13 Tips for Feeding Babies under Age 3

13 Tips for Feeding Babies under Age 3

Last update: 29 May, 2018

In this article we’ll provide tips for feeding babies under the age of 3, in order to make sure they grow up to be healthy and strong.

A baby’s diet is very important. A balanced diet promotes good health and prevents chronic diseases.

Breastfeeding is advised during the first year of life. It can also be maintained until the child is 2. Breast milk has all of the nutrients and compounds that a baby needs for their development and growth.

After the age of 6 months you can start to introduce new complimentary foods, but breast milk should always be maintained as the main source of nutrients. Maternal or artificial breast milk can be used.

If you don’t want to miss out on great diet advice for babies, keep reading.

Tips for feeding babies under age 3

Give them food whenever they want

If a baby is still receiving breast milk, allow them to breastfeed as often as they want.

Avoid giving them sugary drinks through the bottle

Don’t use the baby bottle to give them sugary drinks, like boxed juices. This increases the risk of cavities.

Don’t force the child to eat if they don’t want to

If a child doesn’t want to eat a certain food or doesn’t want to eat any more, we shouldn’t force them to do so. They’re the ones that should decide what they want to eat and if they want more.

Sit the child at the table after they reach the age of 1

After reaching the age of 1, your child can sit at the table and eat with the rest of the family. At first they’ll need a lot of help to eat, but they’ll quickly improve.

This will also help foment their integration within the family when it’s time to eat.

Playing with and touching food is necessary for a child‘s development

This is how they learn. They’ll later develop their abilities bit by bit. However, for them to get there, we must give them some space to play with and touch their food.

This can be messy and you’ll have to clean up after. But it’s very important for us to allow them to eat on their own in order to become autonomous eaters.

Limit the amount of pre-cooked food they eat

Fast food (pizza, hamburgers) contains saturated fats, sugars and salt. We should give them the healthiest and most natural foods we can.

Always have breakfast

Children should never skip breakfast. Always try to make breakfast as healthy and varied as possible.

Avoid nuts until the age of 4

Nuts can be dangerous because they can cause choking (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, etc). We should avoid them until the child turns four, and when they begin to eat nuts we should always be cautious.

Eat often

Children need to eat often. We should provide healthy and nutritious snacks for them to peck on between meals. This will prevent them from craving other unhealthy food (chips, packaged juices, cookies, etc).

Physical activity

In addition to a healthy diet, physical activity is important; from the first year until the age of 3 this comes in the form of games.

So let them play and have fun. You should also join their games and enjoy time with them.

Let them help you when you go shopping

From the age of two, children can start “helping” when you go shopping. They can also help you while you cook (washing vegetables, squeezing oranges, making a sandwich, helping you store things, etc).

Let them help, always under your close supervision.

Don’t reward or punish them with food

Don’t reward good behavior with sweets and goodies. You shouldn’t punish them by restricting foods either.

We should praise their good behavior and always ask them for help nicely. Always using “please” and “thank you.”

Children are sponges and learn by observing adults. Keeping that in mind, we should try to be good role models.

Maintain a healthy and balanced diet

It’s important to get into the habit of eating healthy foods. Childhood is where they establish what it means to eat healthy.

So now you have some tips for feeding babies. Try to put them into practice and you’ll see your child will grow up healthy. Once you establish a routine, it will become an easy process.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Triantis V., Bode L., Joost van Neerven RJ., Immunological effects of human milk oligosaccharides. Front Pediatr, 2018.
  • Fidler Mis N., Braegger C., Bronsky J., Campoy C., et al., Sugar in infants, children and adolescents: a position paper of the european society for paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition committee on nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2017. 65 (6): 681-696.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.