Mums’ top tips on feeding your toddler and child

From table manners to weaning, these mums offer their advice on all things feeding

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It can be hard to get your little one to eat his veg

For easy desserts

“I’m weaning my daughter and would often make too much purée, especially fruity ones. Now I do it on purpose and we share some out at pudding time. I like some on Greek yoghurt, and my son Jake, 3, loves it with ice cream.”

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Amy Bronton, 34, from Andover, mum to Jake, 3, and Aimee, 8 months

For night time feeding and changing

“We bought low-watt light bulbs for the bedside lights in our room when Ryan was born. So whoever is up feeding or changing him in the night doesn’t disturb the other with a bright light. It’s kept us sane.”

Rosie Brown, 33, from Edinburgh, mum to Ryan, 6 months

Getting you child to eat dinner

“Mealtimes were becoming a bit of a struggle with Sebastian, but this all changed when I started getting him involved in preparing his meals. If I’m making mashed potato I give him a small bit to mash with a spoon. It can get a bit messy, but he gets messy when eating anyway, and at least this way I’ve got him eating what I’ve made.”

Rebecca Marshall, 28, from Essex, mum to Sebastian, 16 months

Help your toddler feed himself

“Meal times used to be really stressful with Harry as he’d refuse to feed himself. I think it was partly because he was watching his baby sister getting lots of attention for being spoon-fed. I found that if I fed Chloe before Harry I could give him more attention and praise, which worked really well.”

Diana Wells, 28, from Newcastle, mum to Harry, 2, and Chloe, 8 months

Eating out with your child

“We love going out for lunch, and have found baby-led weaning has really helped make it stress free now Evie is on solids. Going to cafés and restaurants is really easy as she can just nibble things from our plates, and we don’t have to worry about taking lots of baby food out with us.”

Diana O’Sullivan, 29, Surrey, mum to Evie, 9 months

For messy eaters

“I can’t live without a Tommy Tippee scoop bib. My 18-month-old son is constantly eating and gets in a real mess. Without it I’d be constantly changing his tops, and I can also put snacks in the bib for him to carry around as he toddles.”

Jodie Bacon, 31, from Basildon, mum to Jasmine 8, Freddy, 6, and Lennon, 18 months.

For easy weaning

“We didn’t wean Mina until she was 6 months old, but I let her play with weaning spoons from four months so she would be used to cutlery. Her first taste of food went down very easily without her having to deal with both new food and a new spoon. A month on and she’s beginning to get the hang of grabbing my hand with the filled spoon and placing it into her mouth herself.”

Tricia Clark, 33, from Hampshire, mum to Mina, 7 months

Getting your child to eat with the family

“I found that when your toddler is eating the same as everyone else, and attempting to feed himself, he tends to be happier to sit at the table. When we have spaghetti bolognese Jamie has his Cow & Gate spaghetti but the same sauce and garlic bread as us – he gets stuck in and loves it!”

Claire Pomfret, 34, from Manchester, mum to Jamie, 17 months, and stepmum to Vicky, 15

For healthy hydration

“If I’m preparing apples and pears for steaming ready to purée for Manny, I put the peelings and cores into a pan of boiling water and cook them as I steam the others. When they’re soft and the water’s cooled, I drain it and give Poppy the flavoured water to drink. She loves it and gets a good intake of vitamins too.”

Helen Moody, 29, from Castleford, mum to Poppy, 2, and Manny, 6 months

For healthy eating

“To encourage tots with their five-a-day, invest in a weekly veg box delivery. For us it’s proving cheaper than the supermarket and helps us try fruit and veg I don’t normally buy. I only wish I’d done it sooner as I have a fussy 5 year old, but a 3 year old who pretty much eats anything put in front of him.”

Teresa Morgan, 36, from Weston-super-Mare, mum to Ben, 5, and Kieran, 3

For teaching table manners

“When Nathan was a baby we’d sit him in his highchair at the table during family meals and, once he’d been fed, give him plastic cutlery to play with so he could imitate us eating. He’s got really advanced cutlery skills for his age now and hardly makes any mess.”

Brenda Potts, 39, from Hull, mum to Nathan, 5, and Jemima, 9

For ensuring tots eat their veg

“I’ve got a secret recipe to pack veggies into Zoë’s diet. I make a mild vegetable curry with cauliflower, potato, carrot, tomatoes and lentils, along with coconut milk and salt-free stock, plus a few herbs and spices. I stir in Greek yogurt at the end for a lovely creamy taste that goes down without a fuss.”

Wendy Parker, 37, from Hampton, mum to Zoë, 22 months

For easy breakfasts

“My daughter Caitlin loves to eat Cheerios for breakfast, but also likes using her fingers, picking lots up at once and making a terrible mess. I now thread the Cheerios onto a straw for her to pick each one off and eat. She finds it really interesting so it keeps her nice and busy and her breakfast off the floor.”

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Eileen Teo, 30, from Lichfield, mum to Kieran, 3, and Caitlin, 16 months


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