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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.

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!

HappySunflower Fri 17-Jan-14 23:09:24

My daughter enjoyed things that she could hold on her hand and feed herself, slices of melon, chunks of cucumber that she could use to dip into humous. Soup never tended to go down very well.

Daily food routine:
Breakfast at 8-weetabix with mashed banana or porridge with some kind of fruit
Mid morning snack at 10- cup of milk and chopped banana and apple with breadsticks
Lunch at 12- cocktail sausages, chunks of avocado, crab sticks, bad sticks with dips, or cheese on toast with cherry tomatoes, or a combination of the above! She usually has a yoghurt afterwards.

Snack at 3 after her sleep, similar to the morning.

Tea at 5. Whatever I'm having usually!

Milk at 7 before bed.

I try to offer things that will give her an energy boost at the right time of day. I avoid too much sugar towards the end of the day, and like to offer fruit for pudding as much as possible, that way the odd treat feels fine.

Tips, hmmmm. Getting them involved, letting them help and have some control over inks, by feeding them self helps a lot.

Surprises...well, I have yet to find a single thing that my child won't eat, that's the biggest surprise!!!

muser31 Sat 18-Jan-14 08:26:38

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

addicted to yoghurt! loved cheese strings, and liked fish fingers and chicken nugget type meals and loves eggs.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
breakfast at around 6.30, snack at 9.30, lunch anywhere between 11.30 and 1.00. snack 3.00, dinner 5.00 and snack before bed

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
i don't like offering anything with sugar especially after lunchtime as dd is already quite a hyper child and doesn't sleep well. i don't give her any processed drinks, usually just water thats diluted a little bit, or milk. i like giving her eggs every day as I know they are full of good nutrition and will fill her up and don't have any junk or sugar so im happy to give an egg based meal every day. i also like mixing organix fruit in with her yoghurt as i know then she is getting some fruit every day. i don't like her eating the whole pot at once because sometimes it can give her loose bowels and im worried about the sugar content, but im happy if she spaces it out with yoghurt over the day as this means she gets her protein in as well.

~ 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?

arranging the food in a pretty manner eg food cut up into chunks arranged in a line or a circle, using different dishes in a variety of colours and designs so they think its new and exciting, having dinner with your toddler so they are interested in what you are eating too and see an example of you eating your dinner. talking about food with a new perspective - eg 'the broccoli are like big trees, are you going to eat the trees! really helps' it has surprised me how much my dd actually CAN eat when she wants too - usually its little and often but in different surroundings such as out for dinner or with friends, she can eat so much more, also it surprises me how much she can eat if she has been very active all day!

couldthisbeit Sat 18-Jan-14 15:25:39

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
He loves pasta, gnocchi, prawns, salmon, eggs, fruit and yoghurts. Oh and chocolate if he can get it! He is not at all keen on tomato or cheese sauces (but does like ketchup and cheese as it comes), rice of any kind and red meats.

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Milk first thing; breakfast about 8 am - (fruit (berries / grapes / banana) while he waits for his porridge or dippy egg and toast ); raisins or a plain biscuit about 10-1030; lunch between 1145 and 1230 (picnic style of sandwiches, fruit, popcorn, cheese cubes, houmous etc or homemade pizza or frittata; milk about 330; dinner at 1700-1730 of pasta with prawns or whatever we are havng; milk before bed.

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I try to offer a variety and of anything we night have in the house. We don't buy ready prepared foods in general and so try to avoid salty, fatty or processed foods. Only limits are really the health guidelines like when to give honey etc. i find that offering new foods often works best when he is with friends or we are out at somewhere like softplay as he is less focussed on what he is having to eat.
Both my boys do have, and enjoy, organic type snacks including carrot stick crisps and rice cakes, which I find especially useful when we are out and about and for when friends are having 'real' crisps and biscuits as I feel they are a better choice for odd occasions.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Always let him try our foods if different from his or he asks, eating with him whenever we can, getting inspiration from other mums and dads, praising him for eating well, ignoring fussiness or refusal (this is easier said then done!), not being surprised when a previous favourite is absolutely refused. I have weaned his younger brother later(by 6weeks or so) and he already seems a better and braver eater, far less wary of texture than my first born.
,
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
His varying appetite, from day to day. Some things he unexpectedly loves (smoked salmon, olives) vesus things I love and assumed he would too but refuses (cheesy pasta and tomato based dishes). How much pleasure I get when he eats well and I know he is getting a healthy balanced diet.

