Healthy Eating Habits: Starting From An Early Age

Healthy Eating Habits: Starting From An Early Age

Questions and answers about healthy eating.


How much food should I offer my baby?

All pēpi (babies) are different. Watch for signs of being full – some pēpi turn their heads away. As your baby becomes more active, offer small amounts of food often.

Can my baby eat the vegetables cooked for the family dinner?

You do not need to add salt to your baby's food. If you use salt when you cook the family's vegetables, cook all of the vegetables without salt, remove your baby's meal and then add salt to the vegetables for the rest of the family.

My baby seems to like sweet foods best - what should I do?

Healthy habits begin early, and we can encourage tamariki (children) to like fresh plain foods. Offer water instead of sweet drinks and don't add sugar or honey to fruit or cereals.

Why does my baby need to eat iron-rich foods? 

Iron is especially important to keep blood and brain cells healthy. Iron helps tamariki to learn. Lean meat, chicken and fish contain lots of iron. Vegetables and fruit help the body to absorb the iron. Don't give babies and children tea to drink, as it contains substances that stop iron from being absorbed.

Should babies have extra vitamins? 

Most pēpi can get all the vitamins they need from breastmilk, infant formula and food. But some pēpi may not get enough Vitamin D.

See the KidsHealth page on vitamin D and your baby.

This page last reviewed 05 December 2023.

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