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If you think your child doesn't eat enough - give them a little less than the amount you think they can eat and allow them to ask for more. It prevents them feeling overwhelmed and gives them space to gauge their own appetite and respond appropriately. Say as little as possible :-)
When in the mood for soup, fill a mug rather than a bowl if you are babywearing or have a babe on your knee. With a mug you avoid dripping hot soup onto your little one.
Fill your cup of tea with one quarter cold water so that you never have boiling water in a mug and be very careful to place the mug well out of reach at all times.
Before heading out and about put snacks into pots or tins. The focus is then on the food and the appetite rather than the allure of the wrapper.
Make a menu plan for the next five days and then make your shopping list.
Order online – it helps prevent too many expensive impulse buys too!
Soak grains and nuts overnight or for a few hours to make them more digestible on young guts. Macadamias don’t require soaking!
If you make homemade raw chocolates or small health bars, you can wrap them individually in foil or greaseproof paper and pop them in the fridge in a bowl...when the child is old enough they can help themselves from this nutritious snack bowl.
Encourage healthy snacking by putting food in the sections of a muffin tray or ice cube tray.
When children are first learning to pour, help them practise by pouring dry foods such as rice into different sized containers on a large tray (to make cleaning up a little easier).
Chopped dates, raisins, coconut flakes and goji berries makes for a colourful travel snack.
Look out for cake and muffin recipes that include vegetables - chocolate is delightful with carrot, courgette and beetroot! By using honey as a sweetener, oils for fats and gluten-free flour you can also make your veg cake dairy, sugar and gluten-free.
If you need to make porridge or tea a little cooler, try using a little fruit juice as a cooling sweetener.
If your child doesn’t like bibs and pulls them off, use an old slightly too-large t-shirt that can be put on to protect any clothes that need to be kept clean (and roll the sleeves up).
Invest in a couple of sleeved bibs & a splash mat before you start giving your baby solids. Less washing & less worry about mess means you'll be more relaxed about your baby exploring & having fun with their finger foods.
Practice drawing numbers with honey, fruit puree or peanut butter - great to let them snack while learning math!
Encourage meal time cooperation by storing your child’s plates, cutlery, cups etc somewhere accessible so they can set their own place.
Use a muslin as a napkin at toddler mealtimes for mucky faces and hands.
Use a wet flannel to wipe your child at the end of the meal to save on wipes. As they get older they can use this like a napkin (well that’s the plan!). Cheap flannels or washable wipes are perfect, save the wipes for out and about.
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