Winter favourites for little tummies

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

Further Reading