Fussy Eating Toddlers – Tips and Advice from TeenyWeanies – Exclusive Interview

Calling ALL parents with fussy-eating toddlers. Most of us have been there –  once upon a time your little ones might have been the ‘perfect eater’ – and if they still are, you can close this page now, as it means we can no longer be friends… 😉

When weaning our babies around the 6-month mark, the amount of time, effort, energy (and sometimes money) spent can be obscene. We often put our heart and souls in to the encouragement (or enforcement) of a healthy and balanced diet from a young age, to get our kiddies liking (or at least used to) vegetables and other nutritional foods. We feel so proud of our achievements when they happily scoff large clumps of broccoli, eat scrambled egg, get excited for vegetable and lentil stews, enjoy the texture of meat and fish and could eat avocado all day long if they could. And if your kid is happily eating celery sticks and spoons of dry quinoa, again – we can no longer be friends!

This isn’t always the case as they get older. As they become exposed to other foods, or as naturally implanted in to their DNA, the fussy eating phase, for so many of us, is somewhat inevitable as they approach toddler years.

Suddenly, often between the age of 1 and 2, out of no where, that piece of broccoli is repeatedly thrown on the floor,  they’re refusing the blueberries that you’ve spent a small fortune on, the homemade fish cakes you’ve lovingly batch made are now refused.  As a parent it can actually feel frustrating and a sense of failure – well it did for me anyway.

Cue Lucy of TeenyWeanies, who runs workshops, courses and 1:1 appointments in person or via video call – she preps you for the weaning process – i.e. for new mums looking for support, advice and preparation for their weaning journeys, as well as the very popular fussy eating workshops. Lucy is also a paediatric dietitian working with the NHS.

Lucy has answered a number of questions for me for this blog post, all aimed towards fussy eating toddlers (as I am currently experience a slightly fussy 2 year old). She gives tips on a number of matters and clears up a few points which can often cause a debate as well as tips and tricks to help encourage their eating habits, taste buds and variety in to their diets.

In her own weaning experience, she found lots of information conflicting and came across many parents who were confused about introducing solid food – when to start, what foods to give, and thus Lucy is on a mission to help parents feel informed and receive up to date, unbiased, and evidence based information through her work with TeenyWeanies

Henry with his kitchen on Christmas morning. Advice from friends suggested to learn about foods through play may help broaden his knowledge and interest in food.

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Fertility and Pregnancy Diets. Interview with Esca Nutrition and Dietetics

Having a baby isn’t the easiest of rides – even from the struggles of trying to conceive through to delivery. No one said it was going to be easy (although if you’ve had an easy ride of both falling pregnant through to the birth of your healthy little bundles then COUNT YOURSELF VERY FORTUNATE!).

However, I have always believed that what we can do to help ourselves along the way really does count. In recent times I’ve got to know Sarah Farren, a registered dietician for the NHS and also founder of Esca Nutrition & Dietetics, offering simple, evidence based dietary advice for a variety of concerns and individual needs.

Sarah offers private appointments with home visits and she also runs group workshops too. Pregnancy is a popular subject she is requested for, from pre-conception and fertility diets and what to eat during pregnancy too and here she shares her insight in to why yours (and your partners) food intake is important for when trying for a baby…

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Returning to work after maternity leave (featuring guest interview)

As a lot of my readers will know already, I faced a redundancy situation at 36 weeks pregnant. But even before that chapter of my career was enforced upon me, I spent weeks (aka my entire pregnancy) debating and analysing every return-to-work eventuality  – financially and logistically. It’s not an alien situation, as pretty much every friend of mine has returned to their pre-baby job, so surely all things run smooth and all employers are flexible and accommodating and life is all sunshine and smiles, right??!! Hmm. Not necessarily.

In this post I speak to a professional recruiter, career advisor and mentor in the City of London who has provided me with some useful words of advice and wisdom. I may be biased, because this said professional is my dear brother, James Manders, but he’s done me proud, succeeding in his field and is providing more and more support to new mothers going back to work and to those wanting to start their careers again from scratch.

James is the MD and owner of specialist recruitment boutique CassonX, and a proud director of Pink Dynasty CIC which empowers young females from underprivileged backgrounds to gain mentorships and work experience in London…

Image: Shutterstock

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Our Baby Sensory journey (with brand Q&A)

When you become a mother for the first time, in that first year there are bound to be key highlights that will become memorable landmarks from your early days of motherhood.

For me, one of the things that defines my first year of motherhood was Baby Sensory – a nationwide franchise of mother and baby classes that explores all things “sensory” with your little one.

When Henry came along, I lived in an area where I didn’t have many mummy friends on my doorstop with babies close enough in age to hang out with – those first time mothers equally as unsure as I was about anything and everything about looking after a new baby,  going through the exact same challenges and emotions and at the exact same time. I had my *amazing* sane-saving NCT friends yes, and other mummy friends, but none in close/walking distance and therefore I had to make it my mission to plan a few things in to my week – to regain some normality and structure (not too much too early on though!) and to join a group that I know will prove to offer great benefit to Henry as he embarks on his new life journey.

This post shows you Henry’s Baby Sensory journey in photos as well as a Q&A with the brand itself. I chat to a Baby Sensory leader, giving you ample sensory insight and inspiration, and is especially useful if you’re thinking about joining a local class near you…

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Mothercare press day Spring/Summer 2018 and my interview with Myleene Klass

Before the Christmas rush, I was invited along to the Mothercare press day, where the brand was showcasing their new collections for spring/summer 2018.

There’s lots to look forward for Mothercare’s new season, which is starting to appear in stores and online already. Spring is on the horizon YES! There are some great collaborations with Usborne Books,  as well as ongoing collections with Myleene Klass, Jools Oliver and Julian Macdonald.

I was lucky enough to chat to Myleene Klass at the press day, so scroll down to view photos from the event, to see some of my favourite outfits launching and to also read my exclusive chat with Myleene…

I got to interview yummy mummy Myleene Klass at the Mothercare spring/summer 2018 press day

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Messaroos! A Messy Play Group for Babies and Toddlers: Review

As a mother who enjoys taking her son to baby groups and classes since he was two weeks old (not obsessively – twice a week is ample!) when Messaroos  – a baby/toddler group – launched, I had to check it out. This wasn’t just any baby group, but a messy play group! THIS IS EVERY PARENTS/CARERS DREAM!

The touch, feel, smell – and maybe taste haha – of (safe) messy play ingredients help to stimulate the senses, encourage little ones to learn new textures and enhance their concentration levels from being out-of-the-norm from regular sensory toys at home. If you don’t want too much mess at home with messy play, then why not let someone else set up shop elsewhere, arrange all the messy fun and then leave it to them to clear up afterwards! It’s a genius idea for a play group which is unique to anything else I’ve taken Henry to. All you have to do is take a spare change of clothes for your little one, and maybe a pack of wet wipes… 😉

I’ve enclosed some photos of Henry’s experience and I have also interviewed the co-creaters – Jo and Ella. They are both young yummy mummies, who saw a gap in the market for a new pre-school group idea and who are embracing and inspiring the #mumpreneur era.

I’m championing every parent who a) has found it difficult to return to their full time employment post pregnancy (due to redundancies, lack off flexible working and part time opportunities, financing childcare etc) and have therefore bitten the bullet and started a new business venture. Jo and Ella are inspirational parents indeed…

Messy play stimulates, focuses and develops your little ones’ senses and is great for learning new textures and for having fun!

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