Healthy eating for little people


Its a constant game that keeps you on your toes, thinking up new ways to get good food into growing babes. I find snacks/morning and afternoon tea can be the biggest challenge but are a great opportunity to sneak certain foods into their diets as they are mostly well rested and happy to experiment at these times.

E eats a lot of fruit with his breakfast (at around 7/7:30am) ... a standard breakfast for him is a sliced pear, a sliced and cored kiwi fruit followed by 1 weetbix softened in a cup or so of A2 milk (warmed in our Nespresso aeroccino) with half a mashed Lady Finger banana.

Snacks and or morning tea around 9:30am will usually include a handful of blueberries, a chopped nectarine, some grapes ... whatever fruit I have on hand along with a handful of seeds (sunflower, pepita) and a cheesestick.

Afternoon tea I like to make a little more substantial as he will eat lunch at 12ish after his morning nap and given he has completely refused his afternoon sleep for the past week, its a long time until dinner at 5:30pm. My go to options at the moment in this case are:

  • Mini veggie muffins spread with hommus - packed with any grated veggies I have on hand, a little grated cheese and even some finely chopped mushroom.
  • Mini quiches - these are a huge hit and never get refused so I always make a huge batch and freeze them in little portions for lunches on the go. Ham, cheese and shallots is the favoured combination but spinach & fetta are popular too. I don't follow a recipe as such but the base is 5 eggs, a cup of thickened cream and a half cup of milk. You can also use a few layers of filo pastry for a base if you like - use a Tupperware scone cutter to cut the pastry.
  • Vegemite & cheese puffs are the hit of the moment - this is an old WW recipe I used to make for weekend snacks as a kid (without the vegemite) and I thought to try them while flicking through my well used Beautiful Biscuits Book and realising I had a few sheets of puff pastry to use up. Super easy, just slice the sheet half and then into 1.5/2cm strips. Twist/plait 2 strips, brush with vegemite, sprinkly with a mix of grated cheddar & parmesan, top with a dusting of paprika and into the oven (180c) until golden. Even my husband is a big fan of these for lunchbox snacks.
  • Crudites (red capsicum, carrot & cucumber strips) with tzatzikki, cream cheese or hommus are getting gobbled up at the moment.
  • Homemade muesli slice with apricots, sultanas, cranberries, chia seeds and coconut made with a little maple syrup and no sugar.

I also keep some sultanas, sakata rice crackers, Little Quackers strawberry crackers and these little multi seed rounds we get from Aldi on hand to keep in our nappy bag so I don't get caught out for those times when hunger strikes or we are delayed for mealtimes.

Ethan's dinners are still a little limited by his reflux and we avoid anything tomato based so bolognaise and the like are out unfortunately. He mostly has a small piece of meat (chicken drumstick, homemade meatballs made with grated veg beef mince & a little sausage mince, chippolatas, lightly marinated lemon fish fillets, poached chicken tenderloins, grilled lamb cutlets, lamb fillet, strip of porterhouse) and either steamed pasta spirals, carrot, broccoli and carrot or mashed sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, peas and chopped spinach. I freeze small portions of slow cooked casserole like beef stroganoff too and if we are disorganised for any reason, that, a veggie omelette with some grated cheese always goes down well or a boiled egg in place of the meat portion.

Dessert is every second night and almost always a squeezy banana or strawberry yoghurt or his other favourite food - a handful of mixed frozen berries lightly thawed on their own or mixed through some unsweetened apple puree.

I hope to get away with avoiding sugary treats or foods for as long as possible in the home. I know my dad, MiL and sister sneak him a spoonful of ice cream or a sliver of jam on toast occasionally which I'm ok with as I figure he won't associate them with regular foods if he doesn't get them at home (fingers crossed).

What are your go to toddler dinners and snacks as I'm always looking to expand my repetoire and keep the boy interested in good food?

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  1. This was a great list! We are just getting into eating food and looking for good ideas.

    1. So glad to hear it was helpful ... the beginnings of food is always a bit overwhelming. X


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