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If you are weaning then read these helpful tips

Friday, 5 August 2016  | 

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Toddlers have a very strong mind and they will only eat what they want to eat, it wasn't too bad when my daughter first began weaning as she was willing to try just about anything but now that she is older she likes having more independence and making choices for herself. Usually her independence is expressed by saying no to everything including food. I'm sure that she would happily live off crisps, chicken nuggets and chips if she could. Over the past few months I have gathered a few tips on how to get my daughter to eat more fruit and vegetables as when they are served with her main meal they usually go untouched. My favourite ways to try to sneak in fruit and veg are:

  1. Make it look fun and appealing. I love to use food cutters in lots of fun shapes and then serve the food on bright plates. My favourites are the Oogaa divided plate and the Yumbox, I find that serving a variety of food in small portions gives my toddler a choice which means that she is more likely to eat it. If they don't eat much you can always pop it back in the fridge until later. My favourite food cutters are star shapes and the love heart Funbites cutter.
  2. Fruit Kebabs - Makes fruit or veg that little bit more appealing served in small portions on a colourful stick, bonus points if they are cut into fun shapes. Keep it simple with strawberry and melon or mix it up with pieces of cucumber, the more colourful the better.
  3. Make it into a muffin - this sometimes feels like my motto as if all else fails I bake it into a savory muffin. Our favourite is spinach and sweetcorn muffins which are a Ellas Kitchen recipe. I also like making banana and blueberry oaty muffins which are great for breakfasts (I just leave the sugar out of the recipe).
  4. Hide veg in mini quiches - crustless mini quiches are so quick and easy to make and you can basically put any combination of veg in and it will work, just chop the veg up small.
  5. Make it into a sauce - a lot of parents do this and there are a lot of recipes about for switching your original bolognese and red lasagna sauces for a homemade vegetable packed one. You can always batch cook it and freeze some too.
  6. Make it into a smoothie, I see a lot of these kids pouch smoothies in supermarkets now but even though they are marketed for kids I never really trust what is in them? I'm guessing some kind of sugar and additives, which is fine if they eat healthy foods to. If I'm trying to get my daughter to eat more pure fruit and veg but she is refusing it at home (many apples get chucked on the floor) then a smoothie could be the way to go. I love the Nom Nom reusable food pouches. These are perfect for out on the go and can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
  7. Make ice lollies - these is also a great one if your little one happens to be teething too. I use the Nuby lolly mold.
  8.  
Lately I have felt that I was held back with some of the recipes as I didn't have a blender but for the muffins and quiches I found chopping the veg up small worked just fine. The only thing you need a blender for are the sauce, smoothies and ice lollies but you can get the childrens tommee tippee blenders for about £10 when they are on offer, they are small but work fine for baby food and things like this. Also don't be afraid to freeze things, the muffins and quiches can be eaten warm or cold and are perfect for little lunch boxes. I get most of my inspiration from Instagram by searching for the hashtag #blw or #babyledweaning there are lots of colourful healthy food options that your toddler might just eat but then again they are a toddler so they might not. If you want any more in-depth recipes please find me on Instagram - wigan_mum where I can advise you. Don't think that I'm some wonderful baking supermum because i'm not I would love to cook these things more often but the reality is I don't have time, I might get chance 1 or 2 times per month but I like to make enough to freeze. I'm not suggesting cooking everything on the list here even just trying one is perfectly fine. Let me know if you have any tips to share in the comments below. - Jodie x www.wiganmum.com www.wiganmum.com
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