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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,

Kveta Tue 14-Jan-14 14:40:34

my toppest tip for getting a reluctant toddler to eat something is the 'muffin tin' meal. Simply take a standard 6 or 12 cup cake tin, and put something small in each cup - breadsticks, cheese cubes, dried fruit, fresh fruit, rice cakes, crisps, fresh veg, and one cup should have something sweet in it (biscuit or chocolate).

My two have never yet failed to clear a muffin meal grin

marmitecat Tue 14-Jan-14 18:14:56

I gave all of mine normal adult food. For vegetables I would sometimes offer a puree as a dipping sauce for toast but that's about the limit in terms of babifying the food.

I never gave them snack food. Many of the packaged toddler food is high in sugar - the packets all say no added sugar but the manufacturers use concentrated fruit juice or honey instead which is the same thing. I won't let a rice cake cross my threshold. We do have bread sticks in the house though.

I feed them three meals plus afternoon snack. My middle dc is fussy but the others aren't. My top tip is to eat at the table and avoid snacking at irregular times. It surprised me all 3 like spinach and my eldest loves bitter tastes like coffee. My 3yo loves lentils. My 6yo would live off cheese sandwiches if given the chance so we haven't been lucky with everything.

JoanneNDubz Tue 14-Jan-14 19:14:16

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Mash and fish and beans is enjoyed very much.
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
As organised as possible,try to feed at a similar time each day so they get used to it.
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
If they don't like it at first try again in a few days,if the same happens try in a week or more.
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
No distractions make sure there not over tired,hot is the best way and just try,if they don't want to eat don't make a fuss they will never intentionally starve themselves it just means there not hungry,don't be tempted to give them sweets if they won't eat as they will play on it.
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How they try nearly everything with little fuss and the noises they make when they like something is brilliant.

unadulterateddad Tue 14-Jan-14 20:37:45

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Anything on my plate went down well, especially colourful vegtables
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
- was pretty free form - didn't do specific mealtimes, worked on the if hungry then feed..
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
DS got to choose what to eat from my plate - did the whole blw thang.
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Don't stress about food !!!
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How they are perfectly capable of dealing with complex textures and managing their own eating patterns

sarahbanshee Tue 14-Jan-14 22:11:27

What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
- Pasta or noodles of any kind, prawns, yogurt, cherry tomatoes and all fruit have been consistent big hits with both of mine.
- Neither of mine have been all that keen on red meat. 2yo loathes cheese, eggs, and cows' milk (like me!)

What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
- Breakfast about 7.30, usually porridge or toast and fruit. Snack about 10.30, lunch about 12.30, snack as soon as she wakes from her nap (about 3.30 usually), dinner about 6.
- She eats loads of breakfast and lunch, often not so much in the evening.

Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
- I try to feed the kids much the same as we eat although weekday evenings we often have to eat separately as we both work.
- In the week I only offer yogurt or fruit for pudding - at the weekend we sometimes have a 'real' pudding. But pudding isn't offered as a reward for eating your main, it's part of the meal.

What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
- Mine have always eaten better if they've 'helped' make dinner or been around when I'm cooking and tried things while I'm preparing them.
- Toddlers are not consistent - if something doesn't go down well the first time, try it again a few times and it might go down better. Equally don't be surprised if something is a massive hit and you make it again only to find it doesn't get touched!
- Don't ever say "you won't like it" - if they want to try something, let them. Even if it's hot spice it may go down better than you expect.

What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
- How much they like meat on the bone - chicken wings or drumsticks are massively more successful than chicken breast.
- How much they like stronger tastes than I might expect - olives and spicy sausage have been hits

JoinTheDots Wed 15-Jan-14 10:19:21

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

Foods she really liked were bread sticks, cucumber sticks, toast, chunks of apple or pear, yoghurt (if supervised!), corn based crisps designed for toddlers, and satsuma segments.
Foods she did not like as much as I thought she would were raisins, grapes, banana, chunks of raw pepper or carrot, little biscuits designed for children (like animal shapes and gingerbread men), oat biscuits and cheese chunks.

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

Eats meals with parents (so breakfast 8am, lunch 12 noon and dinner 6pm) with a mid morning and mid afternoon snack offered, fruit always available.

