The Basics

There is a lot to consider when planning a nutritious diet for your toddler. The following suggestions include most of what your toddler will need every day and will make the planning a little easier for you. It is important to know that this is just a guide; your toddler may need more if they are more active, taller or older. Keep an eye on their weight and height and consult the advice from a dietitian or your doctor if you are concerned.

A healthy toddler’s diet should include:

2 small serves of lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs or legumes per day, equivalent to your toddlers palm size (about 50g) of meat, chicken, fish or 1 egg, ½ cup of baked beans. plus …


2 small pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables per day, (your toddlers fist size is about one serve) plus …


3 small serves of dairy per day, (½ cup milk, 1 pottle of yoghurt, 1 slice (20g) cheese). plus …


Minimum of 4 small glasses of water per day (water needs will vary depending on the weather and their level of activity. An indication that they are getting enough fluid is when their wee is clear or pale yellow in colour). plus …


4 serves of breads and cereals per day, preferably whole grain (e.g. 1 slice bread, 1/2 cup rice or pasta or cereal), plus …


1 serve of healthy fats (1-2 teaspoon olive oil, 5-6 nuts (when it is safe to do so), 1/4 avocado). plus …


At least 3 hours of movement daily- spread this out over the day and limit their use of electronic games and television viewing. plus …


A good sleep routine – sleep is very important for growth and development. Your toddler will need around 13-14 hours sleep each day, over nap times and during the night.


One happy child!

For meal and snack ideas, see our recipe page. Or click here for the Ministry of Health Eating for Healthy Babies and Toddlers booklet.