Food and a fussy toddler : I was looking through our recipe blog posts recently & realised that I haven't shared any toddler meals for quite some time, the reason for this is that the phase of cooking separate dishes for Oliver is over, other than making something fun & interactive (e.g. Toddler Pizzas). Oliver did go through a very fussy stage & was choosing to only eat meat. If presented with what I would call a traditional dinner meat, potatoes & vegetables, the meat would all get eaten, the vegetables & potatoes would remain untouched.
I was worried about Oliver's diet so popped along to see the Heath visitor & she explained that fussy toddler eating habits are very common & told me the most important thing to do was not to stress, which I have to be honest is probably the hardest thing when your worried about your precious child not getting enough nutrition and you make the effort to cook every day.
I found the easiest way to get Oliver to try new things was just to serve him dinner the same time as myself & hubby as we tend to get engrossed in dinner conversation & he happily ploughs through his dinner. Although let's be honest this isn't always possible. I thought you might be interested to see some of the techniques I have used to ensure Oliver gets his 5 a day...
Top Tips I've picked up whilst researching...
Incorporate blended vegetables into the meals You can hide a multitude of vegetables in a spaghetti Bolognese/ tomatoes sauce/ meat balls, so they don't even know they are eating them. I just whizz them through the blender and add them after the base carrot/celery/onion.
Include your toddler in meal preparation I give Oliver a bowl to catch all of the peelings when I'm preparing the vegetables & we tend to chat about what everything is called & how lovely it is.
Still put it on the plate I won't lie, Oliver is still not keen on vegetables but at least now he will try things I ask him to, until a few months ago he wouldn't eat potato but one day he just started eating it as I continued to put it on the plate. Oliver now loves mashed potatoes so I often make sweet potato or carrot & swede mash.
Blended fruit Oliver has never been keen on he texture of fruit although loves the taste, so I do still blend fresh fruit & serve it with yogurt, this is probably ridiculous at aged 2 but I just tell myself Greek yogurt & blended fruit is a homemade muller corner! I do still give him pieces of fruit on the side which is invariably tasted & spat out or crushed.. But I won't give-up! If you have any other tips to share I would love to hear them, Michelle X