Easy Eating

Easy Eating

Since becoming a mum, I have come to realise that culinary skills are a must have. Now for me, this is a very scary concept. I am not a talented chef nor do I claim to be. My daughter is now 16 months old so cooking a family meal that we can all eat is important to me.

Recently, someone suggested I try one of the ‘Maggi: So Juicy’ packets to cook with. They were described to me as ‘quick, easy and simple’ and that they are ideal for someone such as myself that finds cooking a daunting task. I have also heard from other mothers that their children are able to get involved, as the instructions are easy to follow and not too long. I thought they sounded great, so over the past few weeks I’ve decided to pick up a few with my shopping and see just how easy they are.

Firstly, decide what meat you want to use. I normally use chicken breast pieces as I feel they work best and my daughter loves chicken in any meal. If they’ve been in your freezer, make sure they are fully defrosted before you start cooking. The packets for these mixes are in two sections; the first has a plastic bag to put everything into while the second holds the flavouring.

Open up the bag and place the meat inside. Make sure there are no pieces on top of each other. Now, open the part of the packet that contains the flavouring mix. You only need to open it enough to sprinkle the mixture on to the meat. Shake it over the meat pieces, but try not to pile it all in one spot! This part can be fun for older children to help with and can be a great, practical activity for them.

The packet comes with a small red tie. I found these a little bit fiddly at first but this may just be my general clumsiness! If you look closely, one end has a hole in it. This is to thread the other end trough so that the bag stays tied up securely during the cooking process. Tie this around the opening of the bag. Try not to do it too close to the end as it may fall off while cooking as I discovered one afternoon!

Once this is done, roll the bag around a few times. I usually let my daughter help with this part as she finds watching the bag fog up with the mix quite funny and it’s also a really great way to get her involved and interested in cooking at a young age. Do this continuously for about 2 minuets for the best effect, or alternatively, until your child has had enough! Place the bag into a large, ovenproof dish such as the ones you use for shepherd’s pie.

They only take around 20 minutes to cook, with the preparation beforehand having taken no more than 5 minutes, during which time you can spend some extra time with your child. Since being at university, I find this extra time blissful as it allows me to catch up on what she has done during the day.

Once cooked, take the dish out of the oven and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes. This allows the flavours to soak in a little more before serving and also allows you a couple of extra minutes to finish any vegetables or sides you may have for the meal. To serve, you can either try to untie the bag (not always a wise choice) or you can cut a gap in the top with a pair of scissors. I find using the scissors easier and quicker. When this is done, you simply dish it out onto the plate and enjoy!

These meals are suitable for children and I have been using them for some of my daughter’s meals over the past few weeks and she loves them! I think they give her the chance to taste a range of different flavours and textures that I feel at 16 months, are vital.

I have found these packets a great way to take away some of the stress of cooking for everyone.

Easy Eating

Creator and writer for the Young Mummy Survival Guide, a blog aimed at helping younger mothers from the view of a younger mother. Currently studying PR, media and marketing in Canterbury, Kent.

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