Childhood Nutrition and a wooden cooking set giveaway

I have a keen interest in infant and child nutrition. I think it’s because the growth and development of a child is so highly dependent upon the foods of which they eat. I have spent the last 6 months of my uni degree researching and writing about childrens eating behaviour, a totally fascinating area of nutrition. Throughout the four years of my degree, and working under a leading paediatric dietitian, I have learned some invaluable lessons of which I will share with you here today. They have been useful for my little niece Pearl, pictured below. She is a delight, and a wonderful eater.

I love feeding Miss Pearl. Feeding a child should be a relaxing and enjoyable process

The goal is to help children feel comfortable and relaxed around food, experiment with new textures and flavours and eat a wide range of nutritious food for optimal health.

It’s up to the parent to determine when and what the child will eats, but leave it to the child to determine how much they will eat.

Letting the child get messy is not the end of the world. There are 27 skills a child needs to learn just to be able to put food in their mouths. Letting them play with the food is teaching them life lessons and will in time assist the child in developing into a good eater. The ultimate goal is to create an environment where a child can feel comfortable and happy with food and build a good relationship with food and meal times. This will help in the long term. Have you ever seen a child with a handful of pumpkinspeared from  head to toe not happy? No. Let them play, be happy and if you can handle the mess in the short term, it will pay off for you and bub in the long term.

O-Oh! Miss Pearl always gets messy when Aunty Nutrition Guru feeds her

Children pick up very easily on parental stress. Try not to rush your child when feeding them, and try not to get angry at them if they drop food or make a mess unintentionally. Life gets hectic and there are always 100 things to do as a parent, but your child eating in a alm environment is very important for their growth and development.

It takesa child being exposed to a new food up to 10 times before a child may eat it. If your child turns their nose at weet bix, try again in a few days…try up to 10 times in fact. This will ensure that they begin to eat a wide variety of foods. Variety is necessary in order to meet their nutritional requirements for growth and development and make them as healthy and happy as can be.

Make sure your child is getting enough iron. A childs iron stores that you passed onto them in the womb, are fully depleted by the time a child is 6 months of age. So this age is very important for building those iron stores back up. Meats, lentils, mushrooms are just a few of the foods you can add to their diet to boost their iron.

Does your child refuse to try new foods? Try the ‘tasting plate’. This is a small plate of food that your child normally refuses to eat, placed on the table near your child. Serve them their meal and the tasting plate. Explain that they do not have to eat the food on the tasting plate, but they do have to have the plate sitting there with them for the entirity of the meal. This is to get them used to the food. As this becomes tolerable to your child, encourage them to pick the food up and talk about the food with you, ensuring them that they don’t have to eat the food if they don’t want to. Get them to describe the texture, the smell, the colour, size of the food. This process may take several weeks, but don’t give up. Eventually you will be able to get your child to want to take a bite because they will hopefully have become used to the food and are now enquisative as to what the food may taste like.

When I was a child my parents had a rule. I always had to at least try a new food, and if I didn’t like it I was allowed to spit it into a tissue. This made me comfortable in trying new foods, and to this day I eat all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

And finally, from an early age, get your child cooking and growing food. I recently purchased this devine wooden cooking set from Lime Tree Kids for Miss Pearl’s second Birthday. She loves cooking with her Nanna (my mother) and I think she will absolutely love this.

Lime Tree Kids have been kind enough to offer on lucky The Nutrition Guru and The Chef reader one of these kitchen mixer sets worth $49.95. All you have to do is leave a comment below as to why you would like to win this delightful prize. To be in the running, you will also have to head on over and LIKE our Facebook page. And why not head on over to the Lime Tree Kids page while you are there.

The winner will be drawn on Sunday 4th November, 2012 at 11.00pm EST. Open to Australian residents only.

Stay happy and healthy,

The Nutrition Guru


The information presented in the post is general information only and should not take the place of expert medical opinion. For problems with child feeding, please consult a professional who can give you individualised medical advice.


49 thoughts on “Childhood Nutrition and a wooden cooking set giveaway

  1. My beautiful sister has recently brought the most gorgeous little girl into the world. Little Elke is my first niece and as a first time aunty I am hoping to be one of the leading positive influences in her life. Although she’s only a few weeks old I instantly thought of her when I saw this cute little wooden set. If she’s anything like the rest of the women in our family she’s sure to love food & baking as she gets older. I’d absolutely love to win this adorable set and put it away for a special occasion just for her 🙂

  2. I’d love to win this gorgeous prize because I have a beautiful five year old daughter who is a budding chef! Her favourite game to play is cafes and this prize would be perfect for her! It would suit her oven that her poppy made for her, she would love, love, love it!!!

