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Menu Items and Food Suggestions for Toddlers

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What is a Toddler Serving Size?

On average children need 1 Tablespoon of food per year of age from all food groups at meals. This amount is subject to change depending on the individual child at any given time.

Your toddler should be getting between 1,000 and 1,400 calories from all the food groups each day. Using this food plate for kids makes serving a nutritious meal simple and fun. Only active toddlers should be regularly consuming calories at the upper end of the range. Worrying that your toddler is getting enough vitamins and nutrients daily is not uncommon. It gets a little easier when you realize that a toddler serving size is quite small. You’ll be reassured to know that your toddler is probably eating plenty. All of these serving sizes are based on USDA dietary guidelines.

Feeding your children will become a fun activity!

Physical Activity: Less than 30 minutes: 1000 calories a day
30-60 minutes: 1200 calories a day
More than 60 minutes: 1400 calories a day

Whole Grains, pasta, bread, and cereal

6 to 8 servings
Bread slice, tortilla, roll, muffin, pancake, waffle……1/2 piece
Dry cereal ………………………………………………………..1/3–1/2 cup
Noodles, rice, cooked cereal………………………………..1/4–1/2 cup
Crackers …………………………………………………………..2 pieces
Offer your child some whole grain foods every day.

Vegetables

3 to 5 servings
Cooked ………………………………………………..1/4–1/2 cup
Raw ……………………………………………………..1/4–1/2 cup

Offer your child a dark green or yellow vegetable every day, like carrots,
broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, or squash.

Fruits

2 to 4 servings
Fresh………………………………………………………1/2–1 small piece
Canned or frozen …………………………………….1/4–1/2 cup
Juice ………………………………………………………1/4 cup

Offer your child a good vitamin C fruit every day, like orange, strawberries,
melon, mango, papaya

Milk Products

4 servings
Milk ……………………………………………………………1/2 cup
Cheese ………………………………………………………..1ounce
Cottage cheese ……………………………………………..1/4-1/2 cup
Yogurt, pudding or custard made with milk ……1/4- 1/2 cup
Frozen yogurt, ice cream ……………………………….1/4- 1/2 cup

Protein Foods

2 to 3 servings
Animal Protein
Meat, chicken, turkey, fish ………………………2 tablespoons
Eggs ……………………………………………………..1/2-1egg

Vegetable Protein
Cooked dry beans, lentils ………………………..1/4-1/2 cup
Peanut butter……………………………………………1-2 tablespoons
Tofu …………………………………………………………1/4-1/2 cup

Sample Menus

 

At Portion Size Matters, we want to equip parents with they resources they need to provide their kids with healthy, balanced meals. The portion size plates are a fun way to interact with your children during mealtime. Below you will find sample menus for 4 different calorie levels, ranging from 1000-1600 calories per day.

 

1000 Calories

Serve each meal with 1/2 cup of 2% milk

Use Whole milk if under 2 years old

Breakfast:
2 Tbsp. Apple cinnamon oatmeal
½ cup Banana slices

Morning Snack:
1 Tbsp. Cheerios
½ cup Mandarin orange slices

Lunch:
2 Tbsp. ham, diced
¼ cup Green beans
1 Tbsp. Rice
1 tsp. Butter

Afternoon Snack:
¼ cup Cream corn
1 tsp. Butter

Dinner:
2 Tbsp. Macaroni and cheese
½ cup Mixed vegetables
1 tsp. Ranch dressing

1200 Calories

Serve each meal with 1/2 cup of 2% milk

Use Whole milk if under 2 years old

Breakfast:
1 Scrambled egg
2Tbsp. Whole wheat cheerios
1 tsp. Butter

Morning Snack:
½cup Applesauce

Lunch:
¼cup Hamburger Helper
½ cup Green beans
1 tsp. Butter

Afternoon Snack:
½ cup Mixed vegetables
½ cup Apples peeled and diced

Dinner:
2 Tbsp. Bowtie pasta
¼ cup Meat sauce
½ cup Carrots, cooked
1 tsp. Ranch dressing

 

1400 Calories

Serve each meal with 1/2 cup of 2% milk

Use Whole milk if under 2 years old

Breakfast:
2 Tbsp. Honey Nut Cheerios
2 Tbsp. Canadian bacon, chopped

Morning Snack:
½cup Strawberries, chopped

Lunch:
¼cup Whole wheat Spaghetti
1 tsp. Cheddar cheese, shredded
½cup Squash
½cup Cinnamon apples
1 tsp. Butter

Afternoon Snack:
½ cup Corn
½ cup Peaches, chopped

Dinner:

1 Baked Fish stick

2 Tbsp. Brown rice

½ cup Sweet potato, mashed
¼ cup Brown bean

1600 Calories

Serve each meal with 1/2 cup of 1% milk

Use Whole milk if under 2 years old

Breakfast:
1egg + 2 Tbsp. sausage, Omelet
1 tsp. Butter
½ cup Orange slices

Morning Snack:
½ cup Cucumber, slices
1 tsp. Ranch dressing

Lunch:
2 slices 100% Whole wheat bread
2 slices Turkey
1 tsp. Mayonnaise
½ cup Green beans
½ Banana

Afternoon Snack:
1 small corn on cob
1med. Apple

Dinner:
¼ cup BBQ chicken
½ cup Baked beans
1 small roll
1 tsp. Butter