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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Getting your toddler to eat fruit & veg! #Lovegoodfood

Does anyone else find weaning a royal pain in the A**?  I really do. I can't even begin to tell you how hard I find it. Rewind 6 months or so when we first really started weaning properly and I thought it was going to be a doddle. Daisy would try anything and eat 90% of what I tempted her with, whether that be spoon feeding or baby - led style. 

Fast forward again back to now, and she will probably eat around 50% of what I give her, on a good day! She has so much attitude that I am sure she doesn't eat her tea or lunch just to show me who is boss. Some days she will eat everything in sight but it really is on her terms. I have read so much literature and so much advice on how to not make a big deal of food, but my god is that difficult!! When you have mashed potato or carrots flying full throttle towards your face or your favourite curtains it is hard to remember to count to 10!! 

At nursery she will not eat full stop. That is really frustrating!!! Luckily she only does short days but when I start to put her in for a full day will she starve?! It really plays on my mind. At first I thought it would be a case of getting her used to nursery and settling in, but it seems that it is still going on. It is now an ongoing joke, "what did you have for lunch? Oh of course you had nothing!"

Any tips are hugely welcome! 

I moan about Daisy's eating habits but one thing I am thankful for is that when she does eat fruit is at the top of her list, and she will eat pretty much any type. Veg is also welcome to her, she definitely prefers it in smooth texture but as long as I make it easy for her she will eat it. It is the protein based items we struggle with! 

I think we have it easy with these items because I have always made them accessible to her, she can pick them up and put them down, play with them and try them as and when she likes to. I started her on pureed fruit and veg and she always took well to them. I am a bit of a cruel mother in that Daisy doesn't have chocolate or sweets, her first snack option will always be fruit or something savoury. Yes Crisps are a good go to as well in her diet, but at least she eats them! Daisy has such a sweet tooth that I just know if she has anything like cake etc then everything else is out of the window. She has cake after her tea quite often or something sweet, but quite often she will point to the fruit bowl instead!! Which is really nice to see :) 

Another good thing to do is grown your own. Now I am not talking a full on allotment, no one has time for that! But we have strawberry plants on the patio and down the garden which she loves to go and help herself from. It is a bit of a race to garb it from her little mitts to wash it before she eats, but at least it is a good habit to form! Eating fresh and natural! 

If you have read my recent posts in collaboration with Organix then you will know this, but as a reminder:

Organix have launched a Love Good Food video with Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables.  In a series of short videos, Lucy and a group of toddlers explore, enjoy and share the wonderful world of fruit and vegetables, from broccoli to bananas, through play, rhymes, song and storytelling.

#LoveGoodFood provides a great opportunity to encourage parents to understand more about ways to encourage little ones to really explore and love fruit and veg, get involved in cooking activities with jobs for little chefs, and understand a little more about where their food comes from by growing their own fruit and veg.There are simple tips that Lucy gives  such as; Lucy says, “It can be challenging for parents to get their little ones to eat fruit and veg, however, 

toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them so helping them learn about the colours, 

the funny shapes, smells and textures of a variety of fruit and vegetables in a fun environment and 

away from mealtime can really help get them excited about food.  As parents we tend to think about 

food as just eating, but we forget the simple pleasure that children can get from peeling their own 

banana for example, enjoying how it feels to peel off the skin.”

As we all know The toddler years are a key time to influence diets and a time when it is possible to establish lifelong healthy eating habits and a love of food. So I know how important it really is to get it right sooner rather than later. 

Would love to know what you think?

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xxx

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