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Share your top tips for toddler meals and snacks with Organix: you could win £100 NOW CLOSED

(65 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Jan-14 09:38:59

We've been asked by baby and toddler food brand Organix to find out your top tips and advice for feeding toddlers throughout the day both at meal times and snack times (please think about main meals and snacks for each question).

So we'd like you to think about your toddling child aged approx 1 to 3 years (or think back if yours are now older) and share....

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

Share your thoughts, tips and advice on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 voucher for Love2Shop.

Please note your tips and comments may be used elsewhere by Organix.

Thanks,

telsa Mon 13-Jan-14 10:08:28

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
loved carrots, avocado, mashed sweet potato, broccoli, raw or cooked, rice cakes, humous, chicken drumsticks, babybel cheeses, strawberries, toasted seaweed, sushi, cheery tomatoes

not so successful with grapes, raisins

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
ate all meals with grownups at usual times and had little snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
Happy to offer any food at any time. We were out and about a lot, so the foods that were portable, or provided by play groups, were the favoured ones. Was always conscious of sugar content, so sometimes calculated when the next teeth brushing or gum brushing would be.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Eat with them,. Show they that you enjoy food and do not be guilty about eating things - eat rich things in moderation but love them. Stick largely to mealtimes and don't graze all day - neither them nor you. Talk a lot at the table - eating should be a social event.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
I was surprised by the extent to which they showed preferences so early on - one will not eat tomatoes at all, the other cannot get eough.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jan-14 10:14:49

DS always ate the same things as us, and never had baby/toddler food specifically.

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
He's always eaten just about anything tbh - loved sushi from the first time he met it, adores noodles and chinese food. Only dislike is mushrooms and very spicy food.
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast at 7, snack at 10, lunch at 12, snack at 2.30, tea at 5/5.30
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
No particular thought process, just put off fizzy drinks as long as possible
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Give them lots of opportunity to try new things, and model trying new foods
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler
That it was no problem at all!

majjsu Mon 13-Jan-14 13:53:13

Toddler enjoyed - fresh fruit and vegetables. Her favourite snacks were breadsticks, crackers, rice cakes and raisins. Liked a lot of finger foods.

Did not like - salad.

Routine - ate meals with adults at table. Treats were picnics. Snacks were mid morning and afternoon.

Top tips - let them have fun with their food, offer variety and colour. Eat the same as them if you can and share with them.
-
Surprises - even if she said yukky 20 times, she would then change her mind and like it.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 13-Jan-14 13:57:51

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
My toddler loves cheese, bread, tomatoes, grapes, pasta, sausages and roast potatoes.
She doesn't like vegetables.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
She loves breakfast cereals - rice krispies / cornflakes / porridge / weetabix or toast with cheese & sausages then fruit.
She's often hungry again mid-morning and looks for more fruit / cereal / toast.
She usually eats well at lunch time, but doesn't eat much in the evening, so usually has tea around 4 and sometimes a small snack before bed.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I try to offer variety, but she's very reluctant to try anything new at home (eats much better at nursery)

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Get them involved with the food shopping and preparation.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
That she's so much more willing to try new things for other people and that she enjoys spicy food.

PavlovsCats Mon 13-Jan-14 14:43:59

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

Anything in pastry! So loves quiche although will not eat eggs or cheese any other time.
And fish - if he has the option of whatever he wants to eat, will choose fish so given the combination of the two loves salmon en croute!

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?

Has toast and fruit for breakfast (occasionally porridge), usually some sort of sandwich and fruit/veg sticks for lunch and whatever we're having for dinner if suitable, will have maybe 1 snack

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

We offer him pretty much anything (bar nuts) usually if we're eating them so he can have 'a little taste'

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

Don't stress (easier said than done!) about them not eating, offer it to them, make one or two encouraging remarks "are you going to have a big bite?" etc and if not, take it away with no fuss.
Offer a variety of food, eat with them so they see you modelling good behavior and get them involved in making it

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

How some days they'll have 3 bits of an apple and a cup of milk all day despite your best efforts and the next day they'll eat like they've never seen food before! It all balances out though

What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

Loves porridge, weetabix, toast and raisins. Surprisingly not keen on fruit and will reject a banana.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Eats all meals at the table with the family, drinks lots of milk and water throughout the day. Sometimes has a snack on the bus to stop him screaming the place down.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

Steer clear of foods that are too full of salt and sugar.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

