How Can I Help My Baby/Toddler Eat Extra Calories?

Create a Positive Environment

  • Have meals around the same time and in the same place every day with family members.
  • Focus on eating. Do not bring phones, iPads®, televisions or other distractions to the table.
  • Keep mealtime relaxed and fun.

Encourage Positive Behavior

  • Let your baby/toddler decide when they are hungry. Offer different types of foods. They can decide how much to eat. Try not to force your baby to eat.
  • Praise good behaviors around eating.
  • Set a good example for your baby/toddler. Try not to argue or punish. Children learn best from people around them. Model the behavior you want your baby/toddler to learn.
  • If your baby/toddler does not want one type of food, offer a different choice.

Provide Healthy Choices

  • Keep healthy snacks on hand. Do not offer foods or drinks with extra sugar or salt.
  • Offer drinks in the middle or toward the end of meals. This can help prevent your baby/toddler from filling up on liquids. Do not give juice (even 100% fruit juice). Juice has extra calories and sugar your baby does not need.

Learn More

Rev. 6/2018. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.