Toddlers are notorious for their picky eating habits, which can be frustrating and concerning for parents.
The trick to getting them to eat a wider range of vitamin and mineral rich foods is to serve them in foods they already enjoy – for example, grating veggies or fruit through pikelets, or popping pineapple on top of a wholemeal English muffin or mini pita, with a little tomato sauce and grated cheese to make a mini pizza.
Other ways to get them interested in a more diverse range of foods?
Toddlers are more likely to eat meals they had in a hand in making, so let them help pick out ingredients at the supermarket, grow veggies with them in the garden, or help with meal prep (letting them pour or mix are two easy ways to include them.
Also look for easy ‘swaps’ you can make that don’t change the flavour of favoured meals – for example, using wholemeal flours and breads instead of white varieties. You can also hide nutritional goodies in homemade treats; for example, by sprinkling flaxseeds and other grains through muffins and slices.
Keeping growing kids healthy
RECIPE: Super green ‘sausage’ rolls
5 toddler-certified quick and easy recipes
Zucchini & corn fritters
- 1 ½ cups wholemeal SR flour
- 1 grated zucchini
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup corn kernels
Mix all ingredients together and cook by the spoonful in frypan set to medium heat.
Mac and cheese bites
- 2 cups macaroni
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 300ml milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated tasty cheese
- ½ cup grated zucchini
- ½ cup shredded ham
Cook the macaroni and drain well. Melt butter and mix in flour over a low heat until it forms a paste, then whisk in milk and heat until thick. Mix in cooked pasta ,shredded ham, eggs, cheese and zucchini. Spoon into a muffin tray and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
Salmon potato cakes
- 2 cups mashed potato
- 1 x 440gm can of fork mashed salmon
- ½ cup cheese
- 2 eggs
Mix well and form into little patties. Cook in a non-stick frypan on moderate heat until each side is golden. Serve with steamed broccoli, carrots, or beans.
- 2 cups of leftover or frozen vegetables – even roast vegetables will work for this one
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup of grated cheese
- Splash of milk
Whisk eggs with milk. Mix vegetables and cheese through. Spoon into sprayed or buttered muffin tin and bake at 160 degrees for 25 minutes.
Healthy dipping platter
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 mini cucumber
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup of hummus*
- ½ cup tzatziki*
Chop the veggies into sticks, and the cherry tomatoes in half. Serve with the dips – and add a few wholemeal crackers if they are extra hungry (or you’d like to share!)
*These can be purchased commercially, but if you’d like to make your own, you’ll need:
- 600g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- 100ml olive oil
Place the chickpeas, a pinch of salt, cumin, tahini paste, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor and process until combined. Add the water and process again. Drizzle in the olive oil and process until quite smooth.
- 150g Greek yoghurt
- ½ cucumber, very finely diced
- 2 - 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp chopped or dried mint (or dill)
- ½ tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
These recipes all work well served warm or cold – and are a great option for ‘take a plate’ mornings or play dates.
Bonus tip: dipping platter aside, you can make extras and pop them in the freezer for extra snacks for when little guests pop around or you don’t feel like cooking.
Have you got a fussy eater at home? Ask a Blackmores naturopath for their expert tips to help you support your little one’s nutrition.