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Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition

We are very proud to be partners with Annabel Karmel, one of the world’s most trusted experts in feeding babies and children. We work in collaboration with Annabel to create bespoke menus that are both delicious and nutritious. We cater for all children under 5, including babies that are weaning, and all special dietary requirements are catered for within our menus. At Fennies, we know how important it is for children to eat balanced and nutritional food and whilst in our care, our mission is to ensure that mealtimes are a memorable and much loved part of the day.

We recognise the importance of introducing a diverse range of delicious flavours to encourage good, healthy eating habits for the future. That’s one of the delights of working in partnership with Annabel; our recipes are loved by the children and we serve food that even the fussiest eaters enjoy.

In this section you will find:

Monthly menus: The current seasonal menus being used at our nurseries
Children’s Favourites: The current favourite meal from the new menus
Recipes to try at home: Try our fabulous recipes yourself
Annabel Karmel: More about Annabel Karmel
Useful Tips: Fennies and Annabel Karmel’s Food and Nutrition; Tips and Advice

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Children’s Favourite

What’s not to love about Macaroni cheese? And this lovely recipe has lots of vegetable goodness. Served in our Summer Menu on a Monday, week one this yummy meal is easy for little hands to eat and is a firm Fennies favourite.

You can make this at home by following the recipe below.

Recipes to try at home

We are often asked by parents for recipes of the children’s favourite meals so that you can recreate them at home.
We have put together a selection of the most requested and favourites for you here.

Please ask your Nursery Manager if there is a particular recipe from our menus that you would like us to share.

Macaroni and Broccoli bake

A Monday favourite and easy to make too! As with the marvelous macaroni and cauliflower cheese recipe (below) it regularly features in our top meals.

Ingredients (Serves 5)

  • 300g broccoli florets
  • 1 TBSP cornflour
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBSP Italian hard cheese
  • 1/4 TSP dijon mustard
  • 200g macaroni

Method

Cook the broccoli for 10-15mins or until soft. Meanwhile put the corn flour in a pan and whisk in the milk. Heat the milk gently, whisking constantly, until it comes to the boil and thickens into a sauce. Simmer for 1min then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and mustard. Blend the sauce with the cooked broccoli. Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions and drain well. Return to the pan and add the sauce and stir well over a low heat for 2mins or until hot.

ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN (Mustard)

Chicken and Potato Pie


A heart-warming yummy pie, enjoyed by Fennies children. It is soft and easy to scoop so a great pie for little hands learning to use a spoon and fork or for preschoolers who have mastered the art.

Ingredients

  • 500 g potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 25 g butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 50 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 15 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 300 g shredded cooked chicken
  • 75 g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to season

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F / Gas 6.
Put the potatoes in cold salted water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Drain and mash with butter, milk and the grated cheeses.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the leek and shallot gently for 8 to 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, then stir in the stock a little at a time, to make a smooth sauce (you may find it easier to do this off the heat).
Stir in the cream, then cook, stirring until the sauce just comes to the boil. Stir in the chicken, peas and parsley, then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and season to taste. Spoon into a one and a half litre dish and top with mash. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes and then finish off for a few minutes under the grill until golden brown. It’s a good idea to place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

ALLERGENS – DAIRY

Funny Bunny Pancakes

We’ve had a lot of requests for our pancake recipe so that you can recreate the fun at home. Here is one of our favourites from Annabel Karmel’s recipes. Great for pancake day, Easter or anytime of the year.

Ingredients

Makes 6 bunnies

  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 125 ml double cream
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • honey or maple syrup

Method
Measure the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, eggs and milk into a mixing bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Heat a little butter and oil in a frying pan. Spoon tablespoons of batter into the pan to make fairly large round pancakes for the body. When bubbles appear, flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side for a few minutes. In the same way, make smaller pancakes for the face and the paws of the rabbit. Continue to cook the pancakes until all the batter is used up, adding more butter and oil to the pan as and when necessary.
Arrange the pancakes on plates to make the shape of a bunny and decorate with slices of banana for the ears and the feet. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then pipe a tail onto each of the bunnies. Drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup.

ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN

Beef Lasagna

A classic recipe and the current favourite as eaten by Fennies children. This recipe is really easy to make and little hands love helping to mix the ingredients and sprinkling the grated cheese on top.

*A top tip for from Lisa, our wonderful chef at Epsom, is to replace the lasagna sheets with Penne pasta for under two’s. It is much easier for them to eat independently when they are learning to use forks and spoons.

