“Get Your Kids to Eat Anything” by Emily Leary: Our Favourite Recipes [Gifted]

A few weeks ago, we received Emily Leary’s new book ‘Get Your Kids to Eat Anything’* which is a how-to guide to getting your children to eat anything using a gentle method of introducing new colours, flavours, and textures in to their favourite meals; from burgers to fish fingers.

Using Emily’s clever 5-phase approach, you’re also invited to explore new foods such as baked eggs, soda bread, and fondue, using a explanation of what you’re going to learn and achieve.

We’ve been pretty lucky with T in that he’ll generally give anything a go once, however over the past few months he’s gone off cooked mushrooms and anything remotely ‘leafy’ or ‘sluggish’ resulting in Sharon and I often having to dice certain textures really small if we need to include them in our meal.

Therefore, having Emily’s book on our shelf has been a welcome tool to reinventing new ways of introducing a certain food, or in this case, texture. You can read our full review of the book here, but if you’d like to know what our favourite meals have been so far, please continue below:

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Feeding a Three Year Old: “Get Your Kids to Eat Anything” by Emily Leary [Gifted]

Since we first started weaning T at six months, meals times have actually been a pretty enjoyable experience – surprisingly. We’d heard horror stories of six month olds refusing meals, gagging or choking, or turning your living room into a work of abstract art. As they get older, I’d read about two year olds demanding their sandwiches cut into triangles and NOT squares or avoiding anything that’s coloured green. With T though, probably because we chose to follow a Baby-Led Weaning regime, this hasn’t been the case. T will generally give anything a go at least once and will always want what we’re eating if we’re out at a restaurant.

That being said, over the past year or so, T has become quite sensitive to certain textures. Foods such as cooked mushrooms and onions, roasted peppers, and leafy substances such as spinach (cooked or raw) and lettuces are things he’s likely to pick out of a meal. It’s a very odd turn of events, especially as he’ll happily the eat raw versions of some of these. Most of the time, it doesn’t bother me, as I know he’ll just pick it out and carry on with his dinner (thank the gods), but other times it can be quite stressful either trying to cut something up so small that he won’t notice or messing around finding all the mushrooms once he realises they’re in his dinner.

Just in the nick of time though, before it got out of hand, we received some help.

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Exploring the new Piccolo range at Pizza Express (Review) [AD]

Last week, myself and T were invited to one of our local Pizza Express’ to try out their Piccolo menu and brand new activity packs that come with every children’s meal. We’ve been going to Pizza Express for a number of years and this didn’t stop when we had T.

We’ve always found Pizza Express to be incredibly family friendly, from their welcoming staff to their menus that are mini adult meals as opposed to “kid friendly” plates of grease that you often get in pub chains. As parents who did baby-led weaning, their variety of food was perfect.

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From Weaning to Potty Training with Oxo Tot (Review) [AD]

Turning your little baby into a fully fledged human is a never ending journey, starting with weaning at 6 months to getting them to use the potty between the age of 2 and 3 (telling you when they need to use it, however, is a different story!). Raising a child is a constant, but rewarding (in the end), challenge and if I can find items to make things easier then I’m all for that.

At the moment, we’re currently in the midst of potty training so decided to purchase a travel potty from Oxo Tot as we liked the design. Following on from this, we were then invited to test out a range of other products by Oxo Tot to assist not only with T’s potty training but with his appetite too!

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Weaning: Top Places to Eat with Babies

One of the main reasons we chose to do baby-led weaning was so that I wouldn’t have to prepare separate meals, especially when we go out. There’s no way would I remember to get something out the freezer that morning or night before, let alone find a place where I can heat it up and then feed T – all whilst eating my own meal! Plus, the sound of T enjoying the same food as us (spice and all), sounded much more appetising.

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Over the past year we’ve been to our fair share of cafes and restaurants, and most of the time T’s awake during a mealtime, so we have to share. Long gone are the days where he would be happy with a spoon toy. He wants food.

So with this in mind, I thought I’d share our top places to eat with little ones. I’ve based this list on their menu, as well as how pro baby they are (you’ll know when they’re not, going by what facilities they have available, whether Highchairs actually fit their tables, or if the floor is a little too clean (the sure sign that a baby hasn’t visited recently!)).

Of course I’m going to make a mess.


