The Organix #LoveGoodFood campaign for toddlers is in full swing, spreading the message to parents to help their little ones love good food in these early years, so they grow up to be healthy, little food explorers.
They’ve got children’s food expert Lucy Thomas on board, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables, and Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix and a registered dietitian specialising in feeding babies and toddlers.
Together with Organix they are launching its Little Book of Good Food – Toddlers & Families, packed with advice and tips for parents on providing a healthy diet for little ones as they continue their exciting journey with food through the early years and beyond. You can download your free copy here: www.organix.com/lovegoodfood and as you can see here it’s packed with great stuff you might not have given too much thought like how to make good choices when eating out.
They’ve also asked me to join in with some of my own tips and ideas, and as i’ve been through it twice with my two boys and their unruly appetites, I thought I’d give you my top 10!
Top 10 Tips for Feeding Toddlers
1. The beauty of healthy food is that it’s so colourful! Be creative with how you present a meal to your toddler… it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece but taking time to have a little fun with it can make all the difference. This rainbow chopped salad is easy to put together, and the bite size chunks are perfect for little hands to pick at. Get the recipe
2. A decent blender and an array of fresh fruit can not only make a nutritious and frothy drink for toddlers, but it can also be a fun introduction to cookery for little people. Washing, peeling and chopping the fruit with a grown up, before helping to “feed” the blender is a great way to while away half an hour or so. You can get creative with flavours and see what’s their favourite combo. The Little Book of Good Food tells you how getting your kids smelling and kissing fruit can really help them get a better understanding of their food. Sounds a lot more fun than just eating it!
3. It’s not always easy to get little ones to eat meat when they’ve just been used to mushy textures. One of my fave recipes I made for the boys when they were into finger food were these delicious crunchy lemon chicken goujons. Packed with zesty flavour with the panko breadcrumbs giving them a pleasing crunch – the rest of the family will love them too! Get the recipe. They’re also great for dipping which brings me onto the next tip…
4. Finger food is easy to grab hold of, but sling a few pots of delicious home made dip onto the table and your toddler’s got themselves a right royal feast. If you’ve got plain yogurt, creme fraiche or cream cheese in the fridge you’ve already got the base, you just need to add some lovely fresh flavours to get your toddler’s taste buds moving. Get the recipe
5. Fruit and oat muffins are packed with energy and naturally sweet flavours, so are perfect for toddlers. You can also involve them in the baking process as long as you supervise them! The Little Book of Good Food advises that getting kids to help you cook helps familiarise them with the texture and tastes of a range of ingredients. Make a big batch of these muffins and then freeze for picnics this summer – I’ve got loads of fruity muffin recipes here
6. Good things come in small parcels, especially edible ones! One-bite canapés can be easily adapted for a younger palette. Like these mini quiches which are super easy to make and you can try out different fillings to expand your toddler’s culinary horizons. Get my recipe here. Again ideal for freezing so you can take out a few at a time for picnics over the holidays.
7. Sometimes it’s the most humble of ingredients that make for the best lunches for little people. These crumpets were given a bath in some beaten egg and then gently fried for a crumpety spin on eggy bread. Delicious with some grapes, grated carrot and dollop of hummus on the side. Here’s my Eggy Crumpet Recipe. Crumpet pizzas are also a winner and very quick and easy to put together.
8. If you’re out and about with a toddler, a little packed snack should always be in your possession. I used to get seriously anxious if I forgot to take food out with me when the boys were little. In fact I still do! I’m a huge fan of Japanese-style Bento boxes as they make everything look super cute and inviting, especially if they’re new foods – perfect to keep your toddler sated and busy for a little while should they be on the verge of a hunger-induced meltdown… we’ve all been there!
9. Pasta is a popular family food for a good reason, it’s easy and quick and there are endless tasty recipe possibilities. I would often just throw a handful of cooled cooked pasta on Arlo’s high chair table for him to squidge with his fingers and shove in his mouth. You can then of course graduate to yummy little pots of baked pasta like my Broccoli and Chorizo Mac & Cheese Pots which everyone in the family will enjoy eating. The Little Book of Good Food sets out that if the whole family sits together and eats the same meal it creates positive peer pressure, so your little one is less likely to be fussy. It also means you won’t be cooking lots of different meals which has to be a bonus!
10. Whether it’s pitching a little tent in your back garden or heading off for a weekend away, there’s something super magical about taking little kids camping. They can run around and explore and work up an appetite to demolish pretty much whatever you put in front of them. The Little Book of Good Food agrees and advises that eating outdoors can be the ideal time to try new tastes and textures with your toddler, who’ll be ravenous from all that fresh air! These brownies you can see a very little Arlo about to squidge, were these amazing Beetroot Brownies we made for Matthew one Father’s Day… try the recipe here.
I hope you’ve got some inspiration from the ideas and recipes… you can find out more about the #LoveGoodFood campaign over on the Organix Website.
Disclosure: I have been commissioned by Organix to promote their #LoveGoodFood campaign and will be sharing a series of blog posts with you as it’s something I feel strongly about.