Toddler Nutrition

He didn't even eat his miniature Thanksgiving dinner.

I was worried that Little Champ wasn’t eating enough because, well, he hasn’t been eating what I give him.

But once again, Dr. Sears saves the day. Here’s his article talking about toddlers (ages 1-3) and their fits of not eating, and how to get them to eat, and what to feed them.

Bottom lines: Let them snack throughout the day. They don’t need to eat as much as you think. Shoot for a nutritionally balanced week.

Now, I’m the type of person that needs things spelled out to me. I need to plan meals ahead of time and know what I am cooking and what my options are, otherwise I end up snacking on granola bars or making Spaghettios.

I found a guide on Babycenter.com about Toddler Nutrition, but felt it was somewhat lacking. (You can go here to read it.) So I decided to make a list of options I can choose from when feeding my baby. Basically I took a serving size list for adults and proportioned it so that it would be correct for a toddler’s tiny tummy. Here it is! Hope that it is helpful to someone else.

Nutrition for Toddlers (12-24 months)

Dairy: 4 half-servings*

– 1/2 cup whole milk

– 1 oz cheese (1 slice of sandwich cheese, one string cheese, or 6 dice of cheese)

– 1/2 cup yogurt

*I split it into half servings because the majority of dairy servings should be in milk or yogurt, not cheese.

Grains: 3 servings (adult serving is the same)

– 1/3 cup cold cereal

– 1/4 cup pasta or rice (egg size)

– 1 slice bread

– 1/2 bagel or English muffin

– 1 6″ tortilla

– 1/2 cup oatmeal

– 3T wheat germ

Fruit: 3-5, 1-oz (2Tbsp) servings (adult serving is 1/2 cup—quadruple this)

– quarter of a small apple- quarter of a banana- 1/4 cup berries- 3 cherries- 4 grapes

– 1/2 plum

– 1 prune

– 1/2 Tbsp raisins

Vegetables: 3-5, 1-oz (2Tbsp) servings (adult serving is 1/2 cup—quadruple this)

– 2T or 1/8 cup cooked peas or corn

– 1/4 cup raw veggies (before chopping)

– 2T or 1/8 cup chopped raw veggies

Protein: 2, 1-ounce servings (adult serving is 3 oz)

– one slice of sandwich meat

– 1 oz chicken (one third of a deck of cards, 6 dice)

– 1 oz fish (one third of a checkbook)

– 1/4 can tuna

– 1/4 cup cooked dry beans (egg size)
– 1 oz cheese (6 dice)- 1 egg or 2 egg whites

– half hot dog

– 3 slices bacon

Healthy Snacks

– 2 graham crackers

– 8 animal crackers

– 3 cups popcorn

– 1/2 Tbsp raisins or small dried fruit

Ideas for Toppings

cream cheese, cottage cheese, organic fruit preserves, guacamole, peanut butter, pureed fruits/veggies, yogurt, sunflower seeds, applesauce

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