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How Much Should a Toddler Eat?

I don’t know about you, but I worry about Harrison’s nutrition.  Sure, I worry about sugar and organic and whether he’s eating enough protein, but I mostly worry about the amount of food he eats.  Some days I look at his barely-touched plate and wonder how he survives on so little.  True, he’s not an adult sized human quite yet and he does have days where he seems like a trash compactor (which makes up for the days where he refuses to eat!). But I still give his plate the side-eye.

Apparently I don’t need to worry so much.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The AAP recommends that children age 1 to 3 years get about 40 calories per inch of height a day.”  That means that Harrison, who is roughly 34 inches, should eat roughly 1360 calories per day.

I searched around a little more and found a great resource in SuperKidsNutrition.com along with HealthyChildren.org.

Toddler Servings Per Day:

  • Grains – 6 servings
  • Vegetables – 2-3 servings
  • Fruits – 2-3 servings
  • Dairy – 2-3 servings
  • Protein – 2 servings


So what exactly is in a toddler-sized serving?

  • Grains: 6 servings 1 of 5
    Grains: 6 servings
    1/2 to 1 slice of whole grain bread
    1/4 to 1/2 cup pasta or rice
    1/2 cup dry cereal
    1-2 crackers

    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Vegetables: 2-3 servings 2 of 5
    Vegetables: 2-3 servings
    2-3 tbsp cooked vegetables

    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Fruit: 2-3 servings 3 of 5
    Fruit: 2-3 servings
    1/2 to 1 small fruit
    2-4 tbsp canned fruit
    1/4 to 1/2 cup juice

    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Dairy: 2-3 servings 4 of 5
    Dairy: 2-3 servings
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup yogurt

    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Protein: 2 servings 5 of 5
    Protein: 2 servings
    1-2 oz meat
    1 tbsp peanut butter
    1 egg

    Photo Credit: Flickr

More from BA:

Toddler car seat safety. aka SUPER IMPORTANT TO READ.

Yep, you’re that mom.

I’m going to eat my young.

Toddler Superlatives, including Most Likely to Make Out with a Hotdog

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures on The Heir to Blair. You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook.

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