Tag Archives: Chia

Kids Love Chicken Meatballs

Observing the children who participate in my classes each week, I definitely see lots of patterns emerge about what kids do and don’t like to eat.  These patterns fit in so nicely with the current literature, studies and the tools I demonstrate.  I do find that MEAT is either a “Love it” or “Leave it” for most kids.  Meat is a textural minefield and many of the problems result from how it is prepared.  I obviously don’t cover meat in my classes – I only do fruits and vegetables – however, the routines we learn in class for the fruits and vegetables are directly transferable to your kitchen & table.

I do see children that have had allergies or currently have allergies.  A common allergy is egg.  Did you know that you can substitute egg with chia seeds?  (Well yes, if you have seen my post last week for princess cakes, you would already know this.  The princess cakes are egg & gluten free and are a yummy toddler approved morning tea.)

For those playing at home with the materials I have given you in class and are trying to assist your child overcome a food jag, this is a recipe that you can use if you are transitioning to whole pieces of meat from processed meat (eg. wanting your kids to have chicken breast as opposed to processed chicken nuggets).  It’s also perfect for families that have to consider an egg allergy.   Families should aim to have the one meal and this is a great recipe that will satisfy everyone.  Use the best chicken mince that you can & the texture of the balls will be between that of the chicken nugget & a chicken breast.  You can spice it up as you please (however, remember radically changing the taste profile for food jaggers is the final step in the transition.)

Chia & Chicken Balls | Why they are great for fussy kids | Play with Food


  1. Soak 2tsp of chia seeds in 4tsp of water for at least 10mins until gluggy.
  2. In the meantime, sautee 1 clove of finely chopped garlic & a rasher of finely chopped bacon.
  3. Then once cooked & in a separate bowl, combine the bacon mix, 1/2 cup multigrain breadcrumbs, 2tbsp tomato paste, 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce, chia mix and 350g chicken mince.
  4. Roll into balls & cook in the pan

If you are interested in learning more about our toddler, preschooler or 5-7yo class programs.  Have a look here for our current schedule!

If you have any questions about this recipe, food jagging or just love chicken meatballs – leave me a comment below!

Happy Eating!
Simone Emery

March is Fig Month

Another month, another ingredient challenge….

In March, I set-out to find ways to prepare figs.  I have to admit to a small defeat here.  Although, I have 2 recipes to share with you today, I honestly couldn’t beat my love of fresh figs. One of my all time favourite snacks is fresh figs with ricotta, a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon.  I really love it!  I found that when I cooked the figs they were OK but (for me at least) fresh is best.  During this month I ventured out with my fresh fig uses and tried them with home-made chocolate chia pudding.  And loved fresh figs cut into segments and dipped in passionfruit yoghurt.  My toddler also liked the fresh figs dipped in yoghurt.

The two recipes that I want to share with you this month are: Fig and Chia Blender Bars as well as Fig and Kale Chicken Maryland.

Fig and Chia Blender Bars

Perfect for afternoon snacks (at least 2 hrs before dinner) or lunchboxes!  My toddler LOVED this freshly baked for her afternoon tea.



  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup unprocessed bran (replace with more coconut for gluten free version)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 5 dried figs steeped in 1/2 cup boiled water for 10 minutes  (put all of this in blender including water)
  • 1 fresh fig sliced for top (optional)


Preheat oven to 180oC.  Put all of the ingredients into a blender & whizz.  Pour the mixture into a greased 20cm x 20cm cake tin / pyrex dish.  (Optional: place slices of fresh fig on top to decorate).  Bake for 30mins or until the edges are golden.  Cut into single serve bars.  These will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.   Warning: Chilling the bars does make them denser over time – so for fussy children they may not like them cool even though they enjoyed them fresh.


Fig and Kale Chicken Maryland

Debone the thigh section of 2 chicken Maryland portions. This will give you a pocket of meat that can be stuffed.

For the stuffing, mix together 1 fresh diced fig, the leaves from one stalk of kale (finely chopped) and 2 tbsp of ricotta cheese.  Season the stuffing to your taste with salt & pepper.


Use toothpicks to secure the flesh of the chicken around the stuffing.  Bake at 180oC for 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.



Do you prefer fresh or cooked figs?

You can also use dried figs in place of the mixed dry fruit in this flapjacks recipe.

Here is a link to the list of my monthly challenges – take a peek here to find out what we will be cooking with in upcoming months!

PS – here is a shot of my fresh figs topping my homemade chocolate chia pudding…  I enjoyed that the chia pudding was healthy and had that small hint of chocolate (I went for the no sugar / little cocoa version) but my toddler was not a fan of the chia pudding texture.

Fresh Figs & Chia Pudding