Do you want to get your toddler to try more fruit and veg? Food author Annabel Woolmer is on hand to help…

MOST parents have been there: coaxing or bribing their children to try a new food.

The problem is that toddlers are stubborn and the more you push, the stronger they resist.

But toddlers are also inquisitive and creative, so I swear by cooking with them. When they explore food as part of a fun activity, it helps them see it as something to discover.

Children who are as young as 18 months can prepare simple dishes.

  • Prepare in advance. For your child to feel happy to try things, you need a relaxed atmosphere. That is difficult if you are running around finding things in cupboards.
  • Choose recipes where they can taste all of the ingredients. You want them to feel free to experiment, so avoid things they can’t eat like raw meat.
  • Make them feel in control. Pick a recipe they can do largely by themselves. That feeling of independence makes them more likely to eat the end result.
  • Make it fun. There is so much about cooking that toddlers love – bashing, pouring, mixing, painting, squishing. Emphasise these bits – with fun comes discovery.


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