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A couple of years ago, the Infant & Toddler Forum asked parents and carers to help them turn their toddler feeding guidance into something easy and practical that takes the guesswork out of toddler meal planning. It ended up being one of the biggest ideas sharing activities in the UK and I wrote about it at the very start here.
The ideas submitted at the time led to the creation of a fantastic new resource which I am so excited to share with you. The Toddler Menu Planner is a simple and visual guide to help all families get the balance right when it comes to feeding children.
It’s often hard to know which foods to give, how much and how often especially when you first move on to solid food. Rapidly growing toddlers need more nutrients in each mouthful of food than adults and The Toddler Menu Planner is specially developed to meet those growing needs of smaller tummies.
I had a sneak peak at The Toddler Menu Planner eBook before it launched this week and I absolutely love it. Great for 1 to 4 year olds, The Toddler Menu Planner is packed with useful information and helpful tools which includes 67 tasty and nutritious toddler recipes developed by a paediatric dietitian and a 14 day meal planner that gives easy toddler meal ideas as well as healthy snacks options.
The planner works on a guideline of 3 meals a day and two healthy snacks which is a fantastic framework to start from – and the same framework our children still have today. It also breaks down foods into their different food groups with how much of each toddlers should be eating each day.
There are photos of recommended toddler portion sizes for each snack idea or recipe and there’s guidance on how to combine a variety of meals and snacks to ensure that your toddler receives a balanced diet every day. There’s even a handy, colour coded guide of store cupboard, fridge and freezer essentials – many of which you’ll already use regularly at home.
I know that when LP and Little Man both moved properly across to solid food it felt like a really steep learning curve for us as a family. There was so much to know – foods that we could and couldn’t give, What was healthy, how much to give and when to actually have meals too.
It also felt like our grocery shopping increased massively in cost despite the children not actually eating much. Knowing this, it’s fantastic that The Toddler Menu Planner also includes tips and tricks for saving money on groceries, something I know most young families would welcome extra help with. This includes things like buying foods that are in season and incorporating frozen vegetables or frozen meat as well.
The Toddler Menu Planner is a fantastic resource and I wish it had been around when LP and Little Man were smaller. It’s one of the most accessible tools I have found to help with toddler feeding and, unlike many, it features products and foods that you will probably have at home and buy regularly or ones that you are at least familiar with.
The planner features normal, every day food ideas for families that are simple and quick to prepare. There is nothing worse when you have a toddler than spending hours cooking or spending a fortune on ingredients that you wouldn’t usually eat. There’s nothing like that in The Toddler Menu Planner.
It includes so many tips to help make the transition from just cooking meals for adults to cooking for a family a smooth one. These are things like cooking in bulk and freezing toddler size portions, meal planning before you do the food shop and ways to use up leftovers or increase the amount of vegetables in a meal.
The Toddler Menu Planner isn’t rocket science. It is, though, incredibly reassuring and something that can help guide new parents through those first years of navigating solid foods and proper meals with their toddler. It will also be fantastic for anyone that lacks inspiration when it comes to their children’s meals.
I know we often have the same breakfast every day but the children love variety and so mixing things up with help from The Toddler Menu Planner will definitely get LP and Little Man excited even now, a few years down the line.
If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to your children’s meals, you’d like some reassurance that you’re feeding your child the right things or you’re just about to start weaning and want to prepare for the years to come, why not take a look at The Toddler Menu Planner? It costs just £4.99 and you can find out more here.