Feeding and weaning webchat with Annabel Karmel, Tuesday 15th November, 12-1pm

If you're looking for advice on baby weaning or toddler nutrition, Annabel Karmel will be here to answer your questions in a live webchat.

Annabel Karmel is the UKs best-selling author on feeding babies and children. She is an expert in devising tasty & nutritious meals for children without the need for parents to spend hours in the kitchen. An expert on feeding babies, children and families and author of the Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, Annabel is an authority on feeding and weaning babies.

You can join Annabel here between 12-1pm on Tuesday 15th November, when she will be answering your questions on baby and toddler feeding and weaning.

Don't worry if you can't make the chat then, just post your question below and Annabel will endeavour to answer as many questions on the day as possible.


  • Hi My 1 year old has been diagnosed as cows milk protein intolerant. I have been told that she can have no dairy but must make sure she gets her calcium requirements. How much calcium a day does she need? Is a soya yogurt and enriched soya milk enough. Are there any tasty alternatives to cheese? Im stuck for ideas!
  • Hi Annabel,

    Thanks for web chatting with us about such an important topic.

    I have a 22-month old who is a very good eater but has several food allergies (peanut, sesame, egg that we're aware of). I try to be creative with my meal planning, but sometimes struggle with breakfast, which seems to be the same thing day after day (Wheatabix or porridge and fruit). Eggs are such a great low-cost, easy, high-protein food. Do you have any egg-free breakfast recipes you'd reccomend instead? (Or any other fun recipes for the whole family keeping in mind his allergies)


  • Hi Annabel,

    Firstly, just to say Thanks for a great book, ice cube tray and great website with lots of tips! My problem is I've just started my 6 month old (27 weeks) on solids and trying to follow your meal planner that's in your book. However my baby has started clamping his mouth shut and turns his head away? What should I do?

    I forgot to add I have left it a few days and tried again twice now but he's still not interested. He weighs 19lb 1 oz at 6 months so being a big boy I thought he would love his food!
  • Hello everyone,

    Thank you for all your questions you have put up already, I hope I can try and answer everything in the time.

    Annabel x
  • Hi Mummyisagadgetgeek

    Have you tried other bread alternatives such as pitta pockets or wraps or cutting the bread sandwiches into different shapes with a cookie cutter to make them more fun? If he likes finger food, wrapping cut up carrot sticks in damp kitchen paper and putting a pot of hummus or other dips is a great snack for after school. Pasta salad is also a great alternative to the sandwich and you can add different vegetables such as sugar snap peas and tomato to this and you can also add chicken, sweetcorn steamed broccoli florets and interesting dressings. If he is not keen on cheese, you could try tuna fish mixed with a little mayonnaise and ketchup and spring onions, or the popular American sandwich filler peanut butter and mashed banana.

    Hope some of these ideas help. x
  • Hi Thepearns

    Soya alternatives are good but it is a good idea to also try a few other calcium rich sources such as dark green vegetables - these are rich in calcium (you can mix them with sweet root vegetables if you are worried he won't be keen on these!) Sardines - you can try mashed sardines with ketchup in sandwiches- I used to like this as a child!
  • Hi Janie,

    I like making healthy junk food. You can make your own hamburgers using lean mince meat saut????ed onion, bread crumbs a crumbled stock cube and my secret ingredient a little grated apple. You can make home made chicken nuggets and coat them with crushed Rice Krispies and grated Parmesan. For summer time you can make ice lollies from pureed fruit mixed with fruit juice. Also children like ethnic style food such as satay chicken and stir fry's, fajitas etc. I have lots of simple recipes for these in my books - and these also make good family meals that can be eaten together.
  • Hi Clara,

    I like to make homemade granola, its fantastic with oats, coconut, maple syrup, a tiny bit of brown sugar. Mix with a little sunflower, you bake this in the oven until golden then add raisins. You can serve with milk or yoghurt and berries, and it keeps for ages. Grilled cheese on wholemeal toast is a good alternative breakfast idea and is high in protein, you could also try it with half an English muffin and melted cheese on top and add ham or sliced tomato to add a bit of variety. Smoothies make a good summer alternative breakfast option as you can use yoghurt with them which is a good source of dairy, and by using lots of different berries, you are giving him a great start to the day. A good combination is strawberry, raspberry and raspberry yoghurt.
  • Hi Mooker

    Thank you! Sucking is a natural reflex but swallowing solids can sometimes take a bit of getting used to. You could try dipping your finger in the food and let him suck it off, perhaps he does not like the feel of the spoon. Also maybe you may need to make the purees more liquid.

    I would suggest giving a little bit of milk before the solids as if the baby is very hungry, they have no patience with anything but milk. Sometimes it also nice to hold them on your knee and cuddle them as you feed them. They will associate that with the comfort of breast feeding, of feeling close to you. By six months your baby should be having some sort of solids, so if it continues, I would go and speak to your health visitor.
  • Hi Annabel

    My toddler LOVES your food, especially your tiny pasta shapes.

