From their first birthday, your child should be having around 3 meals a day with 2 to 3 healthy snacks.
As they grow, you can increase the amount of food you give them at meal times. It's important to make sure that children get the right amount for their age.
Don't pressure your child to eat all the food on their plate. Allow them to stop when they say they are full.
Some tips on portions:
- Give them a portion that matches their size and not the same amount of food as you have.
- Give smaller portions to begin with - let them ask for more if they are hungry.
- Use smaller plates and cutlery - kids plates and bowls are a good idea.
Eating as a family is important. Babies and children learn by example and often love to see and try what you are eating. This can encourage them to have a wide and varied diet.
Drinks for babies and children
From 1 year of age, your baby should be drinking from a cup or free flow beaker. You should have stopped all bottles and infant formula. The best drinks for your baby are water and full-fat cow's milk. Your baby should not have low-fat cow's milk until they are 2 years old.
If your child is hungry shortly after a meal, offer them water or a small healthy snack like a piece of fruit.
Treats for children
Don't use foods, especially foods high in fat or sugar, as a reward or treat. Find different ways to reward your child such as stickers or playing a game.
Children do not need chocolate, sweets, crisps, cakes, ice cream or biscuits. If you do offer these to your child do not give them every day and give them child-sized portions.