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

I try to offer foods I know will keep her going through the day, so some carbs for energy, as well as trying to get at least the 5 a day portions of fruit and veg, balancing with protein, dairy and fat. I do not offer foods which are high in sugar or overly processed because I do not think this will be healthy for her. I offer foods which we eat as a household, so she is not going to learn to want special foods I have to prepare just for her, and I offer foods which are easy to prepare and clean up after as she can be a messy eater. The times of the food are set around the meals we eat, so the snacks are the only ones I have to put thought into, and that depends on what we are doing for the day, it can be helpful if the snack is very portable and can be taken with us or eaten on the go (therefore, dry, not messy, not requiring refrigeration).

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

Make sure they are hungry when it is time to sit down for a meal, and if you can, eat as a family so they are wanting to copy you. Try to build in variety, but keep a note of favourites so you can include them regularly and keep enthusiasm up for eating. Try not to get stressed or upset if they do not eat a lot during one meal, look at what they eat over a day, or a week, and it is probably loads.

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

Just how messy they can be, and how hard it is to get tomato soup out of eyebrows. How much they are able to put away one day, compared to hardly eating anything the following day. How fickle they can be, loving something one week, and they deciding they hate it the next.

Geniene Wed 15-Jan-14 11:00:58

My toddler is 18 months and a big eater - yay!!!

Likes and dislikes - He is a little fussy on texture though, it takes him a few attempts to like even the most basic things like spaghetti, because of it's texture. I am lucky because he loves blueberries and broccoli, which are super healthy so I try to include those, as well as other fruit and veg.

Routine - He eats more in the first part of the day, like he's fueling up for the day, then he prefers to have a lighter tea.

Choosing to offer - I choose to always offer fruit even if he hasn't finished all his meal because it's healthy and I want to encourage it. The rule is meal, fruit, then pudding if the meal was finished, if not just the fruit. I also choose to offer lots of different meats to get him used to the flavour and textures as these can be hard to add in later and I feel it's important for growth and strength.

My top tips - is to get excited about the food when you give it to them, when the plate goes down the excitement begins smile If I get excited and ooh and aah (like watching a firework display) he gets excited too.
If I run out of ideas or need a shake up with meals I look online for inspiration and very recently found Organix ideas, saved to my favourites and have printed the recipes off. A big hit in my house with toddler and awkward 5 year old is the pork and apple burgers smile

What has surprised me - I think I am surprised at how different my 18 month old is from my eldest with food likes and habits. And also how quickly a toddler becomes very independant and knows exactly what he/she wants and gets stuck in on their own with the spoon.

Overall I just keep meal times quite light and whilst it's lovely for us to all eat together, recognising that this isn't always possible and your toddler needs to eat earlier andmore often than everyone else solves lots of possible food problems smile

Cherryjellybean Wed 15-Jan-14 13:12:44

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
When she first started eating she ate veg mush really well, she would eat nearly anything. But we did blw at the same time and she soon refused the mush and started eating mainly carbs, peas, carrots, ham, cheese and fruit.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast cereal
Snack of fruit / yoghurt etc
Lunch whatever I am eating
Snack again
Tea whatever we are eating ( we eat fairly healthily but she picks out the bits she likes)

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I've offered some foods so many times and she refuses them every time. So now I put on her plate what I know she will eat with one thing she won't, eg I will put a few bits of sweet corn on the side, and ask if she will try it. 9 times out of 10 she won't even try it.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
We make it a social thing where we all sit together. Luckily she has always been happy to sit at the table even if she doesn't want the food. Variety on the plate helps.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How she won't even try something if she doesn't like the look of it and how fussy she became.

CheeseTMouse Wed 15-Jan-14 13:22:31

I am finding this interesting because I am starting to wean my baby and I am trying to work out the best way to do it, that will result in a child that likes her food. I will try and take on the advice about not worrying too much.

manfalou Wed 15-Jan-14 13:42:03

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

He isn't a great eater at all, very fussy. He loves crisps and biscuits at snack time but won't even look at a piece of fruit or veg. He likes the usual rubbish type foods that kids eat (fish fingers and what not) but will eat curry, carbonara pasta, Tuna/Ham/Cheese sandwiches and most things which contain mince. He loves sausage.

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

Breakfast-8-8:30am. Weetabix. Snack at 10, he sometimes has raisons, but will have crisps or a biscuit in general. Lunch at 12- Packed lunch type thing. Snack at 2:30- a yoghurt. Tea at 5- Varies.

