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by Sarah Sharpe - Nutritionist

I love a meal that the whole family can eat so I try to plan ahead and then I can cater for the whole family in one go rather than cooking separate meals. My 3 year old, William has always eaten well and eats almost everything we put in front of him. One of his favourites is pasta with homemade butternut squash sauce. He's pretty good at eating his greens so we'll usually serve it with something like green beans, broccoli or peas and for protein we'll add chicken or mozzarella. The grown-up version of this sauce would have chilli so if you had older children that like chilli then this would give it a nice kick. I tend to use a small amount of mild chilli powder if it's something that is just for us and William and he seems ok with that.

Sophie has just turned one and was a very different eater from the start, preferring to feed herself so she usually has finger foods with sauces for her to use as dips (pasta sauce for us becomes a dipping sauce for Sophie with the other ingredients as the dippers). She has recently been struggling with teething and has had very sore and sometimes bleeding gums. We've found that frozen smoothie or yoghurt seems to soothe her sore gums (allow to soften for a few minutes before serving) although some days she wouldn’t eat anything but blueberries! Now she's starting to feel better so all her favourites are back on the menu. We often have sweet potato slices roasted with paprika. Once cool it is tasty and soft whilst providing the carbs that she's recently missed, plus any leftovers can be saved and used for the next meal or as a portable snack. For protein she eats a lot of mushed up fish, chicken or cheese as she doesn't tend to eat meat or fish chunks yet. It's been stressful at times but planning and proper preparation has been the key to keeping everyone happy at mealtimes.

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