes from Mila’s Meals.

Quinoa bites

Vegetarian; for adults too; great for lunchboxes
Makes 12 (using a small muffin pan)Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 cups soaked and cooked quinoa
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup hard goat’s cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch Himalayan or sea salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease a muffin pan with some coconut oil, ghee or butter.
  • Wilt the spinach leaves by placing them in a sieve and pouring boiling water over them. Chop it finely. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and push down with the back of a spoon. These will not rise so fill the muffin pan to the height you would like your quinoa bite to be.
  • Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then place all the quinoa bites on a wire rack until cool enough to eat.
  • Leftover quinoa bites can be frozen for up to one month.
  • To reheat, place them in a warm oven until heated through.

This is a great way to use up left over quinoa, and simple enough to cook from scratch. Quinoa is a nutrient-dense food – a complete protein and a valuable source of healthy fats, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins E and B, fibre and iron. A great way to ensure your child gets a healthy start in life.

Morning glory muffins

Vegetarian; for adults too, great for lunchboxes
Makes 12 baby muffins plus 6 adult ones

  • 2 egg yolks
  •  2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbs coconut sugar (or honey if your little one is older than a year)
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 cup carrots, finely grated or chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely grated or chopped (or 2 baby marrows)
  • ½ cup seedless raisins, finely chopped
  • ½ cup coconut flakes, finely chopped
  • 1 pear/apple cored, and finely chopped
  • ½ cup goat’s milk (or any dairy-free alternative)
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • ½ tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Place the eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar and vanilla powder into a bowl and whisk.
  • Add the carrots, zucchini, raisins, coconut flakes, apple and milk and stir well to combine.
  • In a separate bowl sieve together the flours (quinoa, sorghum, brown rice, potato and tapioca), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, guar gum and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well to form a batter.
  • Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins and bake until cooked through, approximately 15–20 minutes.
  • Allow the muffins to cool slightly in the pan before removing and eating, or leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Place in a container, seal and freeze as soon as they have cooled.

These are a great way to sneak in some veggies. The muffins freeze well for a month. Simply take one out to defrost in the morning and you will have an out-and-about snack ready by mid-morning. Alternatively reheat briefly in an oven, making sure the fruit is not too hot for your little one.

For a healthy start to the day:

Grass green smoothie

Raw; vegetarian; vegan; egg-free; grain-free; for adults too; great for lunchboxes
Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup shredded kale or spinach
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 apple
  • 2 dates, soaked
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup preservative-free coconut milk (or water)
  • ½ cup water
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a sippy cup or straw bottle and serve.

This recipe uses fresh greens, but you can turn any smoothie into a green smoothie by adding a teaspoon of green powder.

This smoothie is a good source of fibre, omega 3s, vitamins A, Bs, C, K and E, manganese, tryptophan, calcium, potassium, magnesium, protein, folate, phosphorous and phytonutrients.

Read more about superfoods for a healthy start in life.

Treats for you sweetie:

Choc-nut fudge

Raw; superfood; vegetarian; vegan; egg-free; grain-free; for adults too; great for lunchboxes
Makes 30 (2cm x 2cm) fudge squares

  • 1 cup dates, soaked and pitted
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup cashew nuts, activated
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp green powder (a mixture of chlorella, spirulina, barley and wheatgrass)
  • a pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
  • ½ cup water
  • Place all the ingredients (except the water) in the food processor and process with an S-blade for a couple of minutes.
  • Gradually add the water while the processor is running until the mixture is smooth. You want to make sure it is not too runny as it will not set – the amount of water you need to add depends on how long you soak your dates for. The longer they have soaked (and the more water they are retaining), the less water you need to add to the mixture.
  • Scoop the mixture into a shallow dish lined with baking paper.
  • Place in the fridge and allow to set – this takes approximately 1 hour.
  • Cut the fudge into squares and serve.
  • If there is any left over, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks (due to the nature of coconut oil, the fudge will soften when it stands at room temperature).

The fudge is packed with nutrients and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and general body nourishing properties. It is a great source of healthy fats, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, protein, iron, fibre, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A, Bs, C and K, folate and choline.

Dairy-free ice cream

Raw; vegetarian; vegan; egg-free; for adults; great for lunchboxes
Makes 1 litre and serves 6 to 8 adults


  • 800ml (2 cans) preservative-free coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup xylitol or honey
  • 2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 Tbs kefir (optional)

Flavour variations

  • Pureed strawberries
  • Chocolate – 3 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Minty green – 1 drop of food grade peppermint oil, 1 Tbs spinach or kale juice


  • Place the coconut milk and arrowroot powder in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to the boil while stirring continuously. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken – it should be the consistency of thick syrup.
  • Add the xylitol or honey and vanilla and stir until it has combined well.
  • Add any additional flavours at this stage.
  • Transfer the ice cream mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and allow to cool (this could take up to 4 hours in the fridge, so perhaps do this overnight).
  • Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, add the kefir and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Serve immediately in bowls or transfer to a freezer-safe container and keep frozen until ready to serve.

There are no synthetic ingredients or high quantities of genetically modified sugars in this ice cream. The main ingredient (coconut milk) has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial benefits, everything you need for a healthy start to life. It contains high amounts of beneficial fat – including lauric acid, a type of fat rarely found in nature, which can only otherwise be found in breast milk. Other nutrients found in coconut milk include vitamins B, C and E, iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

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About the book

This book is a call to action for every parent to be conscious of what they are feeding their little ones, providing a guideline on how to ensure they have healthy start in life as effectively and effortlessly as possible. If you are a new mom, if your child has food allergies or intolerances;.if you plan to raise your children on a “free-from” diet; or if you want to  educate yourself nutritionally, then this is the book for you. Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics is self-published by Catherine Barnhoorn,  available from