A carvery – Regardless of what Carvery is near you, you should find that they’re pretty family friendly. Because of their buffet style dining, you can pick the perfect amount for little one’s plates.

Wagamamas – By far my favourite place for T to eat. Not only because of taste, but because it’s relatively healthy (and cheap!). I like how their menu doesn’t stray far from the adult menu apart from the portion. I also LOVE how they use Mountain Buggy pod highchairs as their choice of highchair. When we went last week, the atmosphere was so relaxed even after T had made a mess.

Bills – One of my favourite places for brunch, they were a haven when I started breastfeeding T. I felt so comfortable feeding him there, and the waiting staff are so kind and didn’t bat an eyelid when clearing the table. Plus, the food is fabulous.

Pizza Hut – Cheap and cheerful, with so many options to choose from. Whilst S and I can be a bit naughty, we still have the option to give T something healthy from the salad bar.

A few for the locals…

Iydea, Brighton – A lovely little vegetarian cafe based in the heart of Brighton. Ideya serves wholesome food at a decent price and is, again, really healthy (if you want it to be). What I love most about Ideya is the amount of choice available.

Riverside Cafe, Lewes – part of an old warehouse, the riverside building not only contains a cute little cafe, but also a barbers, fish monger, and a butchers. We went there a few weekends ago and had homemade sausage rolls with coffee. It was lovely and reminded me why I love eating locally.

credit: https://wednesdaysinthecountry.wordpress.com

Shoreham Airport (Hummingbird Cafe), Shoreham – Bit of an odd one, I know, but we found this place on a whim when we were desperate to find a place for breakfast. Although the menu is quite small, there is a lovely selection of food available, from cereal to pastries, to a full English. Plus, it’s next to a runway!

So there are our favourite places to eat, but we’re always on the look out for new places. Any recommendations? Where do you like to go when eating out?

K

Weaning: Hints & Tips

We’ve been weaning for 3 months now and I can honestly say it’s been the most frustrating and enjoyable experience of my life.

On one hand, I love the new flavours and textures T gets to experience on almost a daily basis generic for benicar. The look on his face when he’s tried something new and is working out whether he likes it (or doesn’t like it!)  to when T notices that I’ve served him one if his favourites.

On the other hand, it’s been hard work dealing with the mess, the waste, and the general frustration when T can’t quite deal with something but wants it really bad and gets upset when I take it away or it falls on the floor. It’s also hard to watch something you’ve lovingly prepared get thrown or crushed in their chubby hands.

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Over the past 3 months I’ve picked up a few hints and tips to make, let’s be real, my life easier:

1) Get an easy wipe mat. This was one of the best things I purchased after losing the 8th piece of pasta to a fluffy carpet. As long as it’s kept clean, it means less wastage (sort of) and your carpet is kept beetroot free! I purchased ours from a local hardware shop who sold it by the metre really cheap. It beats buying a special “weaning mat”.

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2) Freeze freeze freeze. For days when you’re not going to be having the same, or when you just need to plump out their meal, it’s really useful to have a few things in the freezer. Things like pastry, eggy bread, and pancakes all freeze well. I also found a lot of fruit freezes quite well which means it lasts longer and all you have to do is get it out the night before for the next day. Our frozen veg drawer is bursting at the seams!

3) Reuse reuse reuse. Similar to the above, I try and cut out a lot of wastage by freezing leftovers (as long as it hasn’t already been frozen), or turning it into something new. Left over weetabix or porridge? Add a bit more weetabix/porridge to the bowl, place on a baking tray, and bake for 10-15 minutes. You now have a mid morning snack!

4) Get a painting overall. There have been several occasions when I didn’t have the time to fit in a clothing change before going out. So to combat the weaning mess I got a painting overall from IKEA for those days or if I stupidly put T in white. It took T a bit of getting used to and it was quite the distraction at first, but now he ignores it and clothes don’t come away raspberry stained!

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5) Plan meals. This may sound like a chore, but it’s one of the best things I do every Sunday night (living the dream, people!). I often can’t remember whether I’ve showered so I have no chance remembering what T ate on Tuesday on a Thursday. We purchased a small, magnetic white board for the fridge which we fill in all T’s meals (including snacks) for the week. This way, I know when he’s had banana and that I can’t give it to him again for at least 2 days… unless I want a clogged baby!

What are your hints and tips for (happier) weaning?

K