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How Much Food Does My Toddler Need?

  • There are no recommended number of servings for toddlers under 24 months
  • Offer a variety of foods from each food group in Canada’s Food Guide every day
  • Use the following chart as a guide on how much to offer
  • Eat as a family as much as possible
  • Always let your child decide how much to eat. Never force, pressure or bribe your child to eat
Food Group Suggested Serving Size
Vegetables and Fruit
Offer a variety of colours – especially green and orange
  • 1/4- 1/2 medium vegetable or fruit
  • 15 – 60 mL (1- 4 tbsp) cooked vegetables or fruit, or grated or chopped raw vegetables or fruit
  • 30-60 mL (1 – 2 oz) 100% juice
Grain Products
Offer whole grains
  • 1/4 – 1/2 slice bread
  • 1/8 – 1/4 bagel, pita or tortilla
  • 30 – 100 mL (2 tbsp – ½ cup) cooked cereal
  • 15 – 60 mL (1 -4 tbsp) cooked pasta, rice or couscous
Milk and Alternatives
Offer 500 mL (16 oz) of homo milk each day
  • 60 – 125 mL (1/4 – ½ cup or 2- 4 oz) homo (3.25%) milk or breastmilk
  • 1/2 – 1 oz cheese
  • 30 -100g (2 tbsp – ½ cup yogurt)
Meat and Alternatives
Offer fish at least twice a week.
Offer alternatives like beans, lentils and tofu often
  • 1 – 4 tbsp (1/4 – 1 1/4 oz) cooked fish, poultry or meat
  • 1 tbsp – 1/2 cup tofu, cooked beans or lentils
  • 1/4 – 1 egg
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp peanut butter or other nut butters

Sample Menus

  • These menus give an example of how to put together nutritionally balanced meals
  • Offer at least three out of the four food groups at every meal and two out of the four food groups at every snack
  • Meals and snacks should be scheduled regularly throughout the day. Offer only water in between
Food Group Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast
  • Scrambled egg
  • Whole grain English Muffin with margarine
  • Milk
  • Whole grain toast with thinly spread peanut butter
  • Banana slices
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Applesauce
  • Milk
Morning Snack
  • Canned peaches
  • Yogurt
  • Dry cereal
  • Grapes cut in quarters
  • Crackers
  • Cheese
Lunch
  • Vegetable soup
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Milk
  • Baked salmon
  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked broccoli
  • Sliced peaches
  • Milk
  • Vegetarian chilli with beans and cheese
  • Whole grain bun
  • Milk
Afternoon Snack
  • Pear slices
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tomato slices
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Yogurt
Dinner
  • Cooked chicken
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Bread with margarine
  • Peas
  • Milk
  • Bean salad
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Cooked green beans
  • Milk
  • Pasta with tomato and meat sauce
  • Strawberries
  • Milk
Evening Snack
  • Fruit salad
  • Milk
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Milk
  • Orange
  • Milk

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit hnhu.org
  • Eat Right Ontario eatrightontario.ca
  • Speak with a Registered Dietitian for free by calling 1-877-510-5102.

 

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