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Serving Sizes for Toddlers

A toddler’s energy requirements are not very large. Growth slows after the rapid first year, so the intake does not need to be huge.


Here’s a general guide for feeding your toddler:

  • Each day, a child between ages 1 and 3 years needs about 40 calories for every inch of height. This means, for example, that a toddler who measures 32 inches should be taking in an average of about 1,300 calories a day, but the amount varies with each child’s build and activity level.
  • The child’s serving size should be approximately one-quarter of an adult’s.


Here’s an average toddler-sized meal:

  • One ounce of meat, or 2 to 3 tablespoons of beans
  • One to 2 tablespoons of vegetable
  • One to 2 tablespoons of fruit
  • One-quarter slice of bread

Your toddler will get enough calories along with all the protein, vitamins, and minerals he or she needs from an average daily intake similar to the chart below.

Last Updated 3/7/2016

Source Committee on Nutrition (Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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