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

I never planned on him eating so much rubbish but unfortunately when I went back to work good old granny introduced the world of junk to him (much to my surprise and unhappiness) which is when his fussiness started. I tried to cut it all out at home and he would basically starve himself, people said 'he'll eat when he's hungry'... He didn't, he'd get ill first. So I had to give him something he'd eat. I try and limit his rubbish meals to twice a week although these 'rubbish' meals are getting better as he is starting to eat peas, I buy fish fingers with hidden veg he has an innocent smoothie for the fruit. He doesn't have a lot of sweets or chocolate, I do try and put a cap on some things!

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

Make the food look interesting and don't put too much on their plate, my HV sent me a poster with portion sizes on and I was really surprised by it. I wish this poster was more readily available for others. Don't get stressed... if you get stressed, they get stressed, it ends in a massive argument and they still don't eat it. Let it go, they will learn the hard way.

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

How fussy one child can be...and stubborn! Even though DS (3) won't eat veg we do get him to try 1 and/or 1 mouth full of what ever is on his plate. He sat for 15 minutes with a carrot in his mouth...15 minutes! What is going through their head. We pulled the yoghurt out the fridge for inspiration and it was gone in seconds.

polosareverynice Wed 15-Jan-14 15:09:50

My toddler is 15 months old he partically enjoys butternut squash soup, mash, chips parsnips like chips any veg he likes pears and mixed fruit he's a little fussy with meat so i'll offer it but don't stress if he doesn't eat it he doesn't like fish much (even fishfingers!) so I don't put a lot down although will offer. he likes scrambled egg but his eczema doesn't so I have to limit.
daily food is brekfast of weetabix, or porrige or toast or fruit offering this every day beans on toast at weekends. lunch is usally a sandwich and fruit.
dinner is what we are having usually something like spag bol, curry, thai flavoured rice . snacks are offered after nap and mid morning usually fruit mix or crackers a handful of whatever offering (doesn't always eat!)
i choose to offer a variety and don't stress if he doesn't eat i second what a poster said uptread that
toddlers need a lot less than you might think my hv gave me a poster of portion sizes which was a big help
as I was worried he wasn't eating enough.
what has surprized me is my toddler will try anything and if he really doesn't like something after say offering it 15 times I won't serve it ever again.
also he's pretty good at telling me he's full everything ends up on the floor! blush

MadMonkeys Wed 15-Jan-14 16:29:24

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

DD2 eats most things, especially cucumber, blueberries, pasta, mashed potato, cheese... In fact the only things she doesn't really like are lettuce and tomato.

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

3 main meals with the rest of the family, and snacks mid morning and mid afternoon.

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

She has healthy food as do the rest of the family, lots of fruit and veg and healthy snacks. Hardly any processed food due mainly to choice but also as she was intolerant of dairy for the first 12 months so cooking from scratch was the safest,

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

Offer small amounts of different things and keep offering a variety, Don't make an issue of food, it just makes mealtimes a misery.

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

How much fun it is!

changedirection Wed 15-Jan-14 16:39:44

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Both have always loved yogurt, weetabix, most fruits especially banana. Havn't found anything DS (14 mth) won't eat yet! DD (just 3) is fussier - has never eaten broccolli for me (but has for childminder!)

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Three meals (breakfast, lunch dinner) plus often small snack mid morning and milk before bed

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
Try to offer healthy food mostly, but treats are allowed in the hope they will continue to eat them in moderation and not go wild when they get older!

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Try not to make eating food into a big deal. Have meals together as a family where possible, or at least sit with the children. Don't let it turn in to a power game! (much easier said than done)

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How fickle they can be

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 15-Jan-14 18:49:07

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Main meals- fish pie and a roast dinner were always popular. For some reason my toddler never liked soup though. Snacks included anything that could be counted as a finger food- raw veg, fruit, cheese, malt loaf, toast, biscuits, as healthy as possible but if we were at a party or similar I wouldn't worry.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
My toddler was a grazer. She wouldn't eat a huge breakfast in one go, but would have several morning light meals/snacks. I used to call her my little Hobbit, as they had a meal called second breakfast. smile

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them? I tried to avoid food that was too fatty (fried), salty or generally of little nutritional value. I also limit processed foodstuff as much as possible. Simple and traditional home cooked fayre.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general? Relax. Mine went through a phase of not eating much some days so I learnt not to focus on daily food intake, rather look at what they consumed over several days- it usually balanced out.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler? How one day they love something and the next day they don't. This never changes. wink

