Healthy living

Ten tips for feeding toddlers

Follow these tips and encourage your toddler to eat healthy food.

  1. Keep meals small and offer more if your child is still hungry.
  2. Give healthy snack foods between meals.
  3. Let your child feed himself or herself.
  4. Give drinks in a cup.
  5. Let your child tell you when he or she is full. Don’t force your toddler to finish all that’s on the plate. Remember, appetites can vary so the amount your child eats can change from day to day.
  6. New foods may be rejected at first. Be patient and keep offering them at another time.
  7. Try a new food with other foods you know your child likes.
  8. Offer words of encouragement but don’t force your child to eat. Try not to fuss if your child refuses food.
  9. Encourage your child to eat with the family and keep mealtimes relaxed and fun.
  10. Always supervise your child when he or she is eating.

Remember that a normal toddler often eats less than when he or she was a baby because growth slows down. Babies grow very rapidly – a 6 month old baby may gain up to nearly 1 kg every 8 weeks. A toddler could take 6 months to gain 1 kg.

Where to get help

Local community or child health nurse

  • See inside your baby's purple All About Me book
  • Look in the service finder under child health centres
  • Visit your nearest child health centre

Local family doctor

Dietitians Association of Australia

Ngala Helpline

  • 8.00am – 8.00pm 7 days a week
  • Phone: (08) 9368 9368
  • Outside metro area – Free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
  • Visit the Ngala website (external site)

Raising Children Network



Child and Adolescent Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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