Is Your Toddler Not Eating Healthy Food?

Is Your Toddler Not Eating Healthy Food?


Is your toddler not eating healthy food? Picky eaters may not be getting all the nutrients they need. Learn about how you can help your picky eater to consume a more varied diet.

Worried about your toddler not eating? You are right!

Having a diverse diet means eating a wide variety of different foods from the different food groups, as well as within each food group. Each food group offers a wide range of choices and each one has a unique nutritional value.

According to a research by the National University Hospital, 1 in 2 parents here identified their children as picky eaters, and picky eating was first noticed as early as one year old.1 Many studies have shown that picky eaters have less variety in their diets than non-picky eaters.

Furthermore, a survey conducted locally revealed that the diets of most 3-year-old children are not balanced.2 For example, fruit and vegetable intakes were insufficient, with 55% and 81% consuming less than the recommended amounts respectively. Close to 2 in 5 children did not meet the recommendation for milk intake.

A recent study discovered that you are not alone

Toddler not drinking milk?
Almost 2 in 5 kids are not drinking enough milk

Toddler not eating vegetables?
4 in 5 kids are not eating enough vegetables

Toddler eating too much meat?

3 in 5 kids are eating too much meat

Toddler not eating fruits?
More than 1 in 2 kids are not eating enough fruit

From “toddlers not eating” to “toddlers love eating”

Healthy eating is crucial for children to help them develop to their fullest potential. As a parent, it is important to ensure that your child consumes a diverse and balanced diet to supply the various nutrients required to support optimal physical and cognitive development.

As you plan your child’s meal, remember to include foods from the different food groups as well as within each food group.

If your child is a picky eater, mealtimes can often feel like a battleground. Here are some tips you may find useful:

Step By Step
Introduce only one new food at a time instead of serving a completely new meal. For example, if you want your child to eat an unfamiliar or new food, try to introduce it together with a familiar food.

Small to Big
Serve small portion sizes when introducing new foods. Gradually move on to bigger portions.

Make Meals Healthier
Try to improve the nutritive value of the food that your child enjoys. For instance, if your child likes pasta or pizza try whole-wheat varieties and add vegetables. You may also add a slice of cheese to sandwiches, fruit to cereal or vegetables to pasta to increase the nutrient density of food.

Flavour Masking
Some picky eaters accept bites of food if they are dipped in sauce. In cases like these, allow a sauce to be used at first to get your child to try the new food, but then decrease the amount of sauce over time.

This allows your child to gradually experience more of the flavour of the targeted food and increases the chances he will accept it.

Be Positive
Try to alter the form and texture of that food to change the association into more positive ones. For example, you can feed your child with fine minced meat before transitioning to meat cubes as picky eaters tend to be more sensitive to food textures.

Make A Schedule
Serve meals at consistent intervals and times. Discourage eating at unscheduled times; work with your child to establish the mealtime schedule.

1 Goh DY, Jacob A. Perception of picky eating among children in Singapore and its impact on caregivers: a questionnaire survey. Asia Pac Fam Med. 2012 Jul 20;11(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1447-056X-11-5. PMID: 22816553; PMCID: PMC3477031.
2 Tan XR, Tan WEC, Lim MT, Jacob A. Are Our Children Eating a Balanced Diet? A Food Group Analysis of the Diets of a 3-Year-Old Children in Singapore. Annals Academy of Medicine October 2015, Vol. 44 (Suppl) No. 10. S330.

SG.2022.27905.PDS.1 (v1.1)

Discover our products 

Related Articles