MrsMarigold Wed 15-Jan-14 22:33:41

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Finger foods that enable them eat independently.
Recent hits have included sushi, falafels and those patty pan type of mini squash (huge hit)
Disasters included grated beetroot in a salad
My DS doesn't eat potatoes so we usually use bread, rice noodles, maize pasta, regular pasta and brown, red and white rice.
DD eats potatoes so she often has left over potatoes.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
I try to give lots of different coloured food, make the food look appetising and Breakfast - Weetabix with milk, a yoghurt, and fruit, or babybel cheese and eggy bread with peanut butter or tahini and fruit.
No snacks until lunch which is often home-made soup with a cheese scone, mushrooms on toast, with sausage and grilled tomatoes, fishfingers/homemade meatballs/ chicken drumsticks with salad.

to be continued

aristocat Wed 15-Jan-14 23:15:07

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Mine both loved most food especially if they could do it themselves, every day was finger foods! Chunks of fruit and bread sticks were a definite favourite.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast at 7
A snack at 10
Lunch at 12-1230
A snack at 2.30
Dinner at 5-5.30

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I offered everything to be honest except nuts and fizzy drinks. If a certain food was refused/not eaten we would try again and again. Don't give up was my motto smile

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Eat together and have some foods the same. Use texture and colour and imagination and do not rush them.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
That it was so easy ..... compared to potty training haha

boptanana Thu 16-Jan-14 10:53:33

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Fruit and veg, especially broccoli and peas. Breadsticks, rice cakes and yoghurt .
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Eats 3 main meals and 2 snacks
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
She has eaten with us since 6 months and generally tries most things dependent on salt and sugar content, honey etc
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Offer them everything and don't get hung up if they don't eat much as they go through real stages if eating very little and them loads
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How variable their likes and dislikes are. Seem to change on a daily if not hourly basis !

museumworker Thu 16-Jan-14 11:13:18

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
DS is 1.5. He LOVES any sort of fruit, particularly grapes. In general he eats anything, although can be a bit funny about potato.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
8AM- Breakfast
10AM - Snack
11.30AM - Lunch
3PM - Snack
4.30PM - Dinner (nursery)/ light snack at home
6.30PM - Dinner (home - if been to nursery has second dinner!)

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
He's only allowed water or milk - no juice due to sugar content. I also try and steer clear of sweets and biscuits - although with an older child that is harder. I try and keep food out of sight apart from snack and meal times.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Eat together. DS will often change his mind about eating something when he sees big sis tucking in!
Cook something all the family can enjoy. Easier for you in the long run if you've only one meal to make!
Be relaxed - most children won't starve if they don't eat their dinner. If you get stressed about food, so will they!
Don't offer something else if they don't eat their food. They will come to expect it.
Vary your meals - and be prepared to keep trying, even if they didn't like it the first time.
Allow them to feed themselves and play with their food. Get some cheap oilcloth from the market and put under the highchair to pick up any spills.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How enjoyable food can be - he loves eating and to feed himself.

MrsMarigold Thu 16-Jan-14 11:33:20

continued...

Mid afternoon snack - often a savoury muffin or fruit, ricecakes

Supper - cooked meal like spag bol and salad, grilled fish steamed veggies, roast meat and veggies. ie whatever we are having. Yoghurt (Yeo valley because they are less sweet than Petit Filous).

If we've been out all day we have something really simply like sardines on toast (Fish 4 Ever ones are divine) and chopped peppers and tomatoes.

Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
Mine are only allowed water and organic milk and sometimes weak Nesquik as a treat in the afternoon to boost calcium intake. I try to avoid sweets and chocolates but don't want any food to be taboo so they are sometimes allowed but not encouraged.
My DS (2.6) loves olives and pistachios. Both love prawns and all shellfish (scallops, clams, cockles and lobster) which I know is controversial but my DS had a diary protein allergy and the dietician we saw said to try everything. They also have always had honey, contrary to HV, advice because it has natural antibiotic properties. Salt is not allowed in our house and crisps are never given.

What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Never assume they won't like something and let them try everything. If they aren't bothered don't push it but continue to offer it - after two years of being offered broccoli every day my DS finally decided he likes it. They'll be less fussy if just allowed to get on with it and feed themselves.

What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
They are naturally adventurous - don't suppress their spirit of adventure by fussing too much if they make a mess.