  3. Hi Tara, this is such an awesome prize! I’m sure your niece will love it for a long time! Wooden toys are the best! My daughter would love this to whip up a few cakes in her kitchen ;)… Thanks for the chance to win. xox

  4. Timber role play toys are such a gift, one Miss M loves! She is so involved in cooking with us too and takes pride in her strawberry and herb gardens. Fortunately she’s not a picky eater, loving Moroccan vegetables and pearl cous cous since she was on solids. We have a rule in the house that you don’t have to like everything (I hate peas and peanut butter!) but you have to try it 🙂

  5. I would die for one of these! My daughter seems to have inherited the cooking gene as she is obsessed with my cooking equipment. She sleeps with a wooden spoon too! This would look so cute and completely awesome in her new kitchen she will get for xmas.

  6. This is an adorable cooking set, I have two boys and would love this prize so we could ‘cook’ together and talk about food etc together. With two boys, I love anything that teaches them home skills!

  7. I would love to win this for my girl as she always trying to take my saucepans and cooking stuff out of the cuboard to play with and this would give her the opportunity to be more creative.

  8. My two little girls absolutely adore helping to bake yummy (and healthy!) cakes and slices, but as the weather heats up I try and avoid using the oven as much as possible. So this gorgeous wooden mixer set would be perfect for keeping their inner Junior Masterchef’s happy and occupied by allowing them to bake loads of imaginary creative goodies. Plus I love that it’s a wooden toy – those cheapo plastic toys never last long in my household! 🙂
    (I like Lime Tree Kids and The Nutrition Guru and the Chef on Facebook. Facebook Name: Jenny Swift)

  9. My girls love to cook however mainly sugary cakes and biscuits which I don’t always like to have in the house, this way we can do both, make yummy sometimes treats and pretend to make them too…. This way they can create their own recipes too!

  10. I would love this for my son. He loves to pretend play with food. He likes to make things & feed them to me. He has always been a good eater 🙂
    This would b a well loves toy

  11. My girls love helping me out in the kitchen so they would love this gorgeous little set. I have to admit I am a bit in love with this as well.

  12. I would love to win this delightful, delicate and delicious prize as I definitely can’t afford a KitchenAid and this is the next best thing!

  13. It’s very cute, a great set ! I particularly love wooden toys but I can’t wait to bake goodies in the kitchen with my son, his a little young at the moment but I am really looking forward to it.

  14. Two little kids cooking up a storm,
    some basic ingredients they will transform,
    into a delightful dish,
    will their new mixer set is my wish.

  15. I bake alot of cakes with Miss 4 as my assistant, she absolutely loves baking would be so cute for her to have a toy mixer like mine and pretend ingredients. She can still bake without the mess which is great for me!

  16. This is such a gorgeous prize!! I’d love to win it for my two boys because not only do we enjoy baking together, they also LOVE creating their own “dishes” in their little toy kitchen 🙂 They are both great eaters too and I have always encouraged them to enjoy their food rather than making eating a “task”. The only problem I have now is that at 4yrs and 2yrs….they are still quite messy eaters!!!

  17. Ohhh, this is a great prize! I’d love to win it for my two little girls. They love to cook with mum in the kitchen. When they aren’t helping me in the kitchen, they are at their play kitchen making mummy “delicious treats” I know they’d both go nuts over their own little mixer to play with.

  18. My gorgeous lil 2 year old loves to help out in the kitchen even stacking the dishwasher. This would be the perfect gift for her! Btw – I love your blog n my lil man (9yr) has oral sensory issues – the tips on the tasting plate is gr8. Ps. He would also love to play with the mix master as he plays with his lil sister. Thank you 🙂

  19. What a gorgeous set! I would love to win this because my girls (2 and 9) are getting a kitchen from LTK for Christmas and this would match perfectly!! Both girls love baking with their mummy so being able to role play with this gorgeous set would be perfect!’ Thank you 🙂

  20. My third daughter who’s 2 and a half loves cooking with her mummy. She has been the first of the 3 to really love pretend play with her teapot and cups and kitchen oven. She always wants ups on the kitchen counter when i am cooking. She grabs her apron and ends up with bits and bobs everywhere but the pleasure she has is worth the mess! When i saw this set i thought of how much she’d love it but most importantly that it is that perfect gift for a child that loves cooking and you know that they will use over and over.

  21. I *love* the retro styling of the mixer – it fits my aesthetic utterly and completely!! My older boys used to have a little wooden kitchen they would play with for hours and hours, however after 3 kids and constant play it didn’t survive to be passed down to my little two 🙂 They love to help in the kitchen, so this would be fantastic for those days where I just need to get food on the table – they could still ‘help’ and I would still have my sanity hehe!! And so gorgeous – one of those few toys you wouldn’t mind having on display 🙂

  22. I would love to win this gorgeous toy for my gorgeous little girl who is beginning her super cute stage of imaginative role playing. She loves to help out in the kitchen and I know she would spend hours playing with this!

  23. Every time I go to the supermarket or open a magazine I despair at how processed and “ready made” our food, and more importantly, our nutrition has become. I think it’s important to instill in children from a young age the enjoyment and importance of making whole, nutritious food with your own hands. It shouldn’t be a novelty (how my teeth grind with Americans on television gush “I made it from scratch!” like they deserve a Nobel prize) but a core of existence with food being seen as nourishment and love for your family.

