Many parents care about their children's nutrition a lot and feed their children every now and then. However, a bad dietary habit is the major cause of cavities! It is important that you help reduce the chance of your child getting cavities by reducing the number of meals your child takes.
0 to 6 months old
Parents should not limit the frequency of feeding their babies as children below 6- month old are too young to establish a regular eating habit for the sake of reducing tooth decay. This is especially true for infants, whose main source of nutrition is milk. Therefore parents should rather work on the principle of feeding. Parent should:
- Stop feeding when their babies are asleep.
- Never allow their babies to be put to sleep with a mouthful of milk or drink of any flavors.
- Train their babies to regularly take 6-8 meals a day when they are 6 months old.
6 months to 2 years old
- Feed your baby on a regular basis. When your baby is 6 months old, divide his/her daily food, milk and other dietary consumption into 6 – 8 meals. Feed him/her only with drinking water between meals.
- Do Not feed your child with more than 6 regular meals a day when he/her gets older.
- Never allow your baby to be put to sleep with milk in his/her mouth.
- Start using a training cup when your child is around 9 months old. It is best to wean your child from bottle to training cup by the 14th month.
After 2 years old
- Don’t let your child eat too frequently.
After 2 years old, a child should not be fed for more than 6 times a day.
- Establish a regular dietary habit for your child.
Each day, feed your child regularly with 3 meals in sufficient quantities. Provide your child with snacks only once between meals when necessary.
- Your child's favourite snacks and drinks can be included in these meal and tea(snack) times.
- Give only plain drinking water outside the meal and tea(snack) times.
- After 2 years old, a child must be weaned from bottle to cup. Feed your child with cups and never allow your child to sleep with a bottle of milk.
Children's Diet and Dental Health (brochure)(PDF)
Last revision date: 18 January 2012