PinglePongle Sat 18-Jan-14 17:43:47

What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
She loves anything containing mash potato or cheese but hates the textures of root vegetables
~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
3 set meal times which are fairly the same time each day
~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
Didn't offer anything containing too much sugar until aged 1
~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Vary the food every day to make meal times an exciting suprise
~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
The amount of new things that she is willing to try

sealight123 Sat 18-Jan-14 20:46:49

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

My daughter loves melon, fruit and most vegetables but getting her to try a piece of beef is like hell on earth (unless you hide it within other foods lol)

What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
We wake up and she has breakfast, a mid morning snack, dinner, a afternoon snack, tea and then a supper snack. We go for the little and often approach, as she struggles to eat lots in one sitting. With water and juice as she goes too.

Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I try to offer her as much as possible, but I allow her to feed herself, so that she can pick up when she's full. I also like to let her try as many new things as possible...but we also have the good ol' favourite Lasagne to fall back on if all else fails.

What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Let them eat similar meals, if you can't get them to eat the same meals. Let them help you cook the meals, my daughter loves eating 'Livvy's' meals smile If all else fails shape it like a smiley face

What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
We have never struggled to get her to eat fruit and vegetables...she loves them...she picks them over sweets

EssentialCoffee Sun 19-Jan-14 13:21:45

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

Fruit is a big favourite, at the moment DS (2) loves to eat clementines, apples, grapes and nectarines. I'm finding it tricky to get DS to enjoy vegetables at the moment, I think possibly it's the texture of things eg mushrooms, courgettes. Kidney beans and baked beans are very popular with DS. Potatoes of any sort (baked potatoes, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes), rice, pasta and spaghetti are all enjoyed.

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

DS eats breakfast and lunch with me, and dinner on his own as it's too early for me to eat dinner at 4! He also has snacks in the morning and afternoon.

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

We have a rule of only letting DS eat chips when we are eating out as I think he would try to insist on chips every day otherwise! I try to avoid anything too salty or too sugary for him.

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

Offer different things, and try not to get upset when it is rejected. Try to make food colourful and let the toddlers get involved in making it.

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

I offered him some ice-cream as a treat and he preferred rice cakes - very strange! Also he loves to eat bread rolls, but he won't eat them with butter on. Also that he enjoys spicy food and chilli con carne is his favourite dinner.

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

Loves fruit, plain yoghurt, toast, eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, strong cheese, pasta, potatoes, chicken, salmon, mince-based meals, peas, carrots and green beans. And funnily enough, cake, biscuits and rusks.

Doesn't like raw peppers, mushrooms or courgettes, and can spot them hidden in any food at a hundred paces.

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

Breakfast at 8ish (omlette/scrambled eggs/yoghurt/toast)
Snack at 10ish (fruit)
Lunch at 12ish (picnic-type food often - ham, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, cream cheese on bread, fruit/yoghurt for dessert)
Snack at 3ish after nap
Dinner at 5 (whatever we're having, always homemade hot meal in the evening)

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

I try to offer healthy choices, not too much sugar/salt, and I try to give her a decent variety of stuff. Not always possible, and grandparents give her completely different food crap, which she also will happily eat.

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

Eat together, make mealtimes a sociable, fun time. Talk to them about things other than food during meals. Don't stress if they don't eat everything, and don't withhold pudding (make it healthy) if they haven't eaten all their main course.

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

She will happily eat things that are far less sugary/salty than what we're used to, and that we all eat more healthily as a result! Spelt pancakes with unsweetened berries are a really sweet treat for DD.

She's also perfectly capable of self-regulating her food intake. I don't need to force food down her - if she's not hungry anymore, she won't eat anything else, even if there's only one mouthful left. But that's ok. If she's hungry, she will let me know.

jacqroberts Mon 20-Jan-14 12:50:28

I always ate with my toddler and the same sort of foods if I could. Babies learn by emulating but they have dislikes like anyone.
Don't make a bi deal of it and just relax and enjoy this special family time.

serendipity1980 Mon 20-Jan-14 12:56:48

When our children were toddlers - now aged 5 and 4 - we gave them snacks of fruit, both fresh and dried, homemade biscuits or cakes and breadsticks. Since they've become older, I stopped buying breadsticks because they kept asking for them and I felt that it wasn't healthy. They both have similar tastes although our 4yr old is generally more adventurous but really doesn't like strong chocolate food.
Our 5 yr old didn't like blueberries as a toddler but does now - which is a shame because there is less for me!!!
One great snack I make now is the BBC Good Food energy nuggets recipe which is balls of pureed dried fruit rolled in dessicated coconut. Our DC (and us) love these and they make a great healthy sweet treat. They can't get enough of them!

serendipity1980 Mon 20-Jan-14 12:58:27

I meant to say that we don't give junk food like crisps and chocolate as snacks, unless they have received them from a party etc. Also, I tend to give them a snack mid morning (but not always) and mid afternoon (they normally ask at this time.)

