A toddler energy requirement is not large and so is their food intake.The rapid growth of your child slows down after the infancy period. But as a parent, it becomes your prime responsibility to satisfy the nutritional and calorie needs of your child for his healthy growth and development. Here is a list of nutrients that your child needs during toddlerhood and the range of portion size that need to be served.
Food Group 01: Grains and starchy foods (Potatoes, bread, cereals and other starchy food)
Number of servings per day: 3
Bread slices (Toasted or fresh): ½ to 1 medium slice
Cooked Pasta: 2 - 5 tbsp
Mashed potato: 1 - 4 tbsp
Rice (Boiled or fried): 2- 5 tbsp
Porridge: 5 - 8 tbsp
Food Group 02: Fruits and Vegetables
Number of servings per day: 1 cup
Fruits are vegetables are low energy, high nutrients food. So, more your child eats it, the better for them to fulfil their nutrient requirement
Apple : ¼ to ½ medium apple
Apple sauce : 1 cup
Tangerine: ½ to 1 fruit
Large banana: 1
Strawberries: 8 large
Dried fruit: ½ cup
Carrots: 1 to 3 tbsp/2 - 6 carrot sticks
Peas: ½ to 2 tbsp
Cooked or raw vegetables: 1 cup
Leafy greens: 2 cups
Food Group 03: Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt
Number of servings per day: 3
It is best to serve the dairy products within the portion sizes mentioned below. Otherwise, these products could reduce the appetite for the other iron-containing foods. It is advised to offer full-fat milk to your child until the age of two years at least. You could offer semi skimmed milk from two years up to five years of age and beyond five years, you could offer skimmed milk.
Cow’s milk: 1 cup of milk
Yoghurt: 1 pot (125 ml)
Grated cheese: 2 - 4 tbsp
Processed cheese: 2 - 3 slices
Hard cheese: 1½ to 2 slices
Soymilk: 1 cup
Food Group 04: Proteins (Meat, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Pulses)
Number of servings per day: 2 to 3 (2 servings for toddlers eating meat and 3 servings for vegetarians).
Including protein in your child’s diet and making sure the body’s requirement is fulfilled is utmost important as it helps the child’s body to build the cells, break down food into energy, fight function and carry oxygen. Here is a list of of protein-rich food and their serving portion size.
Egg (Poached/boiled/fried): ½ to 1
Peanut or almond butter: 1 tbsp
Chickpeas: 1 to 2 tbsp
Tinned fish (tuna/salmon/sardines): ½ to 1½ tbsp
Sausages: ¼ to 1 medium size
Cooked beans: ¼ cup
Hummus: 2 tbsp
Beef, pork, or poultry: A pack of gum size
Food Group 05: Foods rich in fat and sugar
Since the energy requirement of the toddlers is low, it is advised not to limit the consumption of foods rich in fats and sugar such as sweet puddings, cakes, chocolates and savoury snacks such as crisps. However, the amount of these foods that could be offered to your child varies based on the type of food.
Foods that could be served twice a day: Fats and Oils
Butter/Margarine: 1 tbsp (thinly spread on bread)
Foods that could be served once a day: Biscuits, cakes, puddings, sauces, sweet and savoury spreads
Fruit biscuits: 1 to 2
Jelly: 2 to 4 tbsp
Honey: 1 tbsp (thinly spread)
Jam: 1 tbsp (thinly spread)
Marmalade: 1 tbsp (thinly spread)
Syrup: 1 tbsp (thinly spread)
Occasional food that could be served only once a week: Confectionary, sweet drinks and savoury snacks.
Chocolate buttons such as gems: 5 to 8 buttons (small)
Fruit juices: 100 to 120 ml (3 to 4 oz)
Crisps: 4 to 6 crisps
Packet snacks: 4 to 6 pieces
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