Be creative, stay patient and calm, and continue to offer new foods
Why is your child refusing to eat foods or eating less?
How they are feeling – they may be tired or stressed
Distractions – they would rather play or watch TV
Pressure – if a child feels pressured to eat something, they will not eat it
Taste – some children have a sensitivity to taste, smell, shape and texture
Fear – some children are fearful to try new things
Drinking too much – some children fill up on milk or water
Work on building healthy habits!
Offer a variety of foods
- Integrate finger foods into their meals such as sandwiches or cut up vegetables
- Offer a new food in combination with familiar foods when your child is hungry
- Offer new foods regularly starting with a small amount
- Don’t feel discouraged: It may take up to 15 times for your child to like a food!
- Make food interesting and fun by using different shapes, textures and colours
Make a routine
- Having a regular meal and snack time helps children. It leaves space between eating to allow your child to build an appetite
- Offer 3 meals and 2-3 snacks daily in child-sized portions with child-sized cups, plates, and utensils
- Limit sweets and snack foods such as candy and chips
- Limit sweet beverages such as juice
- Limit milk to no more than 3 cups each day as it can replace other foods
- Offer water to satisfy thirst in between meals
Make meals fun!
- Eat meals as a family
- Be a good role model – eat well as a parent, and eat a variety of foods
- Encourage all family members to eat healthy
- Avoid distractions during meal times by turning off the TV
- Let your child leave the table if they are full – they don’t like to sit for too long
- Let your child help you when you plan and prepare meals
Give your child a choice
- Parents get to make a lot of decisions during meal time.
- Parents decide which foods to offer, when to offer them, and where everyone will eat
- Let your child decide how much they want to eat and respect their decision if they want to refuse
City of Toronto. (2018). Feeding your child. Retrieved from http://www.toronto.ca/community-people/children-parenting/pregnancy-and-parenting/parenting/feeding-your-child