Mums’ top toddler tips

From feeding to potty training, check out this helpful advice from mums across the country

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For healthy eating tots

“I encourage Maya to try new and different flavours so she doesn’t eat the same food all the time. Kids love to mimic and I find that she always enjoys eating her food when she sees her mummy and daddy eating too.”

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Tanzina Guerni, 29, from Surrey, mum to Amirah Maya, 18 months

For feeding time fun

“Ewan is lactose intolerant, so to get him to try things I make food into shapes like smiley faces or animals. David uses shape cutters for toast and sandwiches, which means he wants to eat them as he’s cut them himself.”

Kimberley-Jane Day, 23, from Banbury, mum to David, 2 and Ewan, 9 months

For healthy first meals

“When my little one was ready to start on solid food I always used fresh produce when preparing meals, making sure I made extra to put into storage pots and freeze. It’s easy and convenient, especially if you’re not in a rush in the morning. It means no more having to get up at the crack of dawn to be able to fit everything in. Best of all, home-made food is lower in E-numbers, preservatives and additives.”

Gemma Driscoll, 27, from Beckenham, mum to Lily, 2

For messy eaters

“Snack traps are a must-have for messy toddlers. My little ones love their food but get it absolutely everywhere. This great little invention’s saved my car from food destruction. Plus they come with a funky design that kids’ll love.”

Tracy Langley, 47, from Addiscombe, mum to Faye, 24, Amy, 22, David, 16, Lucy, 6 and Sonny 3

For tiny travellers

“When travelling with my brood, I always pack little art goodies. Before I head off I just lower the car shelf, set up their activity , and before we know it, we’ve reached our destination without a single hiccup.”

Sarah Clegg, 30, Surrey, mum to Carla, 12, Rachel, 10, Ethan, 4, Alisha, 2 and Aaron, 6 months

For big brothers and sisters

“Just before your second baby is born, think about some easy things to do with your older child, and then make a play date chart. When Elsie sleeps, I look at the board and see what fun things I can do with Joe, so that he has the special time he deserves.”

Tabitha Witherick, 33, from Taunton, mum to Joe, 3 and Elsie, 6 months

For family meals out

“We’ve found the easiest place to go out and eat with our young children is a carvery. The food is almost instant, so there are no long waits for little ones who get bored and hungry very easily. There’s normally a good selection of vegetables to go with the meal, so it’s a relatively healthy option too.”

Jocelyn Reading, 33, from Sutton Coldfield, mum to Eliza, 15 months

For tots who like drinking too much fizz

“My son Oliver is nearly 3 and loves fizzy drinks. Rather than always giving him sugar-filled pop, I’ve started serving flavoured sparkling water instead. He can’t tell the difference as there are lots of bubbles, so it’s got all the fun of a fizzy drink, but won’t rot his teeth or make him go all hyper, which works well for me!”

Claire Williams, 24, from Doncaster, mum to Oliver, 2 and Ruby, 9 months

Coping with stubborn toddlers

“Whenever I’m out with my little boy and he starts crying because he wants a new toy, I say ‘no’, take a deep breath, let him cry it out for a few minutes and then distract him and move along. It’s important that children learn that what you say goes.”

Audrey Williamson, 37, mum to Christine, 10, Robert, 8, Sarah, 6 and Jack, 2

For encouraging potty training

“I’ve just started to potty train my 17 month old. He was unsure about it at first, so we put his favourite teddy on the potty to encourage him. When he saw Teddy sitting there, he wanted to do it too, and now he goes over and sits on it all by himself.”

Claire Jones, 31, from Dorset, mum to Dylan, 17 months

For first time dentist trips

“When I took Stefan to the dentist I knew it would be difficult as he really didn’t want to go. I booked my other three children in at the same time to make it seem more like a day out. When he saw the big chair going up and down, I told him it was like a fairground ride and he couldn’t wait to have a go. He ended up smiling the whole time and wants to go back and sit on the magic chair.”

Danka Bakic, 38, from London, mum to Daniella, 18, Daniel, 15,  Marko, 11 and Stefan, 2

For mini bookworms

“When I’m reading to my 3 year old son and he’s struggling to concentrate, I swap the name of the characters to him and his friends. He loves it and listens really well, although my brother-in-law hasn’t forgiven me for making him the grumpy old troll. Noah calls him this all the time now.”

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Jo West, 35, from Pontyclun, mum to Noah, 3, and Zoe, 10 months

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