If you’re a regular reader of our blog, or the “Toddler In The Kitchen” series, you’ll know that I love having Luke in the kitchen with me. He is a confident little boy and at 19 months, he finds it a really exciting and fun experience. However, we mainly do bakes – which of course, at the end of it all, he devours. You’ll also know if you have read our blog before, Luke is an awfully fussy eater, like many toddlers. I’m not really sure why, but I believe there are several factors that contributed to this during the ages of around 6 – 11 months. Of course, they may not have and he may just be a little fuss pot!
In an effort to try and break free of this “fussy eating” label, Luke and I have been in the kitchen together every evening for the past week. We have been using Annabel Woolmer’s ‘The Tickle Fingers Cookbook’ which is just bursting with tasty and exciting recipes that are Luke friendly and age appropriate. It also has loads of helpful tips that make having a toddler in the kitchen a little less stressful, as well as to help engage fussy eaters in the kitchen.
Every evening, Luke has (almost unaided) prepared his own meals – either his dinner or his pudding.
The more control Luke has over the situation, the more likely he is to eat the end result. By feeling the ingredients, having a little nibble and transferring things from one bowl to the next, he is in charge of the whole operation (besides putting it in the oven!) and therefore he may be less inclined to be a fussy eater.
What actually happened:
At first, I must say I was a little disheartened. For the first two evenings, we tried some really nice recipes from the Tickle Finger’s cookbook. Recipes in the book are broken up into such simple stages and Luke was able to do them with a little encouragement. He enjoyed the preparation process – every step he does is really developing his fine and gross motor skills etc, not to mention the sensory fun and of course – eating the ingredients. We made a really yummy pizza on the first night. I thought, yeah, this is really going to work; every single ingredient on the list was a winner – he loves them all individually, so this should be perfect! The prep process was, of course, wonderful. However, when it came to eating the finished product, it was a definite no go. I must admit, I felt disheartened and quite frustrated. Everything looked so promising and then it all went to pot, with a huge 15 minute tantrum to go with it.
|Luke did really enjoy spooning the sauce around and tearing up ham and cheese.
The next day was pretty much the same: we made something yummy, which he loved creating, but hated eating. However, he did actually try some. This gave me the strength to persevere, I think. The next few days, things really picked up!
We made some gorgeous pudding’s mid week, which were a huge hit! His confidence in the kitchen grew and his relationship with food seemed a bit better. We carried on in the kitchen for the rest of the week, and we’re still doing it this week too. We have started to move back onto main meals now, and slowly away from the puddings, although on some evenings we do both. Tasty recipes such as Curried Chicken Wraps, Chocolate Fork Biscuits and Fruity Mess seem to be going down a treat.
Luke’s relationship with food does seem to be slowly improving. I was so hopeful at the beginning and then I got pretty worried that my master plan wasn’t going to work after the first two days. But I am so pleased that we carried on with it! Obviously, this isn’t going to fix everything and he isn’t just going to magically become the perfect toddler eating a salad for lunch, but I am grateful for this small break through.
May there be many more!
We are going to carry on having Luke in the kitchen for as long as he is happy to be there. I am armed with a huge collection of toddler proof recipes and I intend to use them!
We were lucky enough to have The Tickle Fingers Cookbook [Annabel Woolmer] sent to us to help aid Luke in our fight against the fuss!