ScienceRocks Mon 20-Jan-14 13:11:04

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

Pasta, cheese, fruit, veg - I was very lucky in that they would eat pretty much anything.

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

I think it was pretty straightforward. Cereal when getting up, fruit and toast mid morning, something bread based for lunch including a protein source and some salad, mid afternoon snack of biscuit and fruit, dinner was something hot, with plenty of veg, a protein source, followed by a yogurt and some fruit. Water available all day. Other drinks only occasionally.

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

I didn't offer spicy foods, but nor did I go for "toddler snacks". Normal biscuits, pasta, fruit etc was fine.

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

Keep it varied and interesting, don't get stuck in a rut (for example, but always getting the same yogurts or type of bread) to avoid them becoming rigid, always offer fruit and veg, don't make treats forbidden, lead by example.

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

Things like sushi have gone down surprisingly well!

daisydaisy11 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:44:07

My toddler loves carrot sticks and cucumber dipped in hummus. All types of fruit and some surprised such as olives (even the bitter ones that I wont eat) beans, peas, pasta, sweetcorn.

Dislikes radishes, onions and cooked mushrooms (loves raw mushrooms).

A trick my mum used when feeding us as kids. When cooking pasta e.g penne, she would add a single fusilli or different shaped pasta to the pot. This was the treasure and we would take great pleasure in eating our food to see who had the lucky treasure.

LegoCaltrops Tue 21-Jan-14 10:09:34

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

The only major food tantrums we've had were due to odd texture, DD won't eat anything like couscous & isn't keen on rice. She prefers things she can pick up as a piece, eg potato wedges, pitta bread, vegetable sticks etc. She loves bananas & tomatoes, & will steal them off the shop counter if she gets the chance!

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

Breakfast is usually cereal, we've just discovered she likes shredded wheat, so probably that or porridge, plus fruit. Lunch would be rice cakes & butter, & cheese/tomatoes/cucumber. Sometimes a sandwich or leftover pasta or a slice of homemade cheese & vegetable pizza. Dinner could be curry, or pasta with peas, salmon & cream cheese, or fish finger with homemade potato wedges & baked beans, or spaghetti bolognaise. Most things are homemade but not all. She sometimes has a snack mid afternoon as we generally eat late due to work/college. This would generally be banana, cut up apple/pear or a small orange, occasionally a small plain biscuit.

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

She doesn't have chocolate as a regular thing & we don't give sweet cereal. I don't have a sweet tooth, DH does, & he has high cholesterol & a filling in almost every tooth. I've got low cholesterol & 1 filling. I don't think it's a coincidence & I don't want to encourage DD to want sweet food more than necessary.

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

We've found that the number one tip for getting a toddler to be interested in food is to be interested yourself! DD has always been much more likely to want the food from our plates, so much so that sometimes we've deliberately kept some aside for her on our plates, to cool, with no salt etc & cut up as appropriate. We get her to eat what we want, she thinks she's getting some of mummy & daddy's food, everyone wins.

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

She likes very strong favours & has done since she was very young. Eg cherry tomatoes stolen straight off the plant, curry (would eat a normal 'adult' strength korma at 12 months), olives, very dark chocolate, goats cheese etc.

tinypumpkin Tue 21-Jan-14 11:24:38

~ What sort of foods did your toddler especially enjoy? What didn't go down so well?
Blueberries, grapes, organix bars, breadsticks, cheese

~ What's your toddler's daily food routine like?
Weetabix (x3), snack, dinner (sandwiches etc), snack, tea (pasta is a favourite)

~ Why do you choose to offer (or not) certain foods - and when do you offer them?
I do offer a variety of healthy and less healthy foods. I don't want to 'ban' unhealthy things as I think that just backfires. All things in moderation. Fruit is something I try to offer a lot.

~ What are your top tips to other parents in keeping your toddler interested at mealtimes or with food in general?
Get them involved in 'helping' prepare it!

~ What, if anything, has surprised you when it comes to feeding your toddler?
They like fruit more than I do (not that I let on about that).

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 21-Jan-14 13:41:27

Thanks for all the comments: excellent tips!

Am pleased to say MrsMarigold wins a £100 Love2Shop voucher from Organix. Well done!

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