Tag Archives: Food for Fussy Eaters

Top Ten Tips for Feeding Fussy Eaters

14 Apr

I wouldn’t say T. is extremely fussy. He does eat a wide variety of foods, loves his fruit and will try new foods (even though 99% of the time the reaction is YUCK!). But, like many parents, we do have our challenges in trying to get him to eat the right things.

These are just a few ideas that I try to live by. They are just a guide as to what works in our house.

1. The most obvious – Cook with your child. Introduce them to new ingredients as you are cooking. Children are much more likely to eat something that they have helped prepare. Not to mention the self esteem boost that comes from watching others consume the foods they have cooked.

2. Make the most of every mouthful – ultimately you have the control over what goes into your (young) child’s mouth. Where you can, add grated veges to dinners, cook fruit muffins instead of chocolate ones, make savoury muffins for lunches and afternoon snacks.

3. Place small amounts of new foods on your child’s plate along with foods they are familiar with and enjoy. Encourage them to just taste the food. Try not to pressure them to eat the whole lot – a taste is a success!

4. Children need to be offered a new food at least 10 times before their palate begins to enjoy it so don’t give up. Keep offering them the foods and encouraging just a taste.

5. Give choices – offer a choice of 2 new foods so you child has some control over what they are eating eg a piece of broccoli and a piece of tomato on the plate – ask them which they would like to try and take the other away.

6. Use a reward system / star chart for trying new foods. Choose a reward that isn’t food related like going to the park or playing a favourite game.

7. Be a good role model and make healthy food choices yourself.

8. Eat meals together as a family so your children see you eating the same food as them.

9. Try offering foods in different ways eg shapes, pictures on the plate eg Grape and Cucumber Wands

10. Take the pressure off – both yourself and your child. Don’t make mealtimes a battleground.

Good Luck!

sausage rolls


Chicken Sausage Snails

3 May

I am committed to continue to serve vegetables to Thomas (unhidden) at least once a week in an effort to get him to try them. I made these sausages a while back and they were a hit but I didn’t do the whole snail thing. Today I thought I may as well try the whole picture on a plate thing and see if it helps to get my fussy eater eating his vegies…

The sausages are pretty fiddly to make so I didn’t include Thomas in the making of them but he did go and pick some parsley from the garden with Daddy to put in the sausages.

The recipe is one I found in Annabel Karmel’s ‘Feeding Your Baby and Toddler’. The sausages can be enjoyed by the whole family!

Ok, it wasn’t a huge success but he did eat more than he usually would if I put a plate of meat and veg in front of him so I guess that could be classified as a win. Just keep persisting I guess…


Chicken Sausages:

375g chicken breast diced

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water

2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs (I used packaged ones)

plain flour for coating

vegetable oil for frying

Mashed Potato:

500g potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

2 tbsp milk

30g butter

To decorate:

1 carrot peeled and cut into sticks

Frozen peas

Tomato sauce


Put the chicken in a food processor with the onion, parsley, crumbled stock cube, apple and breadcrumbs until combined.

Form the mixture into sausages (each about 10-12cm long). Spread flour on a plate and roll sausages in flour. Heat vegetable oil in a pan, add the sausages and saute for about 15 minutes or until browned on all sides and cooked through.

Meanwhile, steam potatoes in some lightly salted water. Add vegetables for decorating 5 minutes before potatoes are done. and cook until tender.

Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter.

To decorate: Form the potato into a dome shape (the recipe says to use an ice cream scooper but I just used a spoon). Decorate with tomato sauce using a spiral – snail shell effect.

Put a sausage underneath each potato dome and decorate with carrots and peas. You could add another green vegetable like beans at the bottom to make grass.

The recipe says it makes 4 servings. I usually double it to feed everyone and then have some for freezing.

Note: Don’t pre-coat the sausages with the flour and leave them on a plate like I did. They all stuck together and I had to re-roll them. Just do it when you’re ready to put them into a pan. Sausages are suitable for freezing.

Corn Fritters

21 Apr

I thought I would add some recipes that I don’t necessarily involve Thomas in cooking… Some cooking I do FOR him.

I haven’t made these fritters for a long time. Thomas used to love them and when I asked him today if he would like me to make him corn fritters for lunch his response was “no corn mumma”. Right. Just fritter then? What is it with kids that they work out so early what is good for them and refuse it? Thomas used to eat anything I put in front of him. Not any more!

