When can I introduce soy milk to my 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 your child when he or she is eating. Do not give your child foods that are hard, small and round such as nuts, popcorn, whole grapes or hard vegetables. Do not give your child smooth or sticky foods.
My toddler never eats a full Food Guide serving. Is this a problem?
Let your child decide how much to eat. Never pressure your toddler to eat more than he or she wants. Do not restrict the amount you give your child to eat when he or she seems 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 she turned one. Is this normal?
Yes. When your 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 your preschooler’s appetite to vary. An occasional skipped meal is not a concern as long as your 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 your child have his or her “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. Your child may be more likely to eat vegetables if he or she sees you eating them. Here are some tips that might help:
- Serve vegetables at snack time when your child is hungry.
- Offer a variety of brightly coloured vegetables so he 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 your child in choosing vegetables at the grocery store, or let him or her grow his or her own garden.