Eat together, eat with the child, keep the food interesting, Finger food preferred over spoonfuls of mush.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

How different he is to his sister even though they are offered the same things

Ellisisland Mon 13-Jan-14 14:52:37

My toddler is more sensitive to texture than taste I think. Loves potatoes, veg, mince, rice, pasta. Will eat most things but won't eat chicken unless cut into tiny pieces and loves apples, pears and most fruit apart from oranges

Daily routine is breakfast of weetabix and fruit. Snack of a cracker and apple. Main meal is still at lunch of cottage pie with veg. Afternoon snack of fruit pot or yoghurt. Dinner of rice and veg or some similar 'lighter' meal

I like to offer fruit as often as I can as a snack before anything else. He only drinks water so not too worried about excess sugars in fruit. I make savoury vegetable muffins which he also likes and I use that as a snack option as well.
I still keep his main meal at lunch as he never seems to sleep well if he has to heavy a meal at dinner.

Top tip: they will eat more variety than you think so have a wide variety. But at snack time he gets two choices of what he can have and no more this stops him trying to go for the biscuit tin !

I have been surprised at how much he eats! But also that he will eat most things. I am enjoying this phase for as long as it lasts smile

gwenniebee Mon 13-Jan-14 15:12:57

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

She enjoys a really good variety of stuff. Particular favourites include berries and soft fruits in the summer, banana, pear, lentils, marmite (actually, lots of strong flavours go down well - smoked salmon, curry etc too). Inevitably she also loves cakes and biscuits....

Doesn't go down so well - "joined up meat" - she'll have mince, or sausages but only recently has managed pieces of meat, even if it's been really mushily casseroled. She's had pain from teething almost constantly for nearly a year now though and I think this has to do with it.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?

Breakfast - home made muesli or porridge and fruit, sometimes a mid morning snack of a fruit bar or biscuit, lunch - soup or eggs or whatever we're having, mid-afternoon snack of raisins or something, hot meal in the evening often of our leftovers from the night before, spag bol, fish, pasta etc or home made chicken burgers or similar.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

I'm very conscious of what she's supposed to have to keep her healthy - protein, carbs, omega 3 etc etc. So, for example, a morning snack is almost always fruit based, and then for her afternoon snack I'll let her have a "treat" like a digestive biscuit because by then I know we're on the way to getting her 5-a-day. Equally, though, I want her to have a healthy relationship psychologically with food, so nothing is "banned" - she can have treats and enjoy them, but she is learning that it's not what you eat all the time.

I guess one thing I have made a conscious decision not to do is to let her have squash to drink (although she does at the cm's) and she doesn't yet have neat chocolate or sweets - she may have a choc button on a gingerbread man but I wouldn't give her a packet of them.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

Let them eat with you - we eat together at breakfast and lunch and dd loves the company. Unfortunately work means we don't eat together in the evening. Let them see you cooking. Dd sits in her chair and "helps" by stirring with a wooden spoon in an empty measuring jug, or she just likes to watch (and commentate!).

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

I've been surprised by the tastes she will tolerate - strong ones. I've also been surprised by the "ups and downs". We had three weeks of her hardly eating due to springing 6 new teeth, and then three weeks of her eating more than we did (to make up for lost time, I suppose!). This is normal, but I wasn't prepared for it.

I've been surprised by how enjoyable it is to sit around a table with a toddler and enjoy food together. A bit messy, certainly, but fun!

Jinty64 Mon 13-Jan-14 15:53:17

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
My toddlers particularly enjoyed finger foods and things they could feed themselves. They have all disliked being spoon fed.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Toast, fruit and yogurt for breakfast, oatcakes, pitta bread, crusty bread with crudités and houmus for lunch with homemade flapjack or pancake and meat, fish, eggs and accompaniements for dinner with a milk pudding. They eat good meals so rarely need snacks. Occasionally grapes or melon mid morning.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
As above really. They mostly ate organic food and sweets, juice etc. onli at parties

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Sit with them and chat. No TV or distractions. Mine don't need much help to focus on food

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
Some of the things they will eat. Spicy food, game etc.

WaitingForPeterWimseyNow Mon 13-Jan-14 17:02:26

DS loved prawns. Hated any commercial baby foods - we did blw and had a pouch once (not organix) when we moved house - he just wouldn't eat it!

