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Meal Suggestions for Toddlers

November 3, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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As soon as your toddler is 12 months old, start to sit together at mealtimes to model healthy habits.  

Offer an assortment of food three to four times a day, plus one or two snacks. 


Daily Food Suggestions for 12-24 Months

Milk and Alternatives

  • Breast milk.
  • About 500 ml (2 cups) whole milk if your toddler is no longer breastfeeding.
  • Offer milk products (yogurt, cottage cheese, pasteurized cheese, etc.).

Suggested portions:

  • 25-50 g (1-2 oz.) pasteurized cheese. 
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) cottage cheese. 
  • 75-175 g (1/3-3/4 cup) yogurt.

Grain Products

  • Choose 100% whole grain products.
  • Offer five to six times each day.

Suggested portions:

  • 1/2 to 1 slice bread, bannock, tortilla, roti.
  • 125-250 ml (1/2-1 cup) whole grain cereal.
  • 75-125 ml (1/3-1/2 cup) hot cereal, cooked pasta, rice, congee.

Vegetables and Fruit

  • Choose at least one dark green and one orange vegetable.
  • Offer five or more times each day.

Suggested portions:

  • 1/2 to 1 medium sized vegetable or fresh fruit.
  • 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp.) fresh, cooked or mashed fruit.
  • 60-125 ml (1/4-1/2 cup) cooked vegetables.
  • 60-125 ml (1/4-1/2 cup) raw vegetables.
  • Juice is not necessary for your toddler. If you decide to give juice, choose 100% unsweetened juice and offer it in a cup as part of a meal or snack. Limit to no more than 125-175 ml (1/2-3/4 cup) per day.

Meat and Alternatives

  • Offer two to three times each day.

Suggested portions:

  • 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp.) well cooked, ground, chopped, or cubed lean meat, fish, or poultry.
  • 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp.) of mashed legumes.
  • 1 whole egg.
  • 50-100 g (3-6 tbsp.) tofu or tempeh.
  • 15 g (1 tbsp.) peanut or nut butter.

Daily Food Suggestions for 24-36 Months

Recommended Daily Food Guide Servings for toddlers 24-36 months:

  • Vegetables and Fruits - 4 servings 
  • Grain Products - 3 servings
  • Milk and Alternatives - 2 servings
  • Meat and Alternatives - 1 serving

Resources and Links:

HealthLink BC: Meal and Snack Ideas for Your 1 to 3 year old Toddler
HealthLink BC: Helping Your 1 to 3 Year Old Toddler Eat Well
HealthLink BC: Healthy Eating Guidelines for Your Vegetarian Toddler 1 to 3 years

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Topic

  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
  4. Food & Nutrition

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