Spirael Thu 16-Jan-14 16:08:21

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
She's always been a good eater and enjoys all kinds of things. She particularly loves cheese, the stronger the better. She's not great with some vegetables, the more bitter ones like brocolli. She loves fruit.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
She eats all the main meals with DH and I, generally exactly the same as what we're having. Besides that, she had mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks of various, mostly healthy, sorts.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I went by the guidelines for things such as cows milk, honey, nuts, etc. Aside from that, I offered her all sorts of foods when I thought she had enough teeth to cope!

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Eat your meals together as a family and keep food fun - don't make it a battle ground. Some days they'll eat lots, some days not so much. A favourite food one day will be rejected the next. Just keep offering a healthy variety and stay calm!

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How much she loves strong and unusual flavours. A lot of advice talks about only giving mild, simple foods. But right from the start she loved foods I'd never have expected her to. Things like blue cheese, and mussels!

janekirk Thu 16-Jan-14 18:02:27

Grated mature cheddar, quarter of a cucumber to chew on, wafer thin ham and pasta shapes. It's pure heaven to our 3 year old.

We always lead by example. If the kids see us throwing chocolate, crisps and sweets down our throats then they are bound to follow suit, so we wait for them to go to bed before we start that!

daisybrown Thu 16-Jan-14 22:56:48

Beans, beans, with every meal. They're low fat, high roughage and high protein so at the moment we don't make a fuss about it, just always make sure we buy the low salt variety.
Little one doesn't like to eat alone and always prefers someone to be eating at the same time.

SaltySeaBird Fri 17-Jan-14 00:14:32

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

Have a 16mo. Her main love in life is Organix crisps (the cheese and herb or tomato ones). We do have to ration them but she stands by the larder banging the door with her fists.

Thankfully this is balanced with a love if fruit. Blueberries, peaches, grapes, strawberries and apple are the current favourites.

She also loves meat, chicken, ham and sausages are firm favourites.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast is cereal (weetabix or porridge) followed by fruit, a banana or large handful of berries plus a cup of milk.

Mid-morning she has a snack. Often a bit of fruit, savoury muffin, cheese scone or similar.

Lunch is something like omelette, beans or some chicken with salad (tomato, avocado and cucumber) followed by a yoghurt.

Mid afternoon she has another snack. Her beloved crips if she is lucky!

Dinner is what ever we are having, occasionally adapted for suitability.

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

I try not to offer too much processed food and try and keep her diet balanced.

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

Try and be relaxed about it. If she doesn't eat a lot she makes up for it at other times.

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

How varied her tastes are, and how opinionated she gets. She hates bread (annoying) and fruit bars and will scream and cry if you offer her either.

Confitdecanard Fri 17-Jan-14 18:03:03

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy?
Anything with ketchup!
Tinned mackerel stirred into pasta
Sandwiches, especially with pate
Risotto
Fish fingers
Carrots
Raisins
Apples

What didn't go down so well?
Green vegetables are a struggle, although if he is allowed to glue peas together with ketchup then they go down well.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast: weetabix or toast
Lunch: Sandwiches (ham or pate), a fruit pot or apple
Dinner: pasta/risotto/whatever we are eating as long as it doesn't contain any egg or dairy (he has allergies)

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
No dairy or egg as he has allergies. Occasional dairy free chocolate as a treat (or bribe!) Try to offer fruit/veg at every meal.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
No snacks too close to meals. Fresh air seems to stimulate his appetite. If all else fails, a dollop of ketchup works wonders.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
How I occasionally compromise values I thought I wouldn't in order to get him to eat healthily.

Hopezibah Fri 17-Jan-14 21:56:09

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Unfortunately my toddler adores chocolate and crisps! Having two big brothers has made healthy eating a lot harder as it seems unfair to stop her joining in when they eat those foods.

thankfully she does love some veg - broccoli is her favourite and she likes peas too.

She has gone off sandwiches but likes main meals that are cooked.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Breakfast is milk to drink, cereal and milk. She will sometimes have toast and likes to pinch a bit of my musli.
She also likes to have some cereal dry without milk to pick at.

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

We offer fruit for morning and afternoon snack. I try not to offer biscuits until after a main meal has been eaten.

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

Keep things varied. Praise for good eating but ignore if they refuse food.
Keep trying - they go through fads - she used to love tomatoes, then refused for ages, now loves them again.

Small portions. Little things they can pick up and nibble at.

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
They sometimes enjoy the most bizarre foods e.g. she happily eats cous-cous (ok thats not bizarre but not many other toddlers i know enjoy it so much) and even sardines (which i really dislike). So I supposed I have learnt not to make assumptions about what toddlers will and won't eat but to try everything!

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