KnitActually Mon 13-Jan-14 17:15:28

cheese
cheese sticks
cheese strings
babybel

can you see the pattern here?

also fruit
tangerines
bananas
apple (only cutted up)winkwink
grapes

that is all grin

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
He likes anything he can hold in his own hands and eat himself. He particularly likes Organix rice cakes and the carrot stix. In fact, carrot stix were our saviour when weaning. If he wouldn't eat anything else he would always eat those. He also likes 'real' carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, wraps with melted cheese, still frozen peas (weirdo! I think they felt good on sore teeth) The older he gets, the more he likes. He'll eat pretty much anything now he's 2.5.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
He's a grazer like his parents. 'Little and often' would probably be his mantra. Generally toast in the morning, cheese/crackers for a snack, a sandwich and some fruit at lunch, fruit or raw veg in the afternoon and then whatever we're having in the evening.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
We try to offer things that are healthy, but strongly believe that anything is fine in moderation. When I was pregnant we saw a family at a street food stall in Barcelona and the kids were ordering all manner of random tapas. They're our food heroes! We hope that DS is as adventurous as he gets older.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Get a fishtank! We were really struggling to get him to sit at the table so we bought a fishtank. Now he feeds the fish then sits at the table and watches them while he eats his own food. We've also done all the standard things like cutting toast into interesting shapes and arranging patterns of veggies on a plate.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
The range of things he likes but how quickly he changes his mind. Something can be his favourite one day and 'nasty yack' the next, or 'nasty yack' one minute and 'yum' the next.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 13-Jan-14 19:37:11

What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

She loves nearly everything, although we go through stages of not liking things. Vegetables were avoided, despite me putting them on her plate nearly every day for what felt like months, only to throw them away. Absolute favourites have been yoghurt, grapes and tangerines.

What's your toddler's daily food routine like?

Big breakfast. Aged 2.5 she has weetabix and toast, and sometimes fruit, or crumpets. Mid-morning snack, big meal for lunch, afternoon snack, then a lighter tea.

Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

I avoid sugary foods, apart from the odd bit of chocolate. I prefer natural yoghurts rather than flavoured sweet ones. I try to offer a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. I also try to avoid chicken nuggets etc unless as a treat.

What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

Eat with them - let them see how you eat and your enjoyment. Make the plate fun. I have used ideas from the Internet about making faces with food, making it colourful etc.

What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

That she will happily eat really spicy foods, including my super hot chilli com carne.

That something she loves one week (e.g. peas) can be then hated for weeks, then loved again.

TheGreatHunt Mon 13-Jan-14 19:40:57

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

Meals: Finger foods eg homemade pizza, pasta, chips, chunks of vegetables, homemade chicken nuggets, meatballs, cubes of fish. Basically anything they could pick up. What didn't go down well was anything mixed up eg casseroles, soups, bolognaise, fish pies.

Snacks: cubes of cheese, yoghurts, fruit pouches, crackers (especially water crackers!) and avocado goes down well.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like? Two snacks a day and three meals a day. Pretty much at the same times each day.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them? I offer filling snacks when we're having lighter meals or if they've not had much food. I try and give a filling breakfast. Rarely toast or cereal as it doesn't fill them up. Porridge is the best. I give fruit throughout the day if they ask.
I minimise sweet snacks eg cakes/biscuits

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general? Let them help. Also keep portion sizes very small. Try meals like fajitas where they can help themselves to food from serving bowls. And eat while they do to take the pressure off. My daughter eats much better if I don't stare at her and cajole her into eating.
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler? That they can have the tiniest meal and be fine. Also they can put away loads on other occasions!

Featherbag Mon 13-Jan-14 19:43:54

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

Disappointingly he loves junk and hates vegetables, so we've had to get creative, eg making 'chips' out of veg roasted with spray oil. But he absolutely LOVES fruit and will eat as much as we'll give him!

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?

He's 2, so it changes daily, food is offered at the same times but he may or may not choose to eat it! He's offered meals at about 7.30, 12.30 and 5.30, with fruit in between and if he hasn't eaten well occasional flapjacks etc.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

I offer foods based on the likelihood of him eating them! So whether he's known to like them, whether he's napped, what else he's eaten. I always make sure he gets at least 5 different fruit and veg each day, although it's usually more, so if it's getting to tea time and he's been difficult with food, I'll think of ways of hiding beg in his favourite food to make sure he's getting plenty.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

Remove distractions, make sure naps have been had where necessary, eat with your child (much higher chance of DS finishing his meal if I'm sitting eating the same at the table), don't make a fuss if something's not eaten but encourage good behaviour - praise use of cutlery for example.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

His force of will! And how long he can go without eating if he's decided he doesn't want to.

