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Health TipsRecipe

Low Appetite and Small Eater

By 17/04/2016May 23rd, 2017No Comments

How to Boost the Nutrient Intake of My Children’s Diet  

As most parents may know, low appetite and picky eating can cause a lot of stress in the kitchen. Picky eating is characterised by eating limited amounts of foods, refusing foods (especially fruits and vegetables!), being unwilling to try new foods, accepting only a few types of foods and preferring drinks (such as milk) over food. The biggest worry for parents is that small intake will impact a child’s physical and mental development due to lack of nutrition. Also, a preference for food begins in infancy and carries through childhood into adulthood. All parents want the best start for their children and this includes a nutrient dense diverse diet!

If your child complains of low appetite and is a picky eater at times, here are some tips to make sure your child gets the most nutrition from the small amount of food eaten:


Meal Composition

  • If children don’t eat enough during meal times, offer a snack 1-2 hours later, nutrient rich snacks include
    • Fruit and yoghurt based smoothie or Rafferty’s Garden Smoothie range – great for on the go
    • Home-made fruit, nut and seed slice
    • Vegetable sticks with beetroot dip or hummus
    • Spelt/buckwheat pikelets with yoghurt and fruit
  • Offer small quantities of a variety of foods rather than getting children to fill up on a single food
    • For instance, reduce the amount of pasta served with a sauce and instead add a wide variety vegetables to the sauce and serve a greater quantity of sauce – this way children are getting more nutrients
  • Use drinks as a vehicle for adding extra nutrition
    • Smoothies – add milk, yoghurt, chia seeds, oats, fruit, coconut oil


Easy ways to sneak extra nutrition in

  • Add pesto and feta cheese to scrambled eggs
  • Stir ground up flaxseeds to porridge and muesli
  • Blitz vegetables in a food processor and use as a base for risotto
  • Make ice-blocks blending yoghurt with fruit or using Rafferty’s Garden Pear and Superberries Smooth
  • Opt for vegetable based dips – roasted beetroot, roast pumpkin or mashed avocado
  • Try a zucchini slice or frittata adding grated zucchini, capsicum, mushrooms
  • Spread sandwiches with hummus, avocado or cannellini bean dip
  • Serve pasta with a nutrient dense puree such as Rafferty’s Garden Apricot Chicken or Hearty Beef and Veggie Baby puree


Simple Swaps for added nutrition

White rice > quinoa

Plain milk > smoothie (milk, yoghurt, fruit, rolled oats)

White bread > fibre-rich wholegrain based bread

Sweet yoghurt > natural yoghurt with homemade fresh fruit puree/compote

Commercial sausages > homemade rissoles with grated vegetables

Store bought pasta sauce > homemade sauce with tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum and herbs

White pasta with cheese > whole grain pasta with homemade pesto



For a nutrient dense and warming breakfast recipe try dishing up my Veggie Rich scrambled eggs, I guarantee empty plates!


Veggie Rich Scrambled Eggs

Serves 1-2


  • 2 free-range organic eggs
  • 1 pouch Rafferty’s Garden Just Veggies Carrot, Potato and Swede Smooth
  • ½ cup buckwheat pasta, cooked
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tbsp. chives, chopped finely


  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with Rafferty’s Garden Just Veggies until well combined
  3. Pour egg mixture into pan and gently scramble eggs
  4. Once eggs are almost set, toss pasta into pan and warm through
  5. Take off the heat, spoon onto serving plate and sprinkle with chives