Winter favourites for little tummies

Judy More, Paediatric Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist

 

When it’s dark and cold outside, sometimes nothing quite hits the spot like a lovely hot meal in winter! They can also be a great way to ensure your toddler has a well-balanced diet, eating food from all five food groups each day:

  1. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
  2. Fruit and vegetables
  3. Milk, cheese and yogurt
  4. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses
  5. Oils, butter and fat spread

Winter favourites such as shepherd’s pie with a vegetable on the side can quite easily contain foods from all five of these groups, as well as keeping the whole family happy! Warming winter puddings can also be a good opportunity for toddlers to explore new foods. Toddlers can also become bored with the first savoury course at a meal, but still be interested in eating a second course of different foods. By offering two courses of different foods at meals, toddlers will be eating a wider variety of nutrients.

These winter warmers also provide a great opportunity to eat together, an important social time in family life and a great learning opportunity! Toddlers learn to eat different foods and improve their self-feeding skills, by watching what, and how, other members in the family or social group eat. When eating in a group, toddlers also learn that foods they may be reluctant at first to eat are eaten and enjoyed by other people – an important part of their feeding development.

However, when serving up child and adult portions from the same meal, make sure that you remember to think Toddler Sized, the Infant & Toddler Forum has compiled a list of toddler portion sizes for all your family favourites. There is a range in the portion sizes as some toddlers eat more than other toddlers and most toddlers eat more at one meal each day than at other meals

  • Fish pie – 2-6 tablespoons
  • Shepherd’s/Cottage pie – 2-5 tablespoons
  • Pasta bolognaise – 3-5 tablespoons pasta with bolognaise
  • Apple sponge cake – 2-4 tablespoons apple sponge cake
  • Fruit crumble – 2-4 tablespoons fruit crumble
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Further Reading

  • Dr Gill Harris, Consultant Paediatric Clinical Psychologist   Following his recent recovery from coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has publicly blamed excess weight for his need for intensive care. He has subsequently declared a war on the UK’s obesity crisis and is planning a post-pandemic public health drive to battle the growing problem.
  • Katie Fox, Primary School Teacher   Due to coronavirus, playgroups and nurseries are shut and those children due to start school in a few months will be out of routine and away from friends. It is understandable that many parents are worried about getting their children ready for September. Children learn and progress at different rates so there are no set criteria on what they need to be able to know or do when they first start nursery, but if they have had some experience learning at home it could help to make it a smoother transition. Turn taking games, imaginative play, reading, and developing fine and gross motor skills can promote independence, build confidence and help develop simple skills.
  • Dr Gill Harris, Consultant Paediatric Clinical Psychologist Dr Maddy Harris, Clinical Psychologist   In times of crisis – such as the one we are currently living in – parents may find that the normal stresses of everyday life are magnified and additional worries and concerns emerge. Knowing how to cope may prove difficult, but an approach which has widely been discussed in the media and on social media is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).The premise of ACT is that fears and anxieties are seen as real and cannot be ‘challenged’ away, unlike with cognitive behavioural therapy. By concentrating on our actions we are able to work past our fears. This method may help those struggling with this new chaotic routine we find ourselves in. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with our top tips on how to apply this intervention.