Division of responsibility & happy feeding

View more feeding resources or download a PDF of this resource.

Become a mealtime partner

  • Feeding your child takes team work!
  • Parents decide what, when and where to feed and your child will decide whether and how much to eat.
  • Include your children in planning and preparing family meals.
  • Prepare all foods using the same herbs and spices.

Schedule meals and snacks

  • No grazing.
  • Eat all meals and snacks with your child seated in a high chair or seated at the table.
  • Make a mealtime and snack schedule and routine. Stick to your schedule!
  • Do not offer food in between meal and snack times, even if your child does not eat much.

Encourage family mealtimes

  • Family mealtimes are a time for sharing stories, daily events and coming together to eat and spend quality time.
  • Focus on healthy habits during mealtimes.
  • Act as a role model for your children. If they see you enjoying trying new foods, they are more likely to as well.

Minimize distractions

  • Minimize distractions: Turn off TV, computer, tablet and phones during mealtimes.
  • Separate mealtimes from playtime.

Embrace Messiness

  • Focus on foods they can hold in their hands or feed themselves with a spoon.
  • Let your child self-feed, even using their hands!
  • Allow your child to feel in control when it comes to food and eating.

Learn and trust your child’s cues.

  • Stop feeding if your child starts to throw food or becomes disinterested.
  • NEVER chase your child with food.
  • Picky eating is normal behaviour. Prepare the same meal or snack for everyone.

Do not play games!

  • Do not entertain or play games to get your children to eat more.
  • Do not pressure, bribe or sneak food into your child’s mouth.
  • No eating or feeding while walking around or in the car seat or bath tub.
  • Avoid emotional eating. Do not use food to calm down an upset child. Do not praise your child for eating or show disapproval when they don’t eat.

Don’t stress!

  • Focus less on what your child is eating and more on how they feel and behave at meal times.
  • Children will balance themselves by eating more at one meal and less at one another.
  • Children need to learn how to enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Respect that your child will learn to know when they are hungry and when they are full.

View more feeding resources or download a PDF of this resource.