Fun with Food: Tips for Feeding Tricky Toddlers #NoJunkJourney
Has your little one suddenly become a fussy eater? Toddler’s taste buds are constantly evolving meaning the foods they love one day they might loath the next. This makes for unpredictable and frustrating mealtimes! If this sounds familiar read on - I've teamed up with Organix to share some tips for feeding tricky toddlers.
If at first you don't succeed...
Little ones often become fussy between 12 and 24 months because it's during this time that their tastebuds change the most. For this reason, it's recommended to offer new foods 10-15 times, to give them a chance to get used to it.
Keep calm and carry on
It's disheartening to see the lovingly prepared meal you cooked from scratched being thrown onto the floor, but try to stay calm. Toddlers are clever and they love to get a reaction, even a negative one. The chances are their behaviour will persist the more you stress, so try to act like nothing has happened.
Make food fun
Kids love fun food - it's so exciting for them! Take the time to arrange their food into something they recognise on their plates like a face, an animal or a car. The more colourful the food the better and use colourful plates too. I used to make fish pie in the shape of a fish for my eldest Joshua when he was little - he's now almost 9 but still loves that. It also works like a charm with Daniel who is now 6. I arrange his lunch into a shape of a dog and then he tells me 'I ate his tail!' or 'He's only got one leg now!' excitedly as he eats. Cookie cutters can be used to make fun shaped sandwiches (the scraps of bread can be made into breadcrumbs and frozen to use in cooking). There's loads of inspiration on the Organix website for fun food plates.
Give them control
Give your little one more control over their food by making a little spread of different finger food. The more relaxed they are and the more in control they feel, the more likely they are to get stuck in.
All together now
My kids always eat better when we are sat together as a family at the table. My youngest, Isaac, who is 19 months old will happily help himself to whatever is in his bowl, as well as mine, if he sees that everyone at the table has the same. He also enjoys the social aspect of being with everyone.
Have they gone off grated cheese? Try cubed. Started throwing cucumber sticks? give them slices (they make brilliant car wheels). Sometimes changing the shape of food can make a big difference.
I have smuggled veggies into my kids when they have gone through super fussy stages. Carrots and red peppers blended into a tomato based pasta go down a treat. Also, coating sliced courgettes and green beans in some panko breadcrumbs before baking sauce makes them crunchy and appealing.
Cause a distraction
I do this with my youngest sometimes when he's a bit tired at mealtimes. I try to keep the kitchen a screen-free zone, but I have a few toys with buttons which he can play with which will allow me to shovel a few mouthfuls in. Another thing I give him is a pot of homous to dip breadsticks in. While he's focused on that I can spoon some of his dinner into his mouth.
Over to you...
Is your little one going through a fussy stage? Has this come as a surprise? What are your top tips for feeding tricky toddler? I would love to hear from you - please comment below!
Disclaimer: this part of a series of sponsored posts for Organix. Words, opinions and photographs are my own.