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Feeding Fussy Toddlers - Tips and Recipes

Published : June 07, 2015

With dealing with a Fussy Toddler, it is tempting to make food a battleground. You may win the battle, but you face a distinct possibility of losing the war and creating more problems later on. Relax, and realise it a phase which will pass. You’d be surprised at the balanced diet a toddler gets from simply grazing.


Susie of Leederville suggests:

"My toddler loves to dip his food – he likes being in control of what goes into his mouth. My Feeding Fussy Toddler tip can be a bit messy, but it is effective (for my son anyway).  What I do is puree vegetables and put it on a plate with healthy crackers and vegetables like carrot sticks.  He picks up, he dips and then he eats!’ 

Emma’s Tip:

 ‘I babysit my two year old niece quite a bit and she is not the voracious eater my children were. I try and trick her into thinking eating is her idea, not mine, by leaving healthy little snacks (sandwich fingers, carrot sticks, dried fruit, pieces of fresh fruit, bits of cheese, cold meat etc) around the kitchen/play area at her eye level. She just helps herself. You just have to remember where they are so you can pick up the leftovers!’

Here are some more hints:

  • Fussy toddlers sometimes prefer plates and bowls which have separate compartments so foods don't mix. 
  • Choose small plastic containers with lids when you first start your baby on solids. Buy plenty and make sure they are suitable for the microwave, freezer and dishwasher. If your toddler develops an interest in throwing dinner on the floor, rather than eating it, try bowls with suction cups on the bottom.
  • At mealtime, offer your toddler small portions of whatever the family is eating.

Thanks to Juliet B for sharing the following yummy burger and tuna recipes.

‘Kid's Special Hamburgers’

My children love to put together their own hamburgers so I have a few special ingredients to throw into the patties which I am quite sure they would not get at the local drive-through!


1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
400g beef mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
salt & pepper
1 tbsn Dijon mustard


  • Process onion, carrot and zucchini in food processor until almost unrecognisable.
  • Combine above mixture, mince, breadcrumbs, mustard, egg, salt & pepper in a bowl and shape into 6 patties.
  • Preheat frying pan over medium heat, add oil and cook in batches (takes about 3 minutes each side) 4. Serve with bowls of hamburger buns, lettuce, cheese, tomatoand of course tomato sauce and let them help themselves!
Grandma Lily's Tuna Spaghetti

Now in her late 90's, my Grandma Lily has been making this dish for whatever family members are around most weekends for as long as I can remember. She has also dropped it around to us whenever I have had a newborn baby in the house (and too tired to cook!) and my husband and children love it.


1/2 packet spaghetti
1 can cream of tomato soup
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
Handful mushrooms
I red capsicum, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Splash pouring cream
Salt & Pepper
1 can tuna
Handful grated cheddar


  • Fry together the celery, onion, capsicum until soft.
  • Add mushrooms (pre-softened in microwave), salt & pepper, tuna and soup. Simmer until slightly thickened.
  • Add tuna, stir. Add splash of cream if desired.
  • Stir through cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with grated cheddar.
  • At this stage it can be put into casserole dish and into the oven until cheese is melted.
Chicken Stacks

sent in by Shani

Food that toddlers and children can prepare and eat themselves is a sure way of getting those essential veggies in.  Most kids like rice and chicken and the following recipe uses these ingredients as a base for your toddler’s choice of healthy topping.


1 cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup rice


  • Cook rice.
  • Mix chicken and cream of chicken soup and warm on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Serve the chicken mixture on top of the rice.
  • Put a selection of the suggested toppings below in small bowls on the table, offer a choice of sauces, and let the kids help themselves.

Toppings: chopped celery, broccoli florets, peas, canned crushed pineapple, chopped baby squash, chopped green onions, chopped green, red and yellow capsicums, raisins or sultanas, shredded coconut, crispy noodles, one egg omelettes, carrots or whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. 

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