Anyway, I made the fritters – with the corn (and peas and carrots) and he did eat them, four of them. The great thing about these fritters is that you can put any kind of vegetables in them. Whatever you’ve got in the fridge or the freezer. I tend to make a combo of corn and broccoli and that usually goes down well.

I got this recipe from the Annabel Karmel website originally, over time, I’ve added different vegetables and I usually make at least double and freeze the leftovers.


1/4 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg

1 x 200g can sweetcorn drained

1 large spring onion finely sliced

2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil for frying


Blend all ingredients in a food processor until batter is formed.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and drop teaspoonfuls of batter into pan.

Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Drain on paper towel before serving.

Another plus with this recipe is they can be eaten cold so can be taken out of the freezer and put into lunch boxes and be thawed while you’re out and about ready to eat at lunch time.

And, yet another sneaky way to get those vegies into your fussy eater! Win – win…

Claire’s Sneaky Sausage Rolls

8 Mar

Who doesn’t love a sausage roll??

My friend Claire shared this recipe with me after she told me how successful it is in getting her girls to eat some vegetables. I was very eager to give it a try with Thomas who has decided he is a fussy eater. Must be the age, I have heard often the tale of the child who would eat anything you put in front of them and then suddenly – around age 2 they refuse basically everything! So begins my search for healthy, nutritious recipes that Thomas will eat.

This recipe is a little fiddly to be preparing with little ones, but older children will be more than capable of making these sausage rolls. Thomas helped me with preparing the meat mixture and then I put the sausage rolls together and cut them while he was sleeping. I then enlisted the help of my mini masterchef to egg wash the rolls and sprinkle the sesame seeds. It was a bit messy but nothing that can’t be swept or wiped up!

This process will help to develop children’s fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination. Children are much more likely to learn when they are motivated and interested in what they are doing. Learning takes place every minute of every day for young children. It’s not just when you sit down and decide to “teach” them something. Incorporating learning into every day tasks like cooking makes learning real and relevant to children.

The basic sausage roll recipe is from taste.com.au and goes like this…


1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs

80ml (1/3 cup) milk

500g pork and veal or chicken and herb sausages

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 egg, plus 1 egg extra, lightly beaten

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed (I ended up using 4&1/2 sheets)

Sesame seeds, to sprinkle

Tomato sauce (ketchup), to serve

To this list, also add:

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1 potato

1/2 small sweet potato

1 cup frozen peas and corn


  1. Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and set aside until milk is absorbed. Remove casings from sausages and place in a food processor with crumbs, onion and egg. Process until well combined, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.To the meat mixture, add grated carrot, zucchini, potato, sweet potato and frozen peas and corn (I also added some capsicum).  Mix until combined.
  2. Place a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut horizontally into two. Spoon a quarter (I used about 3 tablespoons full for each roll) of the mixture along the centre of each piece of pastry. Fold over a long side of pastry, brush with egg, then fold other side over to enclose, slightly overlapping in the centre, and make a long sausage shape. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling to make 4 rolls. (you will make 9 rolls with the added vegetables)
  3. Place rolls, seam side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Carefully diagonally cut each roll into seven. Brush with remaining egg and place on baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to make 2 small slits on top of each roll (to prevent rolls from splitting) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm with the tomato sauce.

For added “motivation” serve with a sauce smiley face (also Claire’s idea!). It worked a treat for Thomas!

Yum (not only for kids)!

Thanks Claire!

Carrot and Zucchini Muffins

3 Mar

I have no idea where the original version of this recipe came from (or where it went to). This version is one that I have adapted over time. This is a staple in our house. I always have some of these muffins in the freezer. They are great for lunch – Thomas isn’t a big sandwich eater, or for a snack to get some extra vegetables in a fussy eaters diet…

When we are cooking Thomas and I always take the time to think about what we have put in the bowl as we are mixing. This is a good activity to promote memory recall (which aids brain development) in young children. It requires them to focus and think about what they have been doing. They may only remember one or two ingredients depending on how old they are but make sure you praise their attempts. In doing this, it will make them more likely to try next time.


2 cups wholemeal self raising flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup sultanas

100g butter melted

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Grease 12 hole muffin pan or line with patty cases.
  2. Whisk together butter and milk
  3. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and fold until combined
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin pans
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer
  6. Remove and cool in pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack

I hope this recipe is as much a winner in your house as it is in ours!