Learning a Toddler-sized portion

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Highlights
  • Toddlers typically need three meals and two snacks a day.
  • Serving Toddler-sized portions allows time for children to feel full or ask for more based on how they feel.
  • Including all the food groups, in developmentally appropriate portion sizes, helps provide a balanced diet.

The portions to serve your Toddler need to be realistic for his Toddler-sized tummy. Serving smaller amounts of food lets your child decide based on their feelings whether or not they want more to eat.

What it takes to feed a Toddler

Your Toddler generally will need three meals and two snacks a day. Keep in mind, though, that this is a general guide, and your child’s appetite and physical activity may require slightly more or less.

Fruits

  • Recommended total daily amount: 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


Vegetables

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


Grains

  • Recommended total daily amount: 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


Meats, Poultry, Fish, Eggs & Beans

  • Recommended total daily amount: 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


Milk, Yogurt & Cheese

  • Recommended total daily amount: 2 cups
  • Single serving: ½ to ⅔ cup
  • Serving suggestion: Unflavored whole milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, slice of American, Swiss or other cheese

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