Childhood Nutrition: Toddler Serving Sizes And Meals

Toddler’s nutrition and children's primary care in Bakersfield 

Knowing the best way to feed your child isn't often taught and needs to be understood before they get to their toddler years. Their demands won't be the same as they were when they're a baby, but they also won't be the same as what you'd expect of a young adolescent.

What You Should Know About  Your Toddler’s Nutrition

Their environment easily sculpts children, and their food choices later in life are no different from this. You need to make sure that you're feeding them a healthy and balanced diet even during the toddler years. They might not remember too much about what you fed them, but they'll subconsciously know what food to avoid and what food to eat - so if you encourage good eating habits, you'll be setting them up for success.

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, so you should lean into this as best you can. Even if they're trying to get away without eating vegetables, work with them to find a good compromise without being too harsh in punishing them if they ultimately don't like them. This could lead to food-related trauma later in life.

What Kind Of Portion Sizes Should Children Have?

Children's portion sizes can vary depending on their size and appetite, but there's a general rule to follow. For most toddlers, it's important to set up a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine. However, there's always the potential for including light snacks during the day, so they understand when to eat if they're feeling a bit peckish.

Both breakfast and lunch should be about the same size (roughly 3 ounces worth of food or liquid depending on the meals that they're getting). Their dinner should be slightly larger than that to get back some of the energy they expended during the day and be set up for a good sleep when night comes.

Why It's Important?

As mentioned above, it's essential to make sure that you're serving your toddler the correct size meals and that they eat what they can. They'll remember these things for most of their lives, even if they don't know the exact cause. If you teach them young how to live a healthy lifestyle with solid eating habits, then you'll see them turn into fit and healthy young adults when the time finally comes.

Too many parents overlook nutrition as important in the earlier years of their children's lives. This can eventually be detrimental to their growth and development if you're not careful.

Other Questions

Knowing what kinds of food to eat can be a tricky thing to figure out. Generally, you want to stick to each meal having about 1 ounce of grains or carbs and 1 ounce of protein. The final ounce can be shared between the two or reserved for something like milk (if your toddler eats cereal for breakfast, for example).


Overall, knowing what to feed your toddler and how large to make the portions doesn't need to be a challenge. It's actually straightforward to do. It's even easier when you listen to your toddler and understand what kind of serving sizes work best for them. You'll learn more the longer you make their meals, as you'll be more used to what they're telling you, so listen closely!

To learn more about Toddler’s nutrition and children's primary care in Bakersfield, check out Kern Pediatrics