Tricking the toddler into eating

It’s not that she won’t eat, or that she’s fussy with her food, she just won’t sit still long enough to eat it, and even if she does, your dinner always looks better. Cue half an hour of swapping food, and then she doesn’t want any.  Frustrated, and more than a little annoyed at all the food that was being wasted (read  ‘wasted’ as ‘that I ate’) I took to the internet in search of advice.

Apparently, when I just chuck some food together on a plate it just isn’t appetising enough for her, even though she eats things out of the bin, and anything she finds behind other things. The food needs to be more interesting for her preferably in the shape of things she likes. I don’t know about you, but I find putting faces on food a bit strange. Why would you want to eat something that is smiling at you? Undeterred, I did as was suggested and used what I had to make her dinner a little more interesting. I present, The Very Hungry Caterpillar in sandwich form!


Well, kind of! He has a tomato for his head, four strawberries, 3 plums (grapes) and some cheese. I used small biscuit cutters to make his body. I have to say I was sceptical, but lo and behold


A clean plate and a happy mummy!


8 thoughts on “Tricking the toddler into eating

  1. So many of us have been at that junction. I have to admit that my 2 would eat most things, and still do. They love brussels (yes you heard me right), broccoli, cauliflower all those things that kids aren’t supposed to like. It’s been a while now since mine were that small, but little and often was the way we used to do it. George (nearly 12) has never sat still for more that 3 seconds, but food made him sit still. Now he inhales his food!! Chunky bits is what kids like. Don’t worry about cutlery, life’s too short when they’re that age. They can learn how to use them when they’re older. Even now I still have to keep reminding them both to use cutlery (Emily is 14). I think it slows them down! Toddlers go on how attractive food looks, so brightly colours food is always a good thing. If your plate has the same things on it, then maybe you could have an eating competition?

    • I’m glad it’s not just her! She loves veg, and often that’s the only thing she’ll eat, but I do find she’s better with bite size finger food 🙂 I never thought about a race. I’ve got some toddler training chop sticks coming, in the hope she will concentrate in trying to use them!

  2. The son-and-heir, now 31, was the fussiest eater. He was incredibly suspicious of anything pureed. Even custards wouldn’t pass his suspicious lips and he survived on finger food for the first 5 years of his life. Looks like you cracked the toddler code there 😉

  3. I love that idea.

    My eldest ate most things, but my youngest had gastric reflux so limited his own diet. We still struggle with foods now he’s 8. As long as you can ensure your children get a variety of food groups then you don’t need to worry too much.

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