How Much Should My Toddler Eat

Wondering how much should your growing toddler eat every day? Keep reading to find out more.

How Much Should My Toddler Eat- Easy Baby

Hi there everyone. How much should my toddler eat? This was one of the burning questions I was plagued every day while my toddler was growing up. I am sure many of you moms and dads out there keep wondering the same thing every single day.

Hence I thought let’s discuss more of this in the open today. Today’s post is all about the food groups and how much your toddler should eat on an average.

The primary purpose of this post is to provide a general guideline. Every child and household is different.

This does not replace professional advice.

When my daughter reached her toddler years, I was excited to see her active most of the day. Naptimes were virtually non-existent.

She played, jumped and did everything a toddler can do, which used to be exhausting for me. But I never fathomed from where she got all the energy.

This was an exciting period for her as well. She was making use of her new found freedom and was transitioning to many new things like potty training, baby crib to her bed, starting the daycare and when anything didn’t work out crying out her lungs as if her world fell apart.

I know we all have been there. But between all these fun and chaotic moments, I thought eating habits should remain unaffected.

How Much Should My Toddler Eat? Click To Tweet

With her newfound independence, she started experimenting with food…

As our daily routine, family mealtimes became more structured. She liked her plate, cup, spoon, and fork. My daughter was all ready to try out these new things.

There were times when once a favorite food became the most disliked ones and visa versa. I just continued offering what was there for the day. I made a point though that her favorite food was there in the plate along with other food groups.

Children between two and three years of age are super active and will need nutritious foods during their meal time to keep up with the high energy requirements.

Toddlers need between 1000 to 1,400 calories a day depending on age, size and the level of activity. Each child is different.

So how much food does my toddler needs?

Let’s break this down with the following chart:

Average Daily Intake For A Toddler- Easy Baby


To understand this correctly, I will break it into different Food Groups.

  • Grains: 

Serving per day: 6

Number of calories per day: 250

One serving equals:

Bread: 1/4 to 1/2 slide

Cereal, pasta rice (cooked) – 4 tablespoon

Cereal (dry)- 1/4 cup

Crackers- 1 to 2

  • Vegetables

Serving per day: 2 to 3

Number of calories per day: 75

One serving equals:

Vegetables (cooked)- 1 tablespoon for each year of age.

  • Fruits

Serving per day: 2 to 3

Number of calories: 75

One serving equals:

Fruit (cooked or canned)- 1/4 cup

Fruit (fresh)- 1/2 slice

Juice- 1/4 to 1/2 cup- 2oz to 4 oz

  • Dairy

Servings per day: 2 to 3

Number of calories per day: 300-450

One serving equals:

Milk- 1/2 cup

Cheese- 1/2 cup

Yogurt- 1/3 cup

  • Protein (meat, poultry, fish, tofu)

Servings per day: 2

Number of calories per day: 200

One serving equals:

Meat- One ounce, ie, two 1 inch cubes of solid meat or 2 tablespoons of ground meat.

Egg- 1/2 egg (any size). Yolk and egg white.

  • Legumes (dried beans, peas, lentils) 

Servings per day: 2

Number of calories per day: 200

One serving equals:

Soaked and cooked – 2 tablespoons.

  • Peanut Butter (Optional)

Number of calories per day: 95

One serving equals:

Spread thin one tablespoon on bread, toast or cracker.

You can use any nut butter in this case.

In case of nut allergies skip altogether. My daughter doesn’t have nut allergies, so I used various nut butter quite often.


Tell me how do I make my toddler eat all this every day?

I know getting your toddler to eat that much can sometimes be a task. With toddler mood swings, things can get tough. I have been there.

Hence to make things easier I am sharing this rough plan on how you can incorporate all the food mentioned above food groups in your toddler’s everyday routine.

Meal Plan For A Toddler- Easy Baby Meals


Isn’t this making life little simple? I know it would have been for me if I was given this table when I was taking care of my toddler.

And for the recipe ideas to add to this plan, you can, of course, go through the recipe section.

Closing Thoughts:

I know making a toddler eat her meal is a task on its own. So many parents are worried sick about their toddler’s eating habits.

I have been there as well. There were days I would serve my daughter the same thing over and over just because she wanted that very same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Then I realized at least she is eating something; at times it might be just a fruit.

Finally, it’s up to you and your toddler what you want to serve, and they want to eat. If for a particular day it’s just one Food Group, then one Food Group it is.

My pediatrician once said-” As far as she is eating something, you are good to go Mom.”

I will see you all again in the next post. Till we talk again. Take care and Happy Cooking.

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Book:  Gardner.Tamika L. (2015) 201 Organic Baby And Toddler Meals. Avon, MA. Adams Media. (189-191)

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This article is for general reference. It is not intended to give nutritional advice. The information provided here does not replace professional advice. Please consult your child’s Pediatrician or Nutritionist for more details about food.

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