How To Feed 

 Your Child

Strategies to Promote Responsive Feeding
Guidelines by UNICEF and WHO:
Feed infants directly and assist older children when they feed themselves, being sensitive to their hunger and satiety cues.
 
Feed slowly and patiently, and encourage children to eat, but do not force them.
If children refuse many foods, experiment with different food combinations, tastes, textures and methods of encouragement. Offer new foods several times; children sometimes refuse new foods for the first few tries.
Minimize distractions during meals if the child loses interest easily.
Remember that feeding times are periods of learning and love. Talk to children during feeding and make frequent eye contact.
World Health Organization. Guiding principles for complementary feeding of the breastfed child. Geneva: WHO, 2003.
Establish an Authoritative Feeding Style
  • Follow the Guidelines on Responsive Feeding.
  • Offer scheduled meals and snacks 5-6 times per day, following a predictable routine.
  • Set up a pleasant feeding environment, preferably at the same place each time.
  • Ensure that your child is seated in a relaxed and comfortable manner and is facing other family members.
  • Clearly communicate your expectations at the table (i.e., mealtime behavior "rules").
  • Model eating healthy foods as much as possible.
  • Offer foods that are healthy, tasty and developmentally appropriate.
  • Follow the Division of Responsibility (see below).
 
Habron J, Booley S, Najaar B, Day CE. (2013) Responsive feeding: establishing healthy eating behaviour early on in life. S Afr J Clin Nutr 2013;26(3)Supplement):S141-149.
Division
of
Responsibility
Parents are responsible for what, when, and where the child eats.
Children are responsible for how much and whether they eat. 
For detailed information on Ellyn Satter's sDOR, click here.
Help with Feeding
Support for infants & toddlers

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Disclaimer: This information is not to replace professional support that may be available to you/your

child through local speech pathologists or occupational therapists with expertise in feeding.  

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