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
– 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