THURS April 2nd - Little Eaters with Annabel Karmel

Welcome to today's live Webchat with host, Annabel Karmel MBE.

Annabel is an expert in devising tasty and nutritious meals for children and is here to talk about feeding solutions for little eaters.

Post your queries here. Annabel will be answering questions from 12pm for 1 hour.


  • Hello Annabel here ready to answer your questions..
  • Hi Annabel

    It is my daughter 1st birthday in a month. Can you recommend a birthday cake recipe that would be fine for her to eat and that for the whole family to enjoy?

    Thanks in advance

  • For little ones it is nice to make cupcakes instead of a large Birthday Cake and you can have fun decorating them to look like animals. I have a lovely Yoghurt and Raisin Cupcake Recipe in my book the Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.
  • My 9 Month old son will eat a few spoons of food and then start knocking the spoon away with his hand. Could this be because he does not like the food or is full?
  • My latest book which will be out in October is the Princess Party Book and it has themed parties like Movie star Princess and Flower Fairy Princess. There are lots of super cake ideas in the book including a Sleeping Beauty Princess Cake and a Princess and the Pea Cake. Its been huge fun writing the book and it covers the whole party including fabulous home made invitations and recipes that children can make themselves.
  • Also, how much drink should my 9 month old be having? I am giving him milk inbetween meals but wondered how much juice he should be having with his meals? Can I give him formula milk instead of juice with meals?
  • There comes a stage when babies just refuse to be spoon fed and want to feed themselves. This si where Finger Foods come in. Sometimes its hard to know what to give apart from carrot and cucumber sticks. Ive just written a book called 100 Top Finger Foods as this is such a common problem. There are lots of recipes for foods like mini chicken balls, fish goujons, sweetcorn pancakes. All the food is bite sized and perfect for little ones to pick up. So try experimenting with a variety of finger foods . Good Luck !
  • My son is nearly 11 months old and he is really fussy about eating home made food, but the jars for his age group (he eats very lumpy foods now) are so expensive!

    I have made him a variety of things but anything except soup (I make leek and potato soup and brocoli soup) get spat at me!

    Any ideas?
  • Yes you can give about 500 ml of milk once solids are being introduced and its fine to give formula milk with meals provided it doesnt take her appetite away. Diluted fruit juice is good with meals if it contains vitamin C as vitamin C helps your baby absorb iron from her food and iron dificiency is the commonest nutritional problem in babies and young children.
  • Hi Annabel

    My son Marcus is 14 ???? Months old. He has always wanted to do finger foods and didn't enjoy puree's. I am running out of ideas for this at the mo and would love some suggestions.?

    He has Lots of chicken type of things, homemade fish fingers with bread crumbs and sausages from our local farm shop that are made with outdoor reared pork.

    He loves bread but do you any ideas especially for carbs? As he isn't a rice or pasta fan at the moment.

    He is trying to use a spoon but doesn't have quite the co-ordiation at the mo but if I load it up for him he will take a few mouthfuls this way for example of fish pie but he gets fustrated and angry with this and stops.

    Thanks for your help

    Jillycat and Marcus
  • Hi Tiger Lily Dont worry babies generally get pretty fussy at 11 months and tend to eat less as their rate of growth slows down. It might be worth introducing tiny pasta shapes and mix with a tasty tomato sauce enriched with vegetables like sauteed red onion, carrots and sweet potato . You could also try a Bolognese sauce made with root vegetables and tomatoes which you can blitz so that it becomes quite smooth. I have some delicious new recipes on this site that you can try...
  • hi annabell, my sister is at the end of her tether with her 13 month old daughter, she wont eat meat, for example she has ravioli and spits the meat out, no matter how much she mixes meat in with other food ellie will always find it and spit it out.
    is it just a phase or has she turned veggie already!? lol..
    any suggestions greatly appreciated!
  • Hi Jillycat I make delicious home made mini pizzas using split toasted mini muffins as the base. I top them with a Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce and grated cheese and pop them under the grill. They are very tasty . Grilled cheese on toast or peanut butter and banana on taost are other ideas you might like to try
  • Very often its not the taste of meat that babies object to but the texture. Your sisted may need to blitz the meat in a blender until it is very smooth. Alternatively you could try making mini meatballs as she could pick these up with her fingers.. A vegetarian diet for a young child really needs to include cheese and eggs as an adult vegetarian diet will be too bulky and too many high fibre foods are not good for young children.
  • If anyone is bringing their child up a vegetarian one of my most popular recipes is my lentil puree made with onion, leek, carrots, celery, split red lentils, sweet potato, passta and a little grated Cheddar. Lentils are a good cheap source of protein and not just for vegetarians and this combination is very tasty. You can stir in mini pasta shapes for older children and make it into a really nutritious tomato sauce. The recipe is in my Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner
  • Lentil and Vegetable Puree

    1 tbsp veg oil
    50g chopped onion or leek
    100g carrots
    15g celery chopped
    50g split red lentils
    250g sweet potato
    200 ml passata
    50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

    Heat the vegetable oil and saute the onion, carrot and celery for 5 mins. Rinse the lentils and add to the pan. Add the sweet potato and saute for one minute. Pour in the passata and 1 tbsp of water. Cover and cook for about 20 mins. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Puree in a blender. Makes 6 portions Suitable fro freezing
  • Thanks Annabel

    He likes those things you have suggetted. I wasn't sure if to give him peanut butter yet as I couldn't remmmber the guidelines for that?

    Any other finger foodie ideas please?

    Jillycat x
  • Peanut Butter is fine from 6 months provided there is no history of allergy in the family. In fact research suggests that giving allergens early can help sensitise us to them. In Israel where most young children eat a very popular snack whcih contains peanuts, the incidence of peanut allergy is very small. There is new research going on where children with peanut allergies are given tiny amounts of peanut which is increased gradually and many of the children are eventually able to tolerate small amounts of peanut in their diet. Obviously if your child is allergic, this should be done under medical supervision. Only about 6 to 8% of children suffer from a true food allergy so for most parents this is not an issue and peanut butter is a nutritious food. Also it sticks to toast which means it doesnt fall off which is helpful with young children..
  • Pear puree oxidises and turns brown so its best to freeze it as soon as it is cool enough. If it turns brown it wont harm your baby, it just looks unattractive. What you can do is make one of my favourite breakfast purees. Cook up some porridge with milk and chopped dried apricots and blend it together with the pear puree. You can freeze this and baby's like it. By the way you can use cows milk in cooking once your baby is 6 months old..
  • Hi Annabel
    I try to encourage -family' eating but my toddler always seems to want what's on our plates rather than her own even if its curry! I think its just case of it being -mummy' has got something rather than it being something she actually would prefer to eat.
    Should I encourage her to stick to her own dinner or is it ok for her to have what we have? What meals are ok for all of us? She gets quite upset when I don't let her eat like us and I want the meals at the table together to be a good experience.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions