As parents of young children, it can be hard to find the time and energy to cook. With so many responsibilities competing for your attention, preparing meals often slips to the bottom of the priority list.
After a long day at work or home with the kids, you’d probably rather opt for quick and easy alternatives. This likely means ordering takeaway or relying on frozen or pre-made meals. Although these options can be convenient, they can also be unhealthy and expensive.
Enter the air fryer! The must-have kitchen gadget.
Have you joined the air fryer trend yet? If you have, you’re certainly not alone! Air fryers exploded in popularity during Australia’s lockdowns with 66% of Australians purchasing one in 2020.
If you’re quite new to using one, or you haven’t really experimented with cooking meals in it for your baby, this list of simple ideas you can quickly whip up for bub is for you.
1. Chicken Nuggets
- Preheat the air fryer to 180°C.
- Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces.
- In a shallow dish, mix together a few tablespoons of plain flour and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, making sure they are completely covered.
- In a separate shallow dish, beat 1 egg and dip the flour-coated chicken pieces in the egg.
- Place the egg and flour-coated chicken pieces in a shallow dish with breadcrumbs and press the chicken pieces into the breadcrumbs, making sure they are completely covered.
- Place the crumbed chicken pieces in the air fryer basket and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serving suggestion: Accompany the nuggets with quinoa and steamed frozen or fresh vegetables.
2. Banana/Apple Chips
- Slice the bananas or apples into 1/2 cm slices or fingers.
- Place the banana/apples slices in a shallow dish and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
- Preheat the air fryer to 125 ℃.
- Place the banana/apple slices in the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally, until the banana or apple chips are golden brown and crispy.
- Let the chips cool before serving to your baby.
Serving suggestion: Serve them with yoghurt or porridge to dip the banana into.
3. Zucchini Fritters
- Preheat your air fryer to 125 ℃.
- Grate one large zucchini, and then place it in a tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Empty the grated zucchini into a bowl.
- Add 1 egg, 1/4 cup of plain flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. to the zucchini.
- Mix the ingredients together until they are well-combined.
- Form the zucchini mixture into small patties and place them in the air fryer.
- Cook the fritters for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- Allow the fritters to cool before serving to your baby.
Serving suggestion: Sticks of cucumber, chopped up cherry tomatoes, and avocado slices.
5 bonus suggestions for baby-friendly homemade air fryer meal ideas
- Sweet potato fries
- Veggie nuggets
- French toast fingers
- Quick roasted vegetables
- Fish fingers