Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first six months of life. The longer a baby is breastfed, the greater the health benefits for both mom and baby. Solid foods can be introduced starting around six months, if babies are showing the signs of readiness.
Public Health’s Infant Feeding Class offers strategies to support healthy infant feeding and the introduction of solid foods.
Healthy eating habits begin early in life. Children need a variety of food every day to get all the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow. As a parent or caregiver, you can help! Offer a variety of foods from Canada’s Food Guide without pressure and model healthy habits for your kids.
Mealtime is also an excellent time to reinforce healthy eating habits. Connect, share stories and enjoy food with each other.
Tips for Positive Family Meal Times
- Provide structure – schedule regular meals and snacks and avoid grazing because it spoils appetites.
- Offer a pleasant setting – eliminate distractions while eating (no TV, texting, etc.).
- Eat together as a family. This lets adults role model healthy eating and social skills.
- Keep conversations light – use this time to bond with your children.
- Give control – allow everyone to decide how much they eat. Let them pick and choose from the healthy foods you have provided on the table.
- Avoid nagging or bribing – it creates negative experiences and can lead to unhealthy eating behaviours.
The teenage and early adult years are a period of growth and development. While it is important for youth to get the nutrition their bodies need during this time, they may feel pressure to change their eating habits to control their weight or look a certain way.
As a parent or caregiver, you can help your youth develop healthy relationships with food and their bodies by:
- Encouraging them to eat well to feel good and help their bodies grow
- Focusing on their talents and qualities instead of appearance
- Showing youth they can be healthy and active at any size
- Letting them help with planning and making meals
- Eating together as a family
- Role modeling being positive about your own body