Little Dish is ten this year and I can’t quite believe it.  To celebrate, we’ve re-launched our range of fresh, healthy toddler meals – Little Dish pots & pies – and written our first toddler nutrition guide.

We’ve written The Great Toddler Food Adventure to help parents navigate the (often unpredictable!) journey from purees to proper food. We’ve worked with two leading nutritionists, Vanessa Clarkson and Lucy Jones, to bring you the latest nutritional know-how.  The guide also contains handy meal plans, fussy eating advice, educational tools to teach young children about food, and ideas on how to experiment with the latest healthy ingredients.

We’re looking at easy ways to add extra goodness to your little one’s food:

  • Add crushed nuts and seeds (flax, chia and poppy) to porridge, cereal and even baking for extra protein and Omega 3
  • Swap jam on toast for nut butters (eg. almond or cashew) – more nutrients and less sugar
  • Add vegetables like spinach and cucumber to fruit smoothies for a vitamin boost and/or some avocado for a creamy texture
  • Replace beef mince with turkey mince or lentils in Bolognese, Lasagne and Chilli recipes when you want a break from red meat
  • Use wholemeal or seeded pitta instead of highly refined white breads

And here are some of our favourite healthy ingredients to experiment with:

Quinoa – actually a seed that you prepare like a grain, provides fibre, all 10 essential amino acids and is a source of minerals including magnesium and manganese. It’s also a great gluten-free alternative to pasta ”¨

Cauliflower Рa nutrient-packed veg that tastes delicious when mashed with potato or roasted on its own with a little olive oil Ӭ

Ginger and turmeric Рtwo spices that have a long tradition of being used to alleviate discomfort and pain in the stomach. Ginger can be whizzed up in a smoothie and turmeric can be added to a cheese sauce to give a lovely mild flavour Ӭ

Beetroot – children will love the way beetroot turns things pink!”¨And it’s packed with folate, a B vitamin that keeps the immune system working like clockwork.Try it roasted and mixed into a risotto ”¨

Sweet potatoes – a source of beta-carotene and fibre. Delicious mashed and used to top Shepherd’s pie or roasted and sprinkled with cheese for a tasty take on a jacket potato ”¨

Chia, flax and linseeds Рwe love seeds because they are chock-full of fibre, so easy to add to food and practically undetectable to little food adventurers. Sprinkle into smoothies or breakfast cereals Ӭ

Avocado РFull of good fats, vitamins and minerals. Avocado is delicious sliced on wholegrain toast or mashed with banana and spread on corn crackers for a yummy, healthy snack. And look out for unrefined avocado oil Рa great alternative to olive oil that you can use in salad dressings Ӭ

Spinach and kale Рboth of these greens contain vitamins, minerals and iron. Smuggle spinach or kale into a smoothie, a homemade pesto or mix it into an omelette Ӭ

To download your free copy of The Great Toddler Food Adventure, visit LittleDish