Ingredients

BEEF SAUCE

  • OIL
  • 1 ONION CHOPPED
  • GARLIC
  • MIXED PEPPERS
  • 450G MINCED BEEF
  • 1 TSP MIXED HERBS
  • 1 TIN CHOPPED TOMATOES
  • PEPPER

CHEESE SAUCE

  • 50G BUTTER
  • 40G FLOUR
  • 460ML MILK
  • 50G GRATED CHEESE

9 PRE-COOKED LASAGNE SHEETS *or Penne for under two’s.

Method

Sauté onion, garlic, and peppers until softened. Add the beef and the herbs and sauté until the beef is browned. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a medium heat for 30mins.

Meanwhile, to prepare the cheese sauce, melt the butter stir in the flour and cook out for 2mins, gradually whisk in the milk, bring to the boil and whisk until thicken and smooth. Add the pepper, remove from the heat and add the cheese stir until melted.

To assemble the lasagne spoon the meat sauce on the base of an oven dish, cover with lasagne sheets. Divide the remaining meat sauce in half and cover the lasagne with half of the sauce, spoon over a little cheese sauce. Cover with three more sheets of lasagne and cover with the remaining meat sauce. Again spoon over a little cheese sauce, but make sure that enough remains to completely cover the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle over a little grated cheese and cook in the oven for 25-30mins on gas mark 5.

ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN

Marvelous Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese

This is probably one of our all time favourite recipes. So popular with children and parents that it features regularly on our menus. Children love the taste and the hidden cauliflower adds an extra hit of goodness. A great recipe for little hands learning to use spoons or forks.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 200G CAULIFLOWER FLORETS
  • 1 TBSP CORNFLOUR
  • 250ML MILK
  • 55G CHEDDAR CHEESE GRATED
  • 2TBSP ITALIAN HARD CHEESE
  • HALF TSP OF DIJON MUSTARD
  • 185G MACARONI

Method

Cook the cauliflower for 10-15mins or until soft
Meanwhile put the corn flour in a pan and whisk in the milk. Heat the milk gently , whisking constantly,
Until it comes to the boil and thickens into a sauce.
Simmer for 1min then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and mustard.
Blend the sauce with the cooked cauliflower.
Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions and drain well.
Return to the pan and add the sauce and stir well over a low heat for 2mins or until hot.

ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN (Mustard)

Jeweled Pizza

So much fun for little hands. Try making faces, letters or even volcanoes with the toppings.
Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 4 WHEAT TORTILLA WRAPS OR PIZZA BASES
  • TOMATO PUREE
  • MIXED HERBS
  • 200G CHERRY TOMATOES SLICED THINLY
  • 170G GRATED CHEESE
  • JEWELED TOPPINGS – SLICED HAM, SLICED CHICKEN, SWEETCORN AND PEPPERS

Method

Preheat oven gas mark 6
Sit the wraps/pizza base on a baking sheet
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, add cherry tomatoes and cheese
Add lots of lovely jewel toppings, from sweetcorn to peppers, to mushrooms and peas. This recipe is a fun and very easy way to cook with your child. They will love making patterns with the jewels.
Bake in oven for 5-8mins or until golden brown.
ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN

Apricot Cookies

Makes 18 (this is a big recipe that we use at nursery, you will probably only need half, a quarter or less.)
Apricots, cookies, what more do we need to say! This is not a tricky recipe and little hands enjoy mixing the ingredients and putting sticky dough onto the baking tray.

Ingredients

  • 100G UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 100G CREAM CHEESE
  • 75G PLAIN FLOUR
  • 50G CHOPPED APRICOTS
  • 65G WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS

METHOD
Preheat oven gas mark 5
Line baking sheets
In a large bowl cream together butter and cream cheese
Add the sugar and beat until fluffy
Gradually add the flour
Then fold in the apricots and chocolate chips (the dough will be quite soft, don’t worry)
Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto baking tray and bake for about 15 mins until lightly golden brown.
ALLERGENS – DAIRY, WHEAT/GLUTEN, SULPHITES

About Annabel Karmel

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Annabel Karmel is the UK’s No.1 children’s cookery author, best-selling international author, and leading expert on devising delicious, nutritious meals for babies, children and families.

Since launching with The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner 25 years ago, Annabel has written more than 40 books, which have sold over four million copies worldwide.

Credited with starting a food revolution, Annabel has helped parents around the globe with first foods to exploring tastes and textures, and fussy eating to family meals and beyond.

Now Annabel has brought her wealth of expertise and has created healthy and balanced menus for Fennies. Knowing how important it is for children to stay fuelled on the right foods, Annabel’ recipes are packed with all of the important goodness needed to help little ones grow and develop.

To find out more about Annabel and to access lots of free recipes for every age and stage, visit www.annabelkarmel.com.

Fennies and Annabel Karmel’s Food and Nutrition; Tips and Advice

Tips for Weaning
Tips for Managing Fussy Eaters