An Early Start to Good Nutrition
It’s never too early to start healthy food and drink habits with your baby or toddler.
You can help them benefit from good nutrition right from birth.
Starting healthy habits now
Begin with breastfeeding. Breastfeed for the first 6 months. Babies who are breastfed for the first 6 months
tend to be leaner. Continue to breastfeed plus give supplemental foods until age 1
Stop feeding when your child is full. Don’t try to make your baby finish every bottle, unless your child’s healthcare provider
tells you to. Look for cues that show your child may be full. These may include closing
their mouth, turning their head away from breast or bottle, or relaxing their hands.
Skip juice and other sweet drinks. Juice isn't necessary and is less nutritious than fruit. Don’t give fruit juice,
or wait until your child is a toddler. If you choose to offer juice, wait until age
12 months. Give no more than 4 ounces of 100% juice daily. Don't give your child fruit
punch, soft drinks, and other sweet drinks.
Give your child variety. When your child starts eating, offer a variety of foods, flavors, and textures from
all food groups. Give fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified
soy foods. Include foods rich in iron and zinc, especially for breastfed babies. Examples
include lean meats, fortified infant cereals, and beans.
Important safety tip
Don’t feed your baby raw or cooked honey. Don’t give them unpasteurized foods or drinks,
such as milk, yogurt, or cheese, or pressed juice. These foods could have harmful
bacteria that can lead to serious illness or death.
Show your good habits
As a parent, it’s good to remember that your child will model what they see you doing.
Make sure to eat healthy foods and be active. You can inspire lifelong healthy habits
in your child.