    A beautiful toy like this not only nutures this outlook on making wholesome food, it embodies the beauty and craftmanship of wooden toys that is being lost in the plastic, disposable jungle we now live it. A play set like this can be enjoyed and then passed on to future generations, and not just carelessly thrown in the bin once it has been broken due to cheap and shoddy manufacture. I want my children to be surrounded by lovely, earthy, beautiful objects and not the plastic tatt churned out by Mattel, so I would love to win this set.

  24. Our children love role playing & bringing us wonderful delights they have made in their toy kitchen. They are not afraid to try new food & I think it helps that they have played with wooden food from an early age. This kitchen mixer set would be a wonderful addition to their collection!

  25. I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver. And I wish my little one would love cooking too. This toy set is so cute. I could teach my little one how to bake while I’m doing baking. Thanks for the awesome giveaway 🙂

  26. I love wooden toys and this would be great for my girls little play kitchen which they use all the time! What a great prize!

  27. Hi Lime Tree Kids sent me. What a fantastic prize. I love it because it is a safe was of letting toddlers “help’ out in the kitchen. They can copy mummy with their own equipment making it quite a bonding experience. I also love the way it is constructed out of wood making it a long lasting toy that can be past down from generation to generation! Thanks for the opportunity to win such a great prize.

  28. Great article and a lovely prize! I would like to win for my little girl, who has just turned 4. She received a play kitchen for her birthday and would love to whip up a yummy cake with this! She has been a little more fussy with her eating lately than she was when she first started solids but she has just planted a vegetable garden with her Dad, which seems to have sparked her interest again! Plus the word “yuk” is now banned!

  29. I would like to win this to keep at my mums house for all of her grand children to play with.Mum is a fantastic cook,always experimenting and trying new things.All of her grandchildren look forward to staying at Nanny’s so they can cook and taste their creations they make together.Cooking with my Nan is a special memory of my childhood and one I know my children,nieces and nephews will have too.
    They will all love to have their own cute kitchen mixer 🙂

  30. I don’t yet have my own stand mixer so I think it’s only right that my beloved 3 year old Lucy get one too play with first – lol!

  31. My 2-year-old loves making her own scrambled eggs, she cracks them and mixes them with milk but prefers not to cook them…she like them raw. She also really loves to press the button on the blender to make our morning smoothies but she says “It too noisy!” A Honeybake mixer would make all her kitchen dreams come true…it starts with the word ‘honey’ (her favourite), it’s exactly what she needs for making the wooden, gluten- free cupcakes she’s getting for her birthday and it would never be too noisy.

    Oh… Lime Tree Kids said to tell you that they sent me 🙂

  32. i would like to win this because my little girl helps me a little to much in the kitchen and its small so she is under my feet all the time this could be great to put on a little table next to my bench and she can think thatthis is her side and her kitchen to cook with and it will save some grumbles from mum to dad and lilly 🙂

  33. My daughters love to play in their play kitchen so I know they would love to have these to play with. Such adorable pieces and I would love to add it to our kitchen play.

  34. I have 4 little grand daughters aged from 6 months to 4 years. I also have a toy kitchen dresser my great uncle built for me in 1953, but there’s nothing on it! I would like to set up a little play kitchen area and this mixer would be a perfect addition. Thank you.

  35. Premature daughter still a fussy eater,
    We regularly cook together with her job as resident ‘beater’.
    I try to encourage her to eat healthy and lots more,
    By baking lots of wholesome delights so food’s not a chore.
    But she would love such a cute little mixer all of her own,
    So she could show me just how big she has grown!

  36. I would love to win this mixer for my 3 yr old son. He has just emerged from a fussy eating stage thanks to my husband and I involving him in meal preparation. He is now a budding chef, so much so that have bought him a kitchen for Christmas and winning this would take it to a new level!

  37. My little miss likes to help and bake like her Mummy,
    and with her allergies she knows she needs to be careful what she puts in her tummy.
    The Honeybake set would be so much fun,
    and enable my daughter to create, share and bake pretend food with every one!
    Thanks – Virginia Mason

  38. What an awesome giveaway!! I love the simplicity of this product which would allow my 2 girls to imagine to their hearts content!!

  39. My 19 month old twin grandsons love to ‘help’ Mummy cook, and this would be so much fun for them to learn new skills with. 🙂

  40. Hi, I entered the competition on October 31 and notice that my comment is still “waiting for moderation”. I sure hope I didn’t miss out on the competition draw because of this! 😦

    • Hello Marie,
      I can see all comments that are left the moment they are submitted. When I press ‘approve’ then they get published for all other users on the net to see.

      So sorry that I hadn’t approved your comment for others to see as yet, but I had definately seen it and it was entered into the competition!

      Thankyou so much for entering, for reading our blog and stay tuned for some more wonderful opportunities in the future!

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