LaTrucha Mon 13-Jan-14 19:45:10

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well? Mixtures are not popular. Strong tasting foods like parmesan and pesto are.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like? Three meals and two snacks every day. One snack is fruit, one snack is a treat.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them? One of my children does not like cooked vegetables, so I offer them raw to them both as I am cooking. it gets vegetables in their helathiest state into their diet and stops them mithering while I cook.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general? I have one very fussy child and one who eats most things. I find mealtimes are much better now I focus on things like manners (not getting dwon from the table etc) rather than chivvying them to eat.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler? They take a very long time to eat, which is healthier than the way I wolf things down, if a little frustrating. My one big lesson is that when my daughter says she is not hungry, she really means it. When she is sickening for something, she stops eating, goes to bed early and usually gets up right as rain in the morning. I wish i could do it like her.

missorinoco Mon 13-Jan-14 21:28:20

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

Food he can pop into his mouth.
Cheese chunks, raisins, breadsticks for snack times. He ate well at meals, although pasta with sauce was only a hit until he reached about 18 mins when we hit a sauce segregation issue.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Three meals a day, plus snacks. I try to drop the snacks around aged 4, so they aren't a habit.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

I try to keep chocolate and sweet biscuits as a treat. Which means post Christmas he stalks around daily demanding "Treat, Mummy. No, not that one, treat!"
I missed the boat with fish, especially tuna, which I should have introduced when he was wee. Fish and chips and fish fingers is my lot at the moment.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Try to make it a meal rather than a one man appreciation band. They definitely eat better with siblings and other people, but also pick up siblings ideas for food. My youngest stopped eating cream cheese with pasta when he realised his older sister didn't like it.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?

Dry pasta (as in no sauce rather than dried). Really? You really want it twice today and then tomorrow again? And dry crackers for a snack. Bleugh.

sharond101 Mon 13-Jan-14 21:31:03

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well? DS 19mo loves peanut butter on sandwiches. he also adores a roast dinner and custard with fruit.
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like? He is a good eater, 2 weetabix with fruit for breakfast, sandwich at lunch and meat, veg and carb dinner followed by custard and fruit.
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them? I try to offer fruit or vegetables at every meal as i want him to expect them as part of his diet. I don't offer chocolate yet.
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general? Don't sweat the small stuff, it will come together eventually. Have fun with it.
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler? How much he can eat in a sitting.

BellaVida Mon 13-Jan-14 21:34:21

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
For meals at this age they all loved white fish. Favourite was grilled or dusted in flour and lightly fried in olive oil. They also loved rice and pasta dishes and vegetables, especially sweetcorn. For snacks they loved fruit of any kind or raw veg, especially strawberries, blueberries, melon, tomato and carrot sticks. They also happily snacked on corn cakes, oat cakes, breadsticks.
I don't recall anything they didn't particularly like, but with one of them it was more about consistency than flavour.
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, milk at bedtime.
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them? We didn't give our children any meat or poultry as toddlers, but they have all been steadily introduced to stronger flavours. Otherwise we never said they couldn't try something, but never forced them to either.
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general? Eat together whenever possible, try a variety of foods and keep mealtimes pressure free and enjoyable.
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
All of them have had good appetites, have not been fussy eaters and have a real willingness to try new foods. I expected more battles!

It won't win me a prize from a baby food manufacturer, but we just gave normal adult food and encouraged her to try new tastes. We have never made special food, and if she doesn't eat what is in front of her we don't make a fuss. The only concession is a mid afternoon snack of fruit and protein, usually cheese, as it is too long between lunch and dinner for her tiny stomach.

Our top tip for getting a toddler to eat healthily is to start at birth. Our daughter has always sat with us at the table, we would take turns to hold her and she was given a spoon as soon as she could grip, even though it was a while before she was weaned. We also don't stress about food, she won't starve if she misses a meal.

It won't win me a prize from a baby food manufacturer, but we just gave normal adult food and encouraged her to try new tastes. We have never made special food, and if she doesn't eat what is in front of her we don't make a fuss. The only concession is a mid afternoon snack of fruit and protein, usually cheese, as it is too long between lunch and dinner for her tiny stomach.

