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Once Upon a Christmas | Festive Recipes by Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel is a celebrated author and nutritionist of children's food and has pioneered the way in which parents feed their babies and children across the world. In 2006, Annabel received an MBE for her outstanding contribution in the field of children's nutrition and to date has written and published 45 books. 

In celebration of the festive season, we asked Annabel to put together a collection of fun, nutritional recipes for children. The collection, titled 'Once Upon a Christmas' includes three cute recipes for Christmas parties or just to inject some fun into everyday meals and they're so simple to make that children can join in to double the fun. 
11 Dec 2019


Makes: 1 bowl
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes

Reindeer Porridge:

40g small porridge oats 
275ml milk 

2 blueberries
3 strawberries

• Measure the oats and milk into a small saucepan.
• Stir over the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the oats are cooked and the porridge has thickened. Spoon into a bowl.
• To decorate, make a nose and ears out of the strawberries, add the blueberries for eyes and slice the remaining strawberry into strips to make the antlers.

Snowman Porridge:

40g small porridge oats
275ml milk

1 large banana, sliced
1 blueberry
1 strawberry
1 chocolate writing icing pen
1 kiwi, cut into slices
7 pomegranate seeds
1 dried apricot

• Measure the oats and milk into a small saucepan.
• Stir over the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the oats are cooked and the porridge has thickened. Spoon into a bowl.
• To decorate, make the snowman’s body from 3 slices of banana. Slice half a strawberry to make the hat. Slice the blueberry in half and place on top of the hat to make the bobble. Use the chocolate pen to make the eyes and buttons. Make a small nose out of the apricot.
• To make the Christmas tree, cut the kiwi slices into triangles and arrange on top of the porridge. Use the remaining blueberry half to make the tree base and decorate the tree with baubles created from pomegranate seeds.



Makes: 10 biscuits
Preparation Time:
30 minutes (excluding chill time)
Cooking Time: 25 minutes


140g soft butter
100g dark soft brown sugar
1 medium egg
300g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp allspice
100g black treacle
¼ tsp salt

White icing pen
20 blueberries
10 raspberries

Large gingerbread man cookie cutter

• Measure the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy using an electric hand whisk. Add the egg and whisk again. Add the remaining biscuit ingredients and whisk until the mixture comes together.
• Lightly knead the mixture into a dough, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 160˚C / 350˚/ gas mark 4. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
• Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Stamp out 10 shapes using a gingerbread man cutter. Arrange on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
• Remove from the fridge and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until lightly golden and just firm in the middle. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
• To decorate, turn the gingerbread men upside down. For each ginger biscuit use a little white icing to stick two blueberries in the middle between the gingerbread man’s arms for the reindeer’s eyes. Using a little extra white icing, stick a raspberry on the gingerbread man’s head to make the reindeer’s nose.
• Pipe antlers on the gingerbread man’s legs and a smile under the raspberry nose. Leave to set before serving. Pipe white icing to make the ears.



Makes: 15 burgers
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1 large potato (roughly 300g)
200g courgette, grated
150g carrot, peeled and grated
100g mushrooms, diced
1 leek, chopped
150g white breadcrumbs
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying

Mini burger buns
Cake décor edible eyes
Cherry tomatoes
Cocktail sticks or thin straws

• Prick the potato and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes until soft. Leave to cool, then scoop out the potato flesh into a bowl.
• Put the grated courgette and carrot into clean tea towel. Squeeze out the liquid. Add to the bowl.
• Cook the leek and mushrooms in a saucepan with 1 tsp of oil for 5 minutes until soft and any liquid from the vegetables has been evaporated. Cool and add to the mixture.
• Add 100g of breadcrumbs, thyme, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, Parmesan cheese. Season lightly and mix well.
• Shape the mixture into 15 mini burgers, each around 6cm in diameter, and coat in the remaining breadcrumbs and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
• Heat a frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil. Fry the burgers on both sides for about 8 to 10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Allow them to cool slightly before assembling your mini Rudolphs.
• Spread a little mayonnaise onto the base of each burger bun, then add the lettuce, veggie burger and top of the bun. Add the edible eyes using a little mayonnaise. Attach the tomato nose using a cocktail stick or thin straw and insert the pretzel antlers.
• Remember to remove cocktail sticks before serving to children.

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