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guidelines for feeding my child who is 1 to 6 years old

Submitted 13-06-2014

Children between 1 and 2 years are still developing eating skills. Food may end up on the floor or on your child instead of in his mouth. Be patient and let your child learn how to use a spoon to feed himself. Avoid giving your child a fork or knife until he is able to use it without hurting himself.

Give your child whole milk until he is 2 years old. His body needs the extra fat in whole milk to help him grow. After he turns 2 years old, he can drink skim or low-fat milk (such as 1 or 2% milk).

Feed your child a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups. You do not need to count calories, make him stop eating, or tell him to eat more. Most children know how much food their body needs at one time. Let your child decide how much of the food he wants to eat. Give him small portions and then let him have another serving if he asks for one.

Do not force your child to eat new foods if he does not want to. Offer the food again after a few days, and let your child decide if he wants to eat it. Children need to see a new food as many as 8 or 10 times before they are willing to eat it.

Small children can be very picky. Your child may like a certain food on one day and then decide he does not like it the next day. He may eat only 1 or 2 foods for a whole week or longer. Your child may not like mixed foods. These eating habits are normal. Offer 2 or 3 different foods at each meal.