Your Toddler's Food Group Guide

Toddler (12+ months)
By Gerber
Toddler FoodsToddler Foods

Your Toddler will generally need three meals and two snacks a day, but every child is a little different so yours might need more or less. Serving smaller amounts of food lets your child decide whether or not they want more to eat. Here are some sample food groups for Toddlers and their recommended serving sizes to help meet the nutrition goals, shown below.

Food Groups

Serving Size Examples

Total Daily Goals:

Milk ½ - ⅔ cup milk or yogurt
1 slice American cheese
16 fl. oz.
Vegetables ¼ cup soft, peeled and cooked, mashed or cut to bite-size pieces ¾ cup
(Limit juice to 4 fl. oz. of 100% juice, only once a day)
¼ cup soft peeled, mashed or chopped fruit; 4 fl. oz. 100% fruit juice 1 cup
Meat/Beans 1-3 tablespoons cooked; mashed or easy-to-chew chopped meat, beans or eggs 1½ oz.
(Choose whole grains whenever you can)
¼ cup cereal, rice or pasta or ½ slice bread, ½ cup hot cereal 2 oz. equivalent
Fats/Oils ½-1 tablespoon dressing, cooking oil or soft margarine 2 tablespoons

Milk, Yogurt & Cheese

  • Recommended amount per day: 2 cups
  • Single serving: ½ to ⅔ cup
  • Ideas: Whole milk, reduced fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, slice of American, Swiss or other cheese


  • Recommended amount per day: ¾ cup
  • Single serving: ¼ cup
  • Serving suggestion: Soft, peeled and cooked; chopped or mashed
  • Ideas: Green beans, peas, spinach, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes


  • Recommended amount per day: 1 cup
  • Single serving: ¼ cup fruit or ½ cup 100% fruit juice
  • Serving suggestion: Soft, peeled fruit; chopped or mashed; 100% squeezable fruit pouches or strips
  • Ideas: Peaches, bananas, blueberries, melon, kiwi, 100% fruit juices

Meats, Poultry, Fish, Eggs & Beans

  • Recommended amount per day: 1½ ounces (about 3 tablespoons)
  • Single serving: 1-3 tablespoons
  • Serving suggestion: Cooked, mashed, cut up into small pieces
  • Ideas: Ground beef or turkey, tender cooked meat or chicken, scrambled eggs, all types of cooked, soft beans, tofu, fish fillet


  • Recommended amount per day: 2 oz and offering whole grains when possible
  • Single serving: ¼ cup Toddler cereal, rice or pasta; ½ slice of bread, toddler snacks or cookies
  • Ideas: Whole grain breakfast cereal (1/4 cup = ½ oz), whole-grain soft bagel or English muffin (¼ of 3-inch piece), toast, bite-sized pasta, brown rice

Fats & Oils

  • Recommended amount per day: 2 tablespoons
  • Single serving: ½ to 1 tablespoon
  • Ideas: Dressing such as Ranch, avocado, cooking oil or soft margarine