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Healthy Eating for Children Aged 1 to 4 years

Eating well in the first five years of life is essential for growth and development, as well as for your child’s future health. Encouraging good eating habits in these early years will contribute to a lifetime of good food choices.

By the time your toddler is 12 months old, they should be having three meals a day along with healthy snacks between meals. Your child is now ready to eat healthier meals with the rest of the family - just in smaller portions and cut up into smaller pieces.

The Eatwell Guide is used to help everyone understand what the ideal balance of foods is for a healthy diet. It does not apply in full to children under 2 years as they have specific nutrient requirements. Between the ages of 2 and 5 years, children can gradually move to eating the same balance of foods as adults.

Like the rest of the family, young children needs to eat a variety of foods. Here are some tips on the different sorts of food to offer your child: 

Healthy Child Wales Programme

The Healthy Child Wales Programme is an agreed all Wales universal schedule of health visiting and school nursing contacts for every child.

The health visitor will offer each family a contact when a child is 15 month, 27 months and 3 ½ years of age. These contacts will include the opportunity for height and weight measurement and for the health visitor to assess a child’s health and development.

Support and advice is offered on healthy eating and physical activity. Our team will discuss meal time routines, portion sizes, types of food and any concerns regarding nutrition and feeding. Our team also promote the use of vitamin supplements for children (until the age of 5 years) including information on Healthy Start Scheme and Family Information Service for further information about local play.

Further information and resources