It's no coincidence that 'toddlers' and 'fussy eaters' are often uttered in the same exasperated breath. Most parents' dual aim is to get some healthy food into their child without the hassle of cooking separate meals for children and adults. So, here are some meal ideas and toddler recipe suggestions that provide a nutritious variety of tastes and textures.
Don't forget to keep an eye on portion sizes (ie not adult-sized) and beware of adding salt while cooking (let adults season their own portions).
Red meat recipes
Suggestions: Shepherd's pie and peas • Spaghetti bolognese • Roast dinner - meat, roast potatoes, roast carrots, Yorkshire pudding, broccoli, peas, stuffing, gravy • Fried chorizo with boiled or stir-fried veg and quinoa • Cottage pie or mash volcano and cut-up sausages with gravy lava
Suggestions: Home-made chicken goujons with rice and peas or mash • Chicken stir-fry with egg fried rice • Chicken pie - cooked chicken, white sauce, peas, sweetcorn, topped with ready-made puff pastry • Mini chicken casserole - cut chicken breast in cubes, one potato, one diced carrot, cover with vegetable stock, simmer gently till cooked
Suggestions: Boiled egg and soldiers • One-egg omelette, plain or with added cheese and/or ham • Cheese and sweetcorn omelettes • Scrambled egg with grated cheese mixed in • Spanish omelette (potato, eggs, olive oil)
Suggestions: Fish fingers and chips • Fish (eg salmon baked in foil in oven) and chips • Salmon (or other fish) with lemon drizzled on top, couscous and any veg you have (eg cabbage, carrots, broccoli) steamed for 10 mins • Mini fish pie (any fish) with mash on top and grated cheese
Suggestions: Mashed potato with anything • Jacket potatoes with different fillings eg cheese and ham, baked beans • Baked sweet potato with butter or grated cheese
Suggestions: Vegetable rice - basmati rice, cubed peppers, sweet potato, carrot, sweetcorn etc mixed with grated cheese • Egg fried rice • Mushroom risotto
Pasta and pizza recipes
Suggestions: Spaghetti bolognese • Gnocchi with peas, sweetcorn and ham and cream cheese • Tuna pasta bake • Pasta with pesto and grated cheese • Cheesy pasta (cream cheese and cheddar blended into white sauce), on its own or with veg, ham etc • Vegetable pasta - add chopped veg (eg broccoli, leeks, carrots) to pan of cooking pasta for final five minutes, drain, add cream cheese and stir till combined • Homemade pizza
Suggestions: Leek and potato • Chicken soup • Minestrone soup with alphabet pasta