Embrace the Mess: Cooking for Picky Eaters

Embrace the Mess: Cooking for Picky Eaters

Let's talk about the ultimate challenge in the kitchen - cooking for picky eaters, aka toddlers. If you've ever felt like a culinary wizard trying to concoct meals that your little one will actually eat, you're not alone. Picky eating is practically a rite of passage for toddlers, but with some (a lot of) patience and a sprinkle of creativity, you can navigate this food adventure like a pro.


Sneak those veggies into your dishes - puree them into pasta sauce, blend them into smoothies or finely chop them into meatballs. Your toddler won't even know they're there, and you'll feel like a stealthy superhero. 

And remember that it's okay to have some go-to meals. If your toddler has a few favourite dishes, don't be afraid to rotate them into your meal plan regularly. Consistency can be key when it comes to picky eaters. And if you're thinking 'Meal plan? Who's got time for that?' then these nutritious frozen meals packed with veggies are what you probably need.

Rumble Tums - Nutritious Kids Meals - Subscription

We like: Rumble Tums, Nutritious Meals for Kids, Subscription


Turn boring sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters, arrange food on their plate in smiley faces or animal shapes, or serve meals on colourful plates with fun utensils. Sometimes, it's all about presentation!

Kids shape cutters to use for fruit and vegetables from Eating With The Kids   
We like: Fruit and Vegetable Cutter Set (9 Pack), £7.95
Pick Plates Pick Sticks - Kids Food Skewers
We like: Pick Sticks (6 pack), £3.99
Pick Plate - Midi, £10.99

Annabel Karmel Kids Cookbook - Fun, Fast & Easy - Kids Recipe Ideas


Get your mini sous chef involved in the cooking process by letting them pick out ingredients at the supermarket, letting them stir things in the pan (with your help), and even assemble their own mini pizzas or tacos. When kids are given the freedom to play with their food, they start to engage their senses in a fun and meaningful way. This sensory exploration lays the groundwork for developing healthy eating habits later on.

Now I know what you're thinking - 'but there'll be too much mess' and trust me, I get it. Cleaning spaghetti sauce from the ceiling is nobody's idea of a good time. But think of it this way - a little mess now can lead to big gains later. Alternatively, play it safe with our mess-free Mini Chef play set:

Mini Chef Chopping Board with Vegetables for Kids - Paper & Bean
We like: Mini Chef Chopping Board & Vegetables Set, £18.95

So by allowing kids to play with their food, we're encouraging their curiosity, creativity and independence, and when kids have a hand in making their meals, they're more likely to give them a try. So when you're in the kitchen next, put on your apron, grab some extra napkins and let the creativity flow.

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