Responsive feeding is when a parent or caregiver responds to their child’s cues of wanting to eat and feeling full in a timely, emotionally supportive and developmentally appropriate way.
A happy feeder is comfortable with and able to enjoy food and mealtime.
Happy feeders are:
- Able to accept new foods.
- In tune with their body to know when they are hungry and full.
- More active.
Providing children with mealtime structure and exposing them to a variety of foods will allow them to develop these skills and foster a healthy relationship with food for the rest of their lives.
How much should I feed my baby/child?
Breast/Bottle feeding: Important to follow your baby’s cues.
- Feed when your baby is awake, calm and showing interest to feed.
- Let your baby determine the pace of feeding, can be fast or slow.
Solid foods: Start with homemade foods. Follow your baby’s cues.
- Baby must be sitting in highchair facing you.
- Let your baby play with and explore the food and spoon with their hands. This is how they learn!
- Be patient and do not rush.
- Prepare first foods with semi-thick consistency. Texture can then be advanced based on your child’s skill.
Raising competent feeders takes patience and consistency. Don’t give up!!
How do I know when my baby/child is full?
- Suck slows down.
- Baby releases breast or bottle from their mouth.
- Posture relaxes/falls asleep.
- Less restless. If starts resisting feeds, will get more restless.
- Closes his/her mouth.
- Slows down pace of eating.
- Pushes food or spoon away.
- Shakes his/her head “no”.
- Stops swallowing.
- Smears the food.
- Seems uninterested in eating.
The amount of food your baby/child eats is not as important as them learning to feed and enjoy mealtimes. Keep mealtimes pleasant and have fun!