Nutrition advice & support from Lucy Upton

Nutrition advice & support from Lucy Upton

At Pots For Tots, our mission is to help guide you through the nutritional noise with expert advice and support directly from Lucy Upton, our resident Children's Dietitian. And not only that, did you know that Lucy is on board to work with us on our meals and recipes to ensure they are as nutitionally balanced as possible? 

We understand that feeding children can be stressful and confusing, especially with so much information available online - that’s why we’ve introduced Instagram Q&A sessions with Lucy, giving you the opportunity to ask Lucy any questions you may have and receive the best advice for your child’s needs. Here’s what you've asked Lucy recently…

My two-year-old is suddenly really fussy - need advice!

It often surprises parents at this point, but when thinking about managing fussy eating, often the onus is on how we feed our children rather than what we are feeding them. So some top tips include spending as much time eating together as you can, even if that means you're just having a small amount of the meal you're offering at their meal times.

Try to reduce any pressure at mealtimes, so no asking them to eat something, no putting food on a pedestal, no hovering over them with a fork... Allow them some choice and autonomy. Offer some foods you know your child enjoys and are familiar with. And honestly, patience here is a virtue because most children do outgrow their fussy phase… But it isn't weeks, it's usually months or even longer.

We have a fussy eating download on our website that covers loads more information, plus a range of meals designed with picky eaters in mind.

Pots for Tots fussy eating tips

My child will only eat chocolate cereal for breakfast - help!

Firstly, you're certainly not alone. Lots of children like these palatable cereals, and they are not devoid of nutrition - they are a good source of things like iron and zinc, as often they're fortified. What you can do to help remove or reduce the amount of the cereals that your little one might be having in their diet is to consider a 50/50 mix with a plain cereal, or mix up the options that are on offer each day and don't offer the chocolate option - instead, give them a choice of two other alternatives.

Pots for Tots snacks

What are the best snacks I can give to my toddler in between meals?

Offer variety and balance with snacks - often for toddlers this age viewing them as mini meals can be really helpful. Options could include…

  • Toast with different toppings, such as nut butter and fruit (check out this reel!)
  • Oatcakes with cream cheese and cucumber
  • Our Mini Banana Pancakes with some full fat yoghurt and nut butter/sprinkled coconut
  • A small wrap or sandwich, e.g with hummus and grated apple, or chicken and avocado
  • Our Broccoli Tots with a protein-rich dip, such as hummus


I always get pushback when I say that I don’t want to offer my 17mo chocolate or sugary snacks - help!

This is a really tricky scenario and one I know lots of parents struggle with. I always start by reminding parents that however they choose to parent around food is THEIR choice for their child, but it doesn’t make these conversations any easier.

It can be helpful to acknowledge the opinions of others with patience and understanding eg “I know you like to see X enjoying their food and foods you’ve bought (with love) to share with them”. Then you are absolutely able to kindly assert your boundary as a parent (often the clearer the better to avoid leaving too much room for interpretation). And then follow up with other ways (or foods you’re happy for them to share with your child) they can offer.

porridge ideas

My child has porridge every morning - what can I do to make it more nutritious?

Porridge is a FAB food to add lots of extra nutrients to. I always think about adding colour, fibre and some healthy fats. Here are some of my favourite toppings:

  • Peanut or nut butter and chia jam
  • Grated apple or carrot, cinnamon and ground almonds
  • Banana, coconut yoghurt and desiccated coconut (pina colada vibes!)
  • Warmed frozen fruit, and a dollop of full fat yoghurt
  • Savoury! Grated courgette, cream cheese and a sprinkle of grated cheese (I promise it works!)

Best foods for a child with a tummy bug?

There is so much going around at the moment, a few key things to think about with tummy bugs…

  • It's very normal for appetite to dwindle and really be quite low for quite a period of time, obviously during and after a tummy bug, so take your time with reintroducing foods on offer.
  • Little and often two fluids are going to be key to keep your child hydrated, so make sure you're offering those regularly and including nourishing fluids if you want to.
  • Lots of children prefer plain foods to begin with, so things like toast, plain pasta cereals, for example, and over time you just want to gradually reintroduce their normal balanced diet.

Here's a blog on how to support your child's immune system, and recommended foods to offer to your poorly tot!

Pots for Tots orzo

I feel like my 12m isn’t very good with textures or BLW, how can I help them?

The first thing I would say here is don't panic. Your child is 12 months old but still has plenty of time to learn to eat a good range of foods. The key thing is going to be the experience that allows them to continue to learn how to eat a variety of foods.

Eating together here can be really key, because children will look to you to learn how to eat food. The oral motor skills that you need to eat food, what you do with it.

In circumstances like this, I often suggest to parents combining foods or textures that your child accepts well. So that might be things that are really well mashed or soft, for example, alongside other textures they're learning to eat so loading things onto toast, lentil cakes, rice cakes, for example.

Adapting family meals wherever you can because they offer a good, diverse range of textures. Mashing things with the back of a fork if you need to, to support that transition and essentially offering lots of variety because that variety with food, is going to give children the skills and experience they need.

Lunch box ideas for my child who isn't very confident with BLW?

I would say in circumstances like this offering variety and still including options little one can self feed (and continue development of feeding skills with) is helpful…

  • Orzo pasta salad eg with pesto or tomato sauce (or our Med Veg Orzo) with some shredded chicken and fruit/veg
  • Soft dips like mashed avocado, hummus, cream cheese with grated cucumber and crackers/breadsticks/ soft pitta strips + yoghurt and extra fruit/veg
  • Chickpea and veggie cous cous
  • Small soft sandwiches eg cream cheese and grated apple, hummus and grated carrot, soft pulled chicken and pesto/yoghurt, egg mayonnaise + some a fruit /veg option and/or sides like grated cheese

Thanks to Lucy for taking the time to answer these questions! Make sure to follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date with our Q&A sessions and get the advice and tips you need to make feeding your children a little easier.

Love, Team Pots for Tots x
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