When can I introduce soy milk to a child?
Do not offer soy milk to children until after two years of age. Soy milk, rice milk or other vegetarian beverages do not have enough fat for young children and might not have vitamin D added to them.
What foods might cause choking?
Young children can choke easily. Always stay with a child when they are eating. Do not give a child foods that are hard, small and round such as nuts, popcorn, whole grapes or hard vegetables. Do not give a child smooth or sticky foods.
My toddler never eats a full Food Guide serving. Is this a problem?
Let a child decide how much to eat. Never pressure a toddler to eat more than they want. Do not restrict the amount you give a child to eat when they seem hungry. It is normal for young children to eat different amounts of food each day.
You could start with offering half a Food Guide serving (for example, half a cup of milk, half a slice of bread, 1 ounce of meat) and gradually work up to a full serving.
My toddler seems less interested in eating since turning one. Is this normal?
Yes. When a child reaches one year, you might notice changes in eating behaviour such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Eating different amounts of food from day to day
- Changing food preferences (textures, tastes and colours)
- Increased need for independence and a desire to learn to eat by themselves
My child eats very little, or sometimes skips a meal. Is this okay?
It is normal for a preschooler’s appetite to vary. An occasional skipped meal is not a concern as long as the child is growing normally. Serve a variety of healthy foods without pressuring them to eat. Serve smaller portions and make sure to serve snacks about two hours before mealtimes.
My preschooler wants to eat the same food all the time. Is this normal?
Food jags (wanting the same food over and over) are common for preschoolers. Let the child have their “favourite food” as long as it belongs to a food group. Keep offering other healthy choices at each meal.
My preschooler doesn’t like eating vegetables. What should I do?
It’s not unusual for a young child to be picky when eating vegetables. A child may be more likely to eat vegetables if they see you eating them. Here are some tips that might help:
- Serve vegetables at snack time when the child is hungry.
- Offer a variety of brightly coloured vegetables so they can choose.
- Serve raw vegetables or lightly cooked instead of overcooked vegetables.
- Puree or finely chop vegetables and put them in soups and sauces.
- Involve the child in choosing vegetables at the grocery store, or let them grow their own garden.