Early Childhood - What You and Your Family Need to Know about Nutrition

Early Childhood: Nutrition

Healthy eating makes for healthy kids

baby sitting with peppersThe foods you offer can make a big difference in babies' and young children's eating habits, food preferences and attitudes toward new foods.

Nutritional guidelines

  • Mother's milk is the baby's first and healthiest food.
  • Introduce only one new food at a time in order to identify potential food sensitivities.
  • Introduce vegetables before fruits, so babies acquire a taste for veggies.
    Be aware of, and avoid or modify, foods that are choking or swallowing hazards.
  • Limit foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt.
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit 100 percent juice to no more than 4-6 ounces per day.
    Serve only nonfat or low fat milk to children over two years old.
  • Make drinking water freely available to toddlers and preschoolers throughout the day.
  • Provide healthy food choices at regular meal and snack times, then allow the child to decide how much to eat.
  • Never use foods to bribe, reward or punish a child.


Breastfeeding is the best, most nurturing way of feeding your baby and something special you can do for your child.

The  MDH Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program offers information useful for all mothers as they plan to breastfeed. Click here for more information.


Updated Friday, April 06, 2018 at 11:14AM