Baby food doesn’t have to be boring! As Holiday Season sparkles in the air, Umatie share their creative and cooking genius with us. Who says that at family celebrations babies can’t have festive, flavourful dishes too?
We visited Anna and Judi, Umatie’s co-owners, at one of their family kitchens, and they whipped up a storm. Trust us, because the Petit Love team had a taste here and there as well, these dishes are not only mouth-watering but also delightfully simple to make!
1. Anna, what’s your favourite, festive family pastime?
Definitely putting up the Christmas tree – it’s the start of the festive fun in our house! Each year, I create a new “theme and colour scheme” and use that for the tree, the gift wrapping and the handmade cards for my kids. This is the 9th year running!
We’ve collected all sorts of fun things over the years that the kids display with excitement. The birds’ nests get filled with sweeties for Santa. Even though they know by now that he doesn’t exist, they pretend to believe that it’s still for him.
Milk and cookies get put out so that presents can magically appear under the tree. Again, they know it’s me buying and wrapping them, but they’re always honestly surprised when Santa pops in to do a delivery.
Whenever I add a new present under the tree, I’m amazed at how quickly they spot it! How do they know? I also secretly hang a few chocolates in the Christmas tree, which also secretly disappears again! These are the moments I treasure with all my heart.
2. Judi, as far back as you can remember, what was the most scrumptious festive meal you had as a child? (Be it a birthday or another celebration).
My most memorable festive meal was one I cooked myself! Ha Ha!
When I was 12 years old, I cooked an entire Christmas meal, from scratch and on my own, for my mom and dad. Roast chicken with roast potatoes, mixed vegetables and a bread-and-butter pudding to top it off. They were so surprised and impressed! (Not sure whether that was because I cooked it on my own, or because it actually tasted delicious!)
3. What sparked the Umatie idea to create festive baby food dishes for this blog?
Every festive season, food retailers and individual food brands focus on meal plans and ideas for grown-ups. Loads of families will have a little one to feed on these festive days and it made us think, “how can Umatie make these meals special, creative and most of all, easy for parents on celebrations.”
So much cooking is already on-the-go, so these baby food courses encompass our readymade meals. If your baby hasn’t yet tried Umatie, then they’re in for a treat! For existing Umatie eaters, these dishes will add a little variety to their everyday meals.
Cheeky Crumpets | Follow the Recipe
1. What’s most to love about Cheeky Crumpets?
They’re so YUMMY and so EASY to make! They’re a perfect, healthy finger food for babies aged 8 months and older.
2. Are they sweet or savoury?
They’re a savoury starter or finger food for lunch or dinner. Especially for when all the grown-ups are having their festive hors ’d oeuvres.
As an added benefit, our veggie meals have no added salt or sugar, and they’re also free from additives and flavouring. And, there’s only 2 extra ingredients to add to the meal to complete the dish!
Older kiddies can also enjoy these crumpets. It’s a great way to get those veggies into diets! They’re also a yummy option for breakfast.
3. Is there an idea behind pressing the crumpets into shapes?
Yes, we just love it when things are both beautiful and functional. Plus, why not add a little bit of extra stimulation for your baby with creative shapes? They’re also a little bit of magic for their visual and sensory experience.
It can be a fun activity for older siblings to cut out shapes for their little brother or sister! And, we’re sure they’ll enjoy nibbling on them too!
4. Can this dish be made in advance to save time?
Time is of the essence as a mother, especially if you also have to do the catering! Crumpets are a yummy snack to do beforehand because they freeze well too. If you do a bigger batch, you can keep them in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just take out a few crumpets, defrost at room temperature and quickly reheat them in a pan or the microwave.
The Main Course
Hearty Tom Tom Stew | Order from Umatie
1. Why is the Hearty Tom Tom Stew a baby food that little ones love so much?
When Judi was pregnant with her second baby, Heike, she created some of Umatie’s bestsellers. She was craving comfort food. In other words, meals that she wouldn’t usually eat, but meals that were definitely inspired by a baby! Thank you, baby Heike!
Babies love the naturally sweet taste of our Hearty Tom Tom Stew. The dates balance heaps of fresh tomatoes. It’s a truly South African dish (“tamatiebredie”), made specially for small tummies.
2. What’s your serving suggestion for the Hearty Tom Tom Stew?
No need to compliment this meal with anything else! Our tubs of Umatie foodies are balanced and nutritious. The Hearty Tom Tom Stew consists of heaps of fresh tomatoes, the superfood sweet potato, carrots, our own unsalted, preservative-free chicken stock, organic lamb, potato, organic dates, tomato paste, celery and fresh thyme. There’s a also a small amount of our own onion and garlic mix of all the essential flavours for small tastebuds.
3. How old would you recommend babies should be to enjoy this delicious dish?
We’d recommend from 7+ months if your baby started weaning at 6+ months. If your baby started weaning any sooner, just count 4 weeks from when they started and they could also happily enjoy any of our Dinky Dinners.
Fruity Baby Platter | Pop into Petit Love to Pick Up
1. We noticed that pears form part of many of your fruit dishes. Why are they such a wonderful baby food?
Pears are one of the best fruits to eat as part of a healthy diet, that’s why we love using them in our Perfect Purees – fruit meals. Pears are full of vitamins, antioxidants and fibre. They’re great to keep small, growing tummies healthy and regular.
2. Why did you choose a platter for this dessert?
For this special festive meal, we thought a small fruity platter for babies would keep them occupied while everyone else is enjoying their pudding. It’s also another way of adding enough yummy tastes for their small palettes.
3. What’s in this baby food platter?
- 1st Bowl – Frozen yoghurt, drizzled with one of our fruit meals, and topped with a berry!
- 2nd Bowl – Plain yoghurt and our fruit meal on the side, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon (edible flowers optional).
- 3rd Bowl – Mixed Berries. Let them pick and play with the platter for festive fun.
4. Adults’ tastebuds will love this too, right?
YES! We’ve pushed the versatility of our fruit purees and love using them in many different ways.
For a small baby, it’s great to serve a tub for brekkie or lunch. For bigger babies, it’s so yummy to mix with plain yoghurt as a treat during the day and, for even bigger kiddies, it works really well served with a sorbet or to mix with Rooibos tea and make a tasty ice tea. We also love making ice lollies out of them … this can be enjoyed by everyone from baby to adult.
We have loads of parents who can’t wait for their baby “not to finish a meal”, so they can sneak in a bite or two … we just love these reviews!
Too funny and exactly why we started Umatie – “For The Love Of Good Food”!