Eating well

There is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ portion size for all toddlers. A large active toddler will need more food than a smaller, less active child and some days they will eat more than usual, or next to nothing, but it all should balance out over a week or so.

If your child is growing well and developing normally, then do not worry too much about how much they are eating, even if it seems quite limited.

To give you some help, here’s a simple guide showing you the four main food groups and some suggested portion sizes.

5-a-day fruit & vegetables

Offer at each meal & as some snacks. 

Go for a rainbow of colours!

5-a-day fruit & vegetables

½-2 tbspdried fruit
¼-½apple, orange, pear
3-8small berries or grapes
2-4 tbspraw, stewed canned (in juice) or puree/mashed fruit
½-2 tbspraw or cooked vegetables
2-6vegetable sticks

5-a-day starchy foods

Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta & breakfast cereal. 

Choose wholegrain sometimes. Include at each mealtime or as snacks.

5-a-day starchy foods

½-1 slicebread or mini bread roll
3-5 tbspunsweetened breakfast cereal
5-8 tbspporridge
2-4 tbspcooked rice or pasta
½-1½egg-sized potatoes
2-4potato wedges
1-3 tbspmashed potato
1-2large rice cakes, oatcakes or crackers

3-a-day dairy foods

Milk, cheese & yogurt (or calcium enriched soya alternatives). 

Give whole cow’s milk rather than lower fat milks from 12 months of age until at least two years of age.

3-a-day dairy foods

3-4 oz100-120ml whole cow’s milk to drink
1small pot/ 125ml yogurt 
1-2 60g pots of fromage frais
2-3 tbspgrated cheese
4-6 tbspcustard milk pudding (e.g. rice pudding)
2-3 tbspcheese or white sauce


2-a-day protein foods

Meat, fish, eggs, nuts & pulses. 

Use oily fish twice a week as it’s packed with omega-3 healthy fats.

2-a-day protein foods

2-4 tbspcooked lean meat,fish
1-2fish fingers
½-1egg (fully cooked yolk)
2-3 tbspwhole cooked pulses (beans, lentils, dahl)
1-2 tbsphummous
½-1 tbsppeanut butter
1-2 tbspground or chopped nuts*

*whole nuts should not be given to children under 5 as they are a choking risk

Tasty recipes to try