Young Children

By 12 months of age, infants are usually eating a good variety of foods from the four food groups:  Vegetables and Fruit; Grain Products; Milk and Alternatives; Meat and Alternatives. 

If your child is no longer breastfeeding, then whole cow’s milk (3.25% milk fat) can be used as the source of milk, and can be introduced after 9 months of age.  

  • At least 500 ml (2 cups) of whole milk should be consumed throughout the day.  
  • Whole cow’s milk should be continued until age two. 
  • After 2 years of age, your child can be offered 2% or 1% milk, depending on what the family typically consumes. 

Eating is a shared responsibility

Meals are an important social time for children, and should be enjoyable not stressful.  While many parents worry about how much their child is eating, they need to trust that their child knows when he is hungry or full. 

           It is the parents’ responsibility to provide healthy foods and drinks
                                    at set times throughout the day

           It is the child’s responsibility to decide if and how much to eat  

It is important to monitor the growth of young children.  But remember, your child’s overall growth pattern is important, not her height or weight at any given time. 
It is normal for your toddler’s appetite to go up and down.  Provided your child is happy, energetic and growing well, she is likely consuming enough food.

Food Guide for Toddlers

  • Toddlers and preschoolers should be offered a variety of foods from each of the four food groups daily: 
  • it is best to offer smaller portions and let him ask for more than to overwhelm with too much food.
  • a serving size for children this age is one-quarter to one-half an adult size portion.

Tips for feeding toddlers and preschoolers

  • Set regular meal and snack times – this will help your child come to the table hungry and ready to try new foods.
  • Let your child decide how much or if he will eat – his body will let him know if he is hungry or full. 
  • Don’t pressure, reward or trick your child into eating – if your child refuses a food or meal, or does not eat anything in about 10 – 15 minutes, quietly remove the food and let him down from the table. 
  • Don’t make separate meals for your child – try to serve at least one food you know your child will like, but don’t become a short-order cook.

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