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Ask Annabel

Children's food guru, Annabel Karmel, helps with your mealtime dilemmas

'My toddler wonit touch fruit to*

'My 2 year old isn't interested fruit and refuses to eat any tried giving her a range of different ones but she won't eat them. I'm worried she'll grow up to have a poor diet.'

Pfra^ffli in fruit and refuse; Wfl offer her. I've tri(

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An easy way to encourage your toddler to have fruit Is to make fruit smoothies. It's a good Idea to get your child to help make these, as they're much more likely to try it. I've found the following combinations are popular with children:

• Strawberry, banana, milk and strawberry drinking yogurt

• Strawberry, banana, peach and orange juice

• Pineapple juice, orange juice and mango

• Orange juice, mango and strawberry

• Peach (fresh or tinned in juice), fresh raspberries and raspberry drinking yogurt

Failing that, if there's one food most children can't resist it's an ice lolly, and you can make

these using fresh fruit. Just purée berries, sieve them anc mix with fruit juice, or combine puréed fruit with drinking yogurt, or simply freeze shop-bought fruit smoothies and pure fruit juices in ice lolly moulds.

Dried fruit is great, too!

If your child really isn't interested in eating fresh fruit, why not try dried fruit? The texture is totally different and it's very sweet - try apricots or raisins. Dried fruit concentrates the goodness of fresh fruit. Dried apricots are one of nature's great health foods, as they're an excellent source of iron, vitamin C and betacarotene.

Make sure you buy the ones that aren't treated with sulphur dioxide (E220 - used to keep the fruit bright orange), as this can trigger an asthma attack in susceptible babies. If your child likes these, you can add chopped, dried fruit to his cereal in the morning.

• Other ways of sneaking fruit into your child's diet is to make banana bread or apple and raisin muffins. For breakfast, give him fruit purées such as apple and pear. Always buy pure 100% fruit juice, as fruit juice drinks are usually mostly sugar and water.

• If you give your child iron-enriched cereal in the morning, make sure he has it with a glass of orange juice, as vitamin C boosts iron absorption • Make fruit crumbles for pudding. Apple and pear, or apple and blackberry are all good combinations.

Just blend the ingredients to

¡ether until smooth. Each recipe makes 2 glasses.

Just blend the ingredients to

Peach Melba shake-up

• 100g (4oz) fresh raspberries, pureed and pressed through a sieve

• 1x 400g can peach slices

• 200ml(7fl oz) raspberry drinking yogurt

¡ether until smooth. Each recipe makes 2 glasses.

Summertime smoothie

• 2 ripe juicy peaches

Coconut dream

• 150g (5oz) fresh pineapple, cut into chunks

• 2 scoops vanilla ice cream

• 125g pot vanilla yogurt

Stew the fruit, then mix 125g (5oz) plain flour, 100g (4oz) rolled oats and 75g (3oz) brown sugar. Cut 125g (5oz) butter into pieces and rub in with your fingers unti the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated oven (180oC, 160oC fan oven, 350oF, gas 4) for 30 minutes.

• If your child likes jelly, make it with fruit (don't use kiwi or pineapple, or it won't set).

• Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces, or spear softer fruit onto straws. ►

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