Content Map Terms
Infants and Children
Since early 2022, families in British Columbia have been experiencing a limited supply of infant formula. Learn about what you can do if you can't find your baby’s usual formula.
Healthy eating and regular physical activity are important for your child's growth and development. Learn about how to support your child to be active and the benefits of physical activity. Find information about healthy eating below.
Human milk is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months. Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, when to offer your baby human milk and how to know if your baby is getting enough milk.
- Breastfeeding (HealthLinkBC File #70)
- Perinatal Services BC: Breastfeeding Your Preterm Baby (PDF, 2.5MB)
Parents may give their baby infant formula for a variety of reasons. Learn how to choose infant formula, what equipment you need to prepare it and how to store it safely.
- Formula Feeding Your Baby: Getting Started (HealthLinkBC File #69a)
- Formula Feeding Your Baby: Safely Preparing and Storing Formula (HealthLinkBC File #69b)
- Formula Feeding: How to Clean and Disinfect
- Formula Feeding: How to Prepare Concentrated Liquid Formula
- Formula Feeding: How to Prepare Powdered Formula
- Formula Feeding: How to Prepare Ready-to-Feed Formula
Starting solid foods
At about 6 months of age, your baby needs more nutrients and is ready to start trying solid foods. Find out what foods to introduce first, and how to prepare and offer them. These resources also provide tips and recipes to help get you started.
- Baby's First Foods (HealthLinkBC File #69c)
- Feeding Your Baby: Sample Meals for Babies 6 to 12 Months of Age
- Finger Foods for Babies 6 - 12 Months
- Healthy Eating Guidelines for Your Vegetarian Baby: 6-12 months
- Iron-Fortified Infant Cereal Recipes: Finger Foods For Babies and Toddlers
- Recipes for Your Baby 6 - 9 Months Old
- Recipes for Your Baby 9 - 12 Months Old
Food allergy happens when the body's immune system treats a protein in a food as harmful. Learn more about food allergies including how to reduce the risk.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
You play an important role in helping your child build healthy eating habits and skills. Find out how to help toddlers and preschoolers learn to eat a variety of foods:
- Bottle-Feeding: Weaning a Toddler
- Healthy Eating Guidelines for Your Vegetarian Toddler: 1-3 years
- Helping Your 1 to 3 Year Old Child Eat Well (HealthLinkBC File #69d)
- Meal and Snack Ideas for Your 1 to 3 Year Old Child (HealthLinkBC File #69e)
- Mealtime and Your Toddler
- Snack ideas for preschoolers
Younger children are at a higher risk of foodborne illness and choking. To reduce the risk, foods should be prepared in a safe way and certain foods should be limited or avoided.
- Health Canada: Safe Food Handling for Children Ages 5 and Under
- Preventing Choking in Babies and Young Children: For Child Care Providers (HealthLink BC File #110b)
Children and Youth
Healthy eating is about more than what your child eats. It’s also about where, when, why and how they eat. Whether your child is at home, at school, or on the go, you have a role in supporting healthy eating. Learn about nutritious food choices, the benefits of eating together and how to involve your child in meal preparation.
- Canada’s Food Guide: Involve kids in planning and preparing meals
- Healthy Eating for Children
- Lunches to Go
- The Benefits of Eating Together for Children and Families
- Vegan Diet
- Vegetarian Diets
Growth and Development
Your child will grow and gain skills at their own pace as healthy growth is different for every child. Find out more about growth and development.
- Growth and Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months
- Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months
- Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years
- Growth and Development, Ages 6 to 10 Years
- Growth and Development, Ages 11 to 14 Years
- Growth and Development, Ages 15 to 18 Years
As a parent, you can promote healthy growth by following the Division of Responsibility (DOR) when feeding your child. This involves trusting that your child will eat what they need to grow in a way that is right for them. You can also support your child to have a healthy attitude towards their body, food, and eating through what you say and do. Learn more:
- Appetite to Play: Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding
- Jessie’s Legacy: A guide for parents and youth body image and self-esteem
- Jessie’s Legacy: Raising Kids with a healthy body image
- Rudd Center: Should you talk to your kids about weight
Weight-related Conditions and Concerns
Disordered eating and eating disorders
Some children find themselves struggling with unhealthy thoughts and behaviours towards food, weight, body size and shape. If you are concerned that your child is experiencing disordered eating, speak to your health care provider. Getting support early may help to prevent an eating disorder from developing. Learn about eating disorders and where to find help.
Weight is not simply a result of what your child eats or how active they are. Genetics, health conditions, stress, sleep quality and other factors can also influence weight. Eating well and being active can benefit your child’s health regardless of their weight.
Speak with your health care provider if you are concerned about your child’s health or well-being. If you have questions about or would like support with eating or physical activity, call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian or qualified exercise professional. Learn more about healthy eating and activity programs for children and youth in BC.
Weight bias and stigma
Many children face weight bias and stigma in the form of weight bullying or teasing. This can have a negative impact on their psychological, social and physical health. You can support your child by learning about weight bias. The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health offers resources for kids, teens and their caregivers.
Baby's Best Chance: Parents' Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care
Baby's Best Chance is a reference guide for parents. Topics covered include pregnancy, birth and parenting a baby up to six months of age. The guide provides easy-to-read tips on having a healthy pregnancy and giving your baby a good start in life.
Toddler's First Steps: A Best Chance Guide to Parenting Your 6-36 Month–Old Child
As your child grows, there is another guide called Toddler's First Steps: A Best Chance Guide to Parenting Your 6- to 36-Month-Old Child. This guide covers child development, healthy eating, health and well-being, parenting and safety for children.
Raising Our Healthy Kids
Raising Our Healthy Kids is a series of 60-90 second videos with health information for parents and care providers. The following are videos on nutrition and healthy eating for your child:
Last Updated: June 2023