Experts work together to help parents and carers feed toddlers well

Infant & Toddler Forum’s expert advice promoted by 4Children to support families
The Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) – leading experts in nutrition and development in the under threes – has been supported by 4Children – the national charity all about children and families – to promote practical advice on food and feeding for toddlers.

It is widely recognised that what happens to children in their earliest years is key to outcomes in adult life. Parents and carers need to be equipped with the skills to make informed choices about the foods they offer young children, including food preparation and how to instil positive eating habits early.

4Children’s ‘Families in the Foundation Years’ website hosts a new Practical advice on feeding 0-3 year olds section, signposting visitors to the ITF’s online area for families – Little People’s Plates – as the one-stop-shop for helpful advice on toddler feeding.

Little People’s Plates gives easy-to-follow tips and useful resources to help parents and carers make healthier choices for their children, including:

  • Guidance & Tips: expert advice to help you understand your toddler’s developmental and nutritional needs
  • Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers: a guide on what food to offer, what behaviour to encourage, and how best to manage mealtimes
  • Tot It Up: an easy-to-use, interactive food and activity calculator, providing a personalised analysis of your toddler’s diet
  • Portion Sizes for Toddlers: a guide for giving toddlers a well-balanced diet with a combination of foods and drinks from the five food groups.

Sue Robb, Head of Early Years at 4Children, says: “The early years are key as the period of a child’s development that shapes future outcomes, including long-term health, and nutrition has to be central to that. We want to ensure that we’re supporting the families who use our website with this important focus on how best to feed the under threes. The Little People’s Plates resources meet that need, and we’re delighted to be working with the ITF to provide parents and carers with the information they need to help achieve the best start in life for all children.”


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Notes to editors

1. The Infant & Toddler Forum is an independent group of experts in child health, nutrition and development. The Forum was formed to provide health and childcare professionals with educational resources that translate the evidence base into clear health messages for parents, and to facilitate interaction, learning and the sharing of best practice between healthcare professionals. For over six years the Forum and its partners have strived to raise awareness and promote positive change in the field of toddler nutrition and feeding behaviour.

2. The Infant & Toddler Forum is supported by an educational grant from Danone UK. All resources produced by the Forum represent the independent views of the Forum with whom copyright rests.

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Further Reading

  • By Melanie Pilcher and Dr. Gillian Harris Establishing bedtime routines for toddlers and young children
  • By Dr. Gillian Harris, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Birmingham and ITF member Most parents will struggle at some point to get their toddlers to eat certain foods. Is toddler food refusal a sign of an eating disorder. or is it merely a phase? In the run up to Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Gill Harris provides practical advice to help parents tackle fussy eating in toddlers.  
  • By Lucy Upton, on behalf of the Infant and Toddler Forum On behalf of the members of the Infant and Toddler Forum, I am proud to announce the launch of a new infant feeding educational programme, which includes practical resources for frontline healthcare professionals (HCPs) working with parents and infants.