Healthy eating

From 12 months of age your baby should be eating three meals a day, containing a variety of healthy and nutritious foods. They may also need two snacks in between meals – stick to things like fruit, vegetable sticks, toast or plain yoghurt.

Every day your baby should be having all of the main food groups – carbohydrates or starchy foods (such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta), protein (such as beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat), fruits and vegetables and some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as yoghurt or cheese or milk).

NHS Eatwell Guide

The NHS Eatwell Guide  is for anyone older than 2 years and will help you and your family eat a healthy and balanced diet. It shows how much of what we eat should come from each food group.


Give your baby daily vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D until they are five years old.

If you feed your baby infant formula, they don’t need vitamin drops as long as they’re having 500ml (about a pint) or more of formula a day.

Read more about vitamins.

Water and juice

Plain water is the best drink at mealtimes. Avoid sugary drinks as these can cause tooth decay. If you do chose to give your child fruit juice, dilute it 10 parts water to one part juice.


You can keep breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby would like. There’s no need to offer toddler milks or growing-up milks.


From one year of age, your baby can have pasteurised whole (full-fat) cows’ milk, goats’ or sheep’s milk. From two years old, if your toddler is a good eater and growing well, they can have semi-skimmed milk.

Milk alternatives

If you choose to get a plant-based milk alternative (such as one made from soya, nut, oat, coconut or hemp), always ensure that is unsweetened and enriched with calcium.


  • It is particularly important that rice milk alternative is not given to children under the age of 5 years, as it has been shown to contain traces of arsenic
  • Avoid organic milk alternatives as these do not usually have added calcium.