Setting Up a Healthy Balance
Toddlers are growing and developing quickly, which is why they need the right balance of energy and nutrients from a wide variety of nutritious foods from the 5 food groups. However getting the right balance of energy and nutrients can sometimes be difficult.
Parents often worry that their child is not eating enough or they may be concerned that they are eating too much. But try not to worry as it is normal for a child’s appetite to change from day to day.
Establishing good food habits in childhood can last a lifetime. It is therefore important to guide your toddler to help them develop healthy eating habits.
Serving Guide per Day for Toddlers
A toddler’s tummy is the size of their fist, so their portion sizes are much smaller than an adult portion. To assess whether your toddler is getting the right balance, look at their diet over the course of a week rather than day-to-day and hopefully you’ll see the balance fall into place.
Below is a serving guide to help keep you at ease based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines for children aged 2-3 years. Remember it is a GUIDE as every toddler is unique, with different metabolisms and energy levels. If you have any concerns regarding your toddler’s food intake speak to your health care professional.
|Food Group||Example of a Serve||Serves per Day|
|Breads and Cereals||1 slice bread or ½ bread roll2-4 savoury crackers ⅔ cup cereal flakes ½ cup cooked porridge ½ cup cooked pasta /rice/noodles||4|
|Fruit||1 medium fruit (pear/apple) or 2 small pieces (apricot/plum) ½ cup fruit juice (no added sugar) 1 cup canned fruit (no added sugar) 1½ tbsp sultanas/dried fruit||1|
|Vegetables||½ cup cooked vegetables or ½ potato/carrot ½ cup legumes 1 cup salad vegetables||2 ½|
|Dairy foods||250mL milk 200g yoghurt 40g cheese (2 slices)||1 ½|
|Meats and Alternatives||65g cooked lean meats (e.g. beef, lamb) 80g cooked lean poultry (chicken, turkey) 2 eggs 1 cup baked beans/legumes 100g cooked fish fillet||1|
|Fats and Oils||4-5g (~1 tsp)||1|