Saving the World, One Healthy Food at a Time!

img1

I'm Melissa Halas-Liang, Founder, Registered Dietitian, and mom, inspiring healthy living that’s easy, tasty, and fun!

How Much Should My Toddler Eat?

By

Print & Share
How Much Should My Toddler Eat?

Parents are often concerned whether or not their child ate enough at a meal or throughout the course of a day. They want to know that they are meeting the needs of their growing child. A parent’s role in feeding their child involves many steps.

General guidelines for feeding your toddler

  • First, it is the parent’s responsibility to decide which foods to serve and to serve the correct portion size. Remember portion sizes for toddlers are a lot smaller than portion sizes for adults. Hopefully the meals will be healthy and balanced, reflective of the parent’s own diet. Even preschool-aged children eat more when large portions of highly palatable foods are offered. Providing parents with some guidelines for age-appropriate portions may be helpful.
  • It is your child’s job to determine how much to eat of the correct portion you serve. Some may choose not to eat at all and that is OK! Research reveals that 99% of children are very good at listening to their own hunger and satiety cues. Trust them on this skill.
  • Lastly, remember to reinforce the importance of regular meal times and healthy food choices. Good eating habits are formed early in life.

Daily servings for toddlers

  • Fruit 3-4 servings a day: fruit- 1/2 to 1 small fruit, 2 to 4 tbsp canned fruit
  • Vegetables- 3 servings a day: 2 to 3 tbsp cooked vegetables
  • Dairy- 4 to 5 servings a day: dairy- 1/2 cup milk (whole milk for 2 years or younger) per serving or 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Protein- 2 servings a day: 1 to 2 oz meat, 1 egg per serving, or 4 to 5 tbsp cooked legumes
  • Grain products- 3 to 4 servings a day: 1/2 to 1 slice of whole grain bread; 1/4 to 1/2 cups rice or pasta, preferably whole grain like brown rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta, or 1/2 cup to 1 cup dry low sugar cereal, 1/4 to 1/2 bagel, 1/2 to 1 whole wheat or corn tortilla

Sometimes a parent will say that their child doesn’t like certain types of foods and will stop offering them in favor of some convenience foods which are higher in sodium, sugar and refined flours. Children catch on fast and they know when to cry, whine or charm their way into a certain food selection. This teaches the child they are in charge of determining the choice of food. Instead, parents can provide nutritious meals and healthy snacks and let the child eat or not eat the amount of the food offered. Children often need to be exposed to the same food many times before it is accepted. Model behaviors that are nutritious and the child will be sure to follow. This will assist the child in building healthy meal habits for life.

 


Enjoy this Article? Share the Love! Leave a comment below!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google

Similar Articles You May Like...

About the Author

Jigna currently works as the Manager of Medical Affairs for Nutricia Baby Nutrition in Mumbai, India. She has previously worked for Abbott Nutrition and Mead Johnson Nutritionals. Jigna has a Masters in Nutritional Science from Syracuse University.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

img

Our Mission

We help grow healthy kids, families and communities to create healthier generations!

Learn More
img img

My Other Hangout

Meet Melissa Halas-Liang. When she’s not at SuperKids Nutrition, she’s inspiring adults to live their best life through healthy eating and an active balanced lifestyle at MelissasHealthyLiving.com.

Get Inspired

As Seen In

  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo
  • partners-logo

Search

We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(555) 555-5555