    My question is about sugar, how much is ok for him to eat? He is nearly 2 but his big sister gives him some of her sweets [eg Skittles] when I'm not looking, should I act on this or just let him have a treat?


  • My four year old son is quite a picky eater. He likes things to be served separately on a plate and isn't a fan of sauces or mashed potato. I have managed to get him to eat tomato based sauces and bolognese but it's always a struggle. But he insists he doesn't like cheese so won't eat fish pie, macaroni cheese or pizza. (I know he doesn't mind the taste of cheese though as i put it in omelettes, without him knowing!)Should i worry? And how do i get him to be a bit more adventurous?

    Thank you for your help!
  • Hi Annabel,

    Can you give me a few quick & easy lunchtime cold meal ideas? I feel I have done sandwiches, and breadsticks & veggie sticks with houmous to death now! I need some new inspiration. Many thanks image
  • Hi Annabel,

    My 17 month old has suddenly gone very fussy and will devour cheese, pasta and philly pesto, bananas, grapes and yoghurts but everything else is pretty much a few mouthfuls and thats it. He eats really well at nursery

    Do you have any tips on how to get through this fussy time? Do I just let him have what he'll eat and nothing else or pander and still give him fruit/yoghurt after his mains? He has a milk (now just avoid white sauce and raw milk), soya, egg and tomato intolerance on savory food groups so it does make it difficult for him to share all meals with us.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thank you, and what a generous daughter you have if she is sharing her treats so willingly! You should limit the amount of sugar you give your little one and interestingly as far as dental health is concerned it's the frequency at which children have sugar that does the most damage. Sweets are really bad as they stick to the teeth so you would be better of giving something like ice cream as a treat. I am not against treats altogether as I often think that the forbidden fruit is all the more tempting. Sometimes exotic fruits, dried fruits, yoghurt covered raisins might be a better alternative
  • Hi Flowerfairy4

    It is very common for children to like their food served separately and not mixed together. I do not think you need to worry. My advice is not to give attention to not eating and only give attention when your child eats, even if it is a tiny amount of something new. Also if you have made a really nice meal and he refuses it its not a bad idea to say fine and let him go off an play, he will be hungry for the next meal and a hungry child is am much less fussy child and this will help break the pattern. Its not good if children will only eat a very restricted diet so its important to continue offering new foods.
  • Hi Crapops17

    Have you tried wraps, or rice and pasta salads. Depending on the age of the child, they often like bbq drumsticks, or Spanish omelette. You could try different salad ideas such as Caesar. Pieces of marinated cooked chicken that are cold are often popular and what about mini cheeses.

    Hope some of these might inspire you x
  • Hi Nic Nic

    No you shouldn't let him have a limited diet. As I said to Flower fairy 4 its important to break the pattern. Maybe cut down a bit on his milk. Also don't fret too much if he misses a meal as he will be hungrier for the next meal and therefore more likely to try something new. Sometimes we think toddlers like very bland food but I have found that they like things like mild fruity curry's or paella and these you can have as a family meal. I have got some great recipes for toddlers and the whole family on my app and the great thing is you can see me making them on a video.

    Fingers crossed he starts trying new things! x
  • Hi Annabel,

    I have two little girls, aged 4, and 20 months,and I've used your books loads with both of them - so thank you for all your help so far!

    I've been very lucky that both of the girls have always eaten pretty much whatever I've put in front of them - but my 4yo is suddenly becoming increasingly fussy - picking bits of onion out of a vegetable pasta sauce, or eating the chicken and vegetables, but not the noodles out of a stir fry, for example.

    Any ideas how I can encouage her to try EVERYTHING on her plate??


  • Hi Katie

    Wow that's interesting as normally they eat the noodles and not the vegetables and chicken, so you are very lucky! For example with the onions, sometime it is a psychological thing and the easiest thing is to whizz them up in a sauce so they can't see them. Maybe get her to try being more interactive with her food, so eating with her fingers such as chicken burgers, fajitas or corn on the cob or get her to help you out with the cooking itself. She may show more interest in eating something if she has made it herself.
  • Thank you so much for all your questions

    I think it is very reassuring that other mums share similar problems with children that don't eat. I know it can be horribly stressful, as my first child was a terrible eater, but now he eats everything!

    I think the important thing is to keep praising your child for trying something new and ignore bad eating habits. It is interesting that children often stop playing up when they don't get attention.

    I have got lots of yummy recipes in my books and now on my app not just for your little one but for you as well and you don't have to be a great cook or spend a long time in the kitchen to make delicious meals for your family. I have just written an update on my app which will include two episodes from Annabel's kitchen with Jimmy the Penguin and lots of new recipes.


    My three kids are still living at home even though my son is now 23 and I put it down to them knowing that there is always going to be something yummy to eat!!

    Happy eating

    Annabel x
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