Toddler feeding advice


Sometimes, introducing your toddler to solids and an increasing variety of foods can feel like an uphill battle, if not outright war!  Here are some great tips for ‘calling a truce’ with your toddler around food from the Victorian Government’s ‘Better Health’ website:

Picky eating can be common in toddlers. The world has become an exciting place and food may be less important when there are many other things to do. Some other reasons why toddlers’ eating patterns change include:

Slower growth – growth slows down in a child’s second year. This means toddlers often have smaller appetites and need less food. The amount eaten from day to day can change dramatically. Although it sometimes worries parents, this change is normal and doesn’t mean your child is being difficult or is unwell.
Grazing and snacking – toddlers rarely follow a traditional meal pattern. They tend to need small and regular snacks. This suits small tummy sizes and provides the energy to keep moving all day. The amount eaten at mealtimes, in particular the evening meal, may be smaller than parents would like.
However, children can balance the amount of food eaten with exactly how much they need if they are given the opportunity to enjoy good foods, and are not forced to overeat or finish all the food on the plate. This means that healthy snacks are important to help provide the energy and nutrition your child needs during the day.
Fussy eating – showing independence is part of normal toddler development and this often includes refusing to eat foods that you offer. Rejecting a food does not always mean the child doesn’t like it. If you offer it on another day, they may eat it!


  • Be a positive role model by eating a healthy, balanced and varied diet together as a family.

  • Serve the same foods as the family eats.

  • Remember that toddlers need small meals and regular snacks.

  • Don’t worry too much – a toddler’s appetite and food intake can vary daily.

  • Offer small serves and give more if needed.

  • Let them tell you they’re full and don’t force a child to finish all food on their plate.


  • Serve a new food with one your child likes.

  • Be patient and keep offering new foods, even if they are rejected at first.

  • Assume your child will like new foods.​

  • Offer new foods in a relaxed environment.

  • Don’t use food as a reward, pacifier or punishment.