Tiny Tasters Top Tips for Promoting Food Confidence in Little Ones

1. At mealtimes, overloading your little one's plate is a common mistake we all make. Do you serve your six year old the same size portion as your three year old? Yep, I often have to stop myself too. Too much food on their plate can be an instant turn off as the pressure to eat it all is just too much (before they've even taken a single bite!) You can always offer them more if they'd like it. In class with our tiny tasters we make small, child-sized portions of food. Not only do these fit in their little hands, they match the size of their tummy too.

2. If your little one is tired or just not hungry, forcing them to eat may end in tears (for all parties involved!) Just like ours, a child's appetite varies depending on how active they've been, growth patterns and lots of other reasons! Bare this in mind if your little one is being fussy or refusing to eat. A 'no pressure' environment is crucial so try coming back to the food in thirty minute intervals.

3. Don't be afraid to add herbs and spices to your little one's food. As grown ups, we like our food to tickle our taste buds and herbs and spices are a great way to add freshness and flavour to any dish.
In class our tiny tasters LOVE to tear fresh herbs with their cooking fingers or snip them with their scissors, both of which are a super activity to practise those all important fine motor skills.

4. Sit down and eat with your little one. It can be tricky when you're juggling 9,652 other jobs but as well as modelling good eating habits and manners, exploring the food you're eating together by describing, smelling and comparing promotes food confidence no end!
During the week you probably eat at different times to your child (like when they've to bed) so it can be really helpful for siblings to eat together. Try having a small portion of whatever you're serving your little ones (call it a starter ) and use mealtimes as an excuse to sit down and be present. At the weekend, try to eat together as much as what's manageable for your family and make it a real social affair.

5. Have fun with food! Allow plenty of opportunities to expose your little one to real food wherever you can. Whether that's playing with real food in the mud kitchen, getting messy with it at mealtimes, reading stories about food or crafting with it, positive experiences with food are crucial when building the foundations for a healthy and balanced diet.