Squidge is by no means a good eater, far from it. But recently I’ve been trying some new things and had some success, so I thought I’d share my tips for getting your toddler to eat. Of course there’s a massive caveat on this, that what works for Squidge, might not work for your toddler. But if you’re like me and willing to try some different things, it can’t hurt to give it a go.
Experiment with shapes
Toddlers like things to remain the same… within reason. If you’ve always cut carrots into batons and suddenly change to discs, you’re likely to incur a full on toddler meltdown. It goes back to caveman times – they know what to trust, and suddenly if it’s a different shape, they can’t trust it. However, toddlers do also like fun!
Make cookie cutters your new best friend
Oh my gosh, this was a revelation to me! I had the idea one day to use the smallest star from a cookie cutter set to cut Squidge’s sandwiches up – the result, he loved it! It does seem wasteful as there’s lots of sandwich you’ll throw away, but before doing this, he’d take 1-2 bites of a sandwich and that’s it, so it’d all end up being thrown away, this way he’s eating at least half of it, so actually less wasteful.
I experimented by getting some other shaped cookie cutters and it worked really well. Now he regularly has little star and flower shaped sandwiches/toast/cucumber etc and loves it – he eats more than he used to, and more variety, thanks to it being in fun and appealing shapes.
Try egg shapers!
Ok, I’ll admit I haven’t tried this yet, but I have ordered them from Amazon. They’re little moulds that you put a raw egg into, seal it up and then boil it. The egg then takes on the shape of the mould to something cute like a bunny or car.
Another mistake I made was not cutting things up small enough. Food became daunting and would make him not interested in it. A sandwich cut into quarters was still too big, so I started making things more bitesize. Toast is cut into 2cm squares, sandwiches are tiny flowers, everything is bitesize. As a result, he eats lots more and can graze on it.
Experiment with texture
Don’t be afraid to experiment with texture, but on a small toddler-sized-mouth scale. Squidge really likes the Annabel Karmel pasta shells, they’re small and easy to swallow but still taste like pasta. I make it up with some finely grated cheese, and either some double cream or garlic and herb Philadelphia, some poached salmon and some boiled bits of broccoli and it’s one of his favourite meals. I don’t make it for him often as I don’t want him to get bored of it, but he’ll usually eat it all. It’s a great way to get a few extra calories in him too with the addition of the double cream.
I hope these tips work for you, let me know if you give any of them a try, and feel free to leave a comment below with your tips :)