Fight Fussy Eater with The Tickle Fingers Cookbook from
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Fight Against The Fuss!

Hello, lovelies!

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 Tickle Fingers Cookbook by Annabel Woolmer, Fight Against The Fuss from

The idea:

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.

The Tickle Fingers Cookbook by Annabel Woolmer, Tortilla Pizzas from Fight Against The Fuss!! from
Luke did really enjoy spooning the sauce around and tearing up ham and cheese.

But then:

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! 

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.


  • Tickle Fingers

    Wow, I can’t believe how much you’ve done in a week! The best thing about everything you’ve said is he’s obviously loving being in the kitchen. Focus on that, keep having fun and don’t worry too much about the eating side for now. The fact that he is starting to try things is absolutely fantastic. The rest is going to take time, but I think you’ll get there. And in the meantime, you’re teaching him such an important life skill and having fun at the same time. Nice one. Feel like giving you a virtual high-five right now! My only worry is that, at the rate you’re going, you’re going to run out of recipes!

    • Rachael Robinson

      Haha, thank you! It was an emotional week, at the beginning I thought everything was doomed and I was going to fail and Luke was going to hate everything…but things did start to get better, so I am really pleased and quite frankly, relieved! Yes, he does love being in the kitchen and I was surprised at how well he did things after only being shown once or twice, or with only a little guidance. This whole experience has given me the patience I think to keep this going and carry it on, although I know it will take time and there will be ups and downs along the way. They’re kids, they’re not going to eat perfectly all the time, right? 🙂 Virtual high five very much appreciated! I will keep you up to date, lovely! Thanks again! xx

  • Leandra Bramham

    Lovely to see 2 of my favourite blogs collaborating, I hope you continue to have success with Luke’s eating, it’s so great that you are taking the time to try and help him now rather than just leave it to become worse.

    Happy Easter, thanks for linking #toddlerapprovedtuesday xx

    • Rachael Robinson

      Aww, thank you lovely! I really hope it continues, it’s so exciting and I feel like there’s actually a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I think us mumma’s really beat ourselves up over things too much, so now that his eating is slowly starting to get better, it feels really good. Thanks for reading lovely. xx

    • Rachael Robinson

      I know how you feel! Luke is starting to get there, but I know there are still going to be ups and downs along the way and, to be honest, they’re still kids! They’re bound to be fussy sometimes. Good luck with your little girl, I am always a tweet or comment (or email) away if you fancy having a chat and sharing battle plans! Thank you for reading xx

  • Weronika

    It’s so difficult when children are fussy about food. My 2 tend to go through stages or being fussy or eating well. I have to say my toddler is less fussy than my 5 year old and I do wonder if it had anything to do with the type of weaning. With my eldest I did the puree method and with my youngest I did baby led weaning. I wonder if it made a difference. Which type of weaning did you try?

    • Rachael Robinson

      I wondered this too! But then Annabel did mention to me that Luke could have turned out exactly the same way whichever method of weaning I chose. So that’s something to remember if you ever feel a bit stressed by it! I really regret not doing baby led weaning with Luke, we fed him purees! We were all in a bit of a rough situation and for time and money’s sake, we just bought Organic HIPP jars and fed him these. I really wish I had done BLW though! So, although I like to think there is no connection between fussy eaters and weaning – looking at our two results, there just might be!! haha. Thank you for reading, lovely. xx

    • Rachael Robinson

      Luke loves getting his hands messy too, so this is working really well for us! You should get Boo in the kitchen with you and just let her play around with ingredients – like making cornflakes/rice crispies and chocolate bites. I think that’s pretty fun. You can melt the chocolate and Boo can eat the cereal/mix it around in the bowl and then you can add the chocolate and get messy! 🙂 Let me know if you try something like this, I would love to read about it. Thanks for reading, lovely! xx

  • Laura Powell-Corbett

    I need this book, and a little bit more patience in the kitchen! Must add it to mums bring out to dubai list! Otherwise the toddler main meals are going to be omlette and pancakes….everything else is quicker for me to do. Though I did brave soup yesterday! #toddlerapprovedtuesday

    • Rachael Robinson

      Hahaha, oh my gosh, how did the soup go? I must admit, sometimes it is hard in the kitchen to remain the stress-free ! But I don’t think Luke made as much mess as I was expecting, though of course there have been a few occasions I’d rather not talk about! haha! Thanks for reading xx

  • Caro Davies

    Aaah good for you treasure!! You are amazing to even let him make his own food!! I just haven’t got the time or the patience to let my two take over in the prep of their food!! I’d have to start a couple of hours before teatime!! 😉 Thankfully they’re pretty good eaters, although meat is something they’re just not very keen on!! And I don’t think they’ve ever even given salad leaves a go!!! They like cucumber and tomato but lettuce isn’t something they’ve ever tried!! LOL! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro |

    • Rachael Robinson

      Thank you so much, lovely! I saw someone on my Instagram the other day who posted this lush looking salad with avocado drizzle or something and I thought, oh that’s a nice healthy lunch, then she posted saying it was for her 12 month old! I nearly cried. 🙁 Luke is not a fan of cucumber or tomato. Or much haha, so I am proud of his progress. 🙂 Thank you for reading and hosting xx

  • fussylittleeater

    I may have to try this book! I fell your frustration though, Caden is the same. He will enjoy cooking something but then refuse to eat it at the end! Maybe it’s because of the way it looks? I think a lot of it is just a fear of new foods so even if he likes the individual ingredients, the end product may be completely different and new for him. This is what I am trying to do, bring familiarity into it! Its so difficult though! I hope its something that Luke grows out of!
    Louise xx

    • Rachael Robinson

      I think you’re probably right. We make things that Luke likes when all the ingredients are separate, but when they’re all together, they look alien to him I suppose. He is not a fan of trying new things. He won’t even TOUCH them, let alone try a bit. It’s a really long process and it’s really hard work. I still get awful days and I still get proper stressed out mummy days. 🙁 Hopefully both Luke and Caden will get through it xx

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