Coaxing a toddler to eat with yummy, healthy foods

Over the past 3 days my 16 month old DD has refused to eat.  Her high chair tray has gone untouched and she’s even refused to be spoon fed.  It’s very upsetting as a parent and finally at my wits end I decided to cook. And for fun, I baked.

I figured she might be bored with boring sandwiches and porridge for breakfast and turned to Finger Food for Babies and Toddlers by Jennie Maizels.

What a treasure trove of brilliant recipes and nutritional facts.  Surely something in this book would tempt her?

With DD’s help we made savoury pancakes, banana and honey cakes, flapjacks and oat biscuits all from the Finger Food for Babies and Toddlers.  Since I was in a cooking mood and the kitchen was in a fine mess anyway, I made blueberry muffins and Tuna and sweetcorn fish cakes (my own recipe) and turkey balls from Annabel Karmel. These turkey balls are just to die for!

Since I bought the ingredients, tomorrow I’m going to make mini quiches and ham and cheese muffins.  I’ve frozen most of it and kept only a few small portions out for the next couple of days.

For dinner, I added some pasta bows and tomato sauce with cheese to the turkey balls and DD’s eating like she’s never seen food before.  Needless to say I’m about to collapse I’m so tired! But very chuffed she’s now eating.

If you haven’t a copy of Finger Food for Babies and Toddlers by Jennie Maizels then definitely put it on your Amazon wish list.  It’s just brilliant.  Here are a few recipes to whet your appetite.

Savoury Pancakes (Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers)

  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 T oil, plus more for frying

Place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, break in the egg and add a little milk. Stir gently.  Gradually mix in the rest of themilk and the tablespoon of oil until the mixture resembles the consistency of single cream.

Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes before using.  Heat a medium frying pan, then brush with a little oil. Pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl around to cover the base, the thinner the better.

Cook for about a minute or until the edges are coming away from the sides of the pan and it starts to bubble up from underneath. Flip the pancake over and cook for another minute until golden in colour.  Transfer to a plate, cover with greaseproof paper adn keep warm. (Putting greaseproof paper between pancakes will keep them from sticking together.)  Repeat until all the batter has been used.

Serve filled with cheese or fillings of your choice.  Creamed spinach and leftover bolognese sauce make good fillings.

Oat biscuits (Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers)

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 25g porridge oats
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 T golden syrup
  • 50g butter

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stir in the syrup.  Rub in the butter using your fingers to form a sost dough.  Flour the work surface, place the dough on it and pat into a flat shape about 5mm thick.  Use an 8cm cutter to cut out the biscuits. Lightly grease a baking sheet, place the biscuits on it and bake for about 10 minutes until they are slightly browned.  Leave to stand for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.

Flapjacks (Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers)

Makes about 12

  • 100g butter
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 1 T golden syrup
  • 150g porridge oats

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade.  Grease a baking tin or loaf tin approximately 18cm square.  Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the sugar, syrup and oats.  Turn the mixture into the prepared baking tin and press flat using the back of a metal spoon. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes, then mark out 12 squares.  Cool completely before removing the flapjacks from the tin.

Mama’s tuna and sweetcorn cakes

  • 1 x 170g tin of tuna in brine, drained
  • 300g mashed potato
  • 100g sweet corn
  • 50g finely chopped leek
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Flour for dredging
  • More oil for frying

Fry the finely chopped leek in a teaspoon of oil until translucent.  Mix tuna, mashed potato, corn, leek and breadcrumbs together. Season if desired. Form the mixture into medium sized balls then squash down to form a pattie. Dredge in flour then fry on both sides until golden.

And boy did she eat!  As there were some interesting new things for her to try her interest was piqued and she ate some of everything!  After dinner I served DD a chocolate and fruit fondou.  This is what she did with it…

Looks like she had fun!

Bright blessings,

Mama R



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