Our top tip for getting a toddler to eat healthily is to start at birth. Our daughter has always sat with us at the table, we would take turns to hold her and she was given a spoon as soon as she could grip, even though it was a while before she was weaned. We also don't stress about food, she won't starve if she misses a meal.

It won't win me a prize from a baby food manufacturer, but we just gave normal adult food and encouraged her to try new tastes. We have never made special food, and if she doesn't eat what is in front of her we don't make a fuss. The only concession is a mid afternoon snack of fruit and protein, usually cheese, as it is too long between lunch and dinner for her tiny stomach.

Our top tip for getting a toddler to eat healthily is to start at birth. Our daughter has always sat with us at the table, we would take turns to hold her and she was given a spoon as soon as she could grip, even though it was a while before she was weaned. We also don't stress about food, she won't starve if she misses a meal.

iwantavuvezela Tue 14-Jan-14 10:16:53

So we'd like you to think about your toddling child aged approx 1 to 3 years (or think back if yours are now older) and share....

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?

All types of snack food where enjoyed! Raisons, bread sticks, apples, organix crisps, rice cakes, grapes, nuts - especially pistachios (actually most fruit) where all enjoyed. Although now that I realise how bad raisens are for teeth, i would probably not have given so much!

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?

3 meals a day, snacks when needed!

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?

I use snacks when travelling, when out and about, and will offer them either as a distraction or when child is hungry. I try and choose as wide a range of foods as I could, from fresh dates, to anything I could see, or learn from other mums what they would use. I had no real guidelines, although would always try and be healthy! Not always possible as they got older and would try and share my cake and not be fobbed off as easily with a rice cake!

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?

They eat less than you think! Use a small plate, and dont put too much on it.
Toddlers (even older kids) still like food placed in funny shapes like faces!
Small bowls on the table with little things like chopped carrots, red peppers, sweetcorn that they can help themselves to.
Try food in different ways, sometimes it is about the texture not the food, so for e.g. my child loves butternut in soup but not baked in the oven.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
The mess! How could so much food end up in the highchair almost never to be recovered except with a hammer and a chisel! That it was easier than I thought, not to stress about it.
I also tried to look at what they ate over a week, rather than a day!

Thurlow Tue 14-Jan-14 14:18:11

What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Most things, actually. Anything too spicy or acidic (like kiwis or tomatoes) didn't go down too well, but most other things are happily tried. Given a choice, though, she would live on bananas, yoghurts and toast and jam. She's not given a choice grin On the whole she adores fruit and will eat almost any fruit. Fish hasn't been a big success yet.

What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Milk as soon as she wakes up, a biggish breakfast about 8.30, lunch about 12, milk and a snack about 3, dinner about 5.30, milk at bedtime. Surprisingly she's not an enormous snacker and will happily go from breakfast to lunch without anything inbetween.

Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I offer a lot more vegetables than we (adults) actually eat, as I'm conscious about making sure she has a healthier and more rounded diet than we do. Crisps are given in small portions with lunch on occasion but that's it. For snacks we try and keep it to oatcakes, dates, nuts and similar rather than biscuits or sweets. Sweets and chocolate are very rarely given at the moment - I'm not particularly anti them, I just don't see the point in offering them when your child will be just as excited at the thought of an oatcake.

What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
- Don't make a fuss about anything. If they eat, they eat; if they don't, they don't. But if they don't eat, make sure that any replacement food you have to offer later isn't remotely exciting.
- Keep offering something they don't like, as it can take them a while to figure out if they like something new
- Once they have a grasp of the language, introduce the idea of trying one bite of everything. It's not worth pushing that to the extreme and ending up in tantrums (learnt that the hard way!) but maybe 8/10 it does work. Praise them when they have that one bite, name the food so they might recognise it again, and then immediately let them get down or have pudding, whatever you've promised.
- Experiment with how they eat. Turns out that our toddler eats best when ignored (obviously you're around to monitor any choking etc). Sharing mealtimes with the family is sometimes a distraction to her. She often has dinner on her own as the time she wants it doesn't coincide with the time we eat, and if she's sitting at the table on her own while we doing some cleaning, she eats incredibly well.

What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
As above, that she eats better alone. Also that she loves kidneys! But the biggest surprise was that she hated BLW. It's sold as the best thing ever but she didn't like it at all - when she wanted food, she wanted food quickly and so she wanted spoon-feeding for a lot of things. This hasn't made the slightest bit of difference to how she is eating at the age of 2.

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