Setting Up A Healthy Balance
Providing the right balance of energy and key nutrients is a high priority for mums with toddlers, with research showing that almost all mums (99%) think it’s important their toddler is getting a balanced diet with the right nutrients. ‘Variety in a toddler’s diet is essential for healthy growth and development. However getting the right balance of energy and nutrients can be difficult.
Children will often tell you when they have had enough or want more. The trick is providing the right quantity and quality of nutrients to support healthy growth and development. Good food habits learnt in childhood can last a lifetime. It is therefore important to guide your toddler to help them develop healthy eating habits.
Serving Guide Per Day For Toddlers
Childhood consists of a series of growth spurts and lulls when their appetites may surge one minute and switch off the next. A toddler’s tummy is the size of their fist, so their portion sizes are much smaller than an adult portion. To assess whether your toddler is getting the right balance, look at their diet over the course of a week rather than day-to-day and hopefully you’ll see the balance fall into place. Below is a serving guide to help keep you at ease, remember it is a GUIDE as every child is unique, with different metabolisms and energy levels.
If you are concerned speak to your health care professional.
|Food Group||Example of a Serve||Serves per Day|
|Breads and Cereals||1 slice bread, ½ bread roll, 2-4 savoury crackers, ¼-½ cup cereal flakes, ½ cup porridge
1 cereal biscuit
½ cup pasta/rice/noodles
|4 – 5|
|Fruit||½ medium fruit (pear/apple), 1 small piece (apricot/plum), ¼ cup juice (diluted), ½ cup canned fruit, 1 tbsp sultanas/dried fruit||2|
|Vegetables||¼ cup cooked vegetables, ½ potato/carrot, ¼ cup legumes, ½ cup salad vegetables||3 – 4|
|Dairy foods||250mL milk, 200g yoghurt, 250mL custard, 40g cheese (2 slices)||2|
|Meats and Alternatives||30g cooked meat/chicken, 1 slice roast meat, 1 egg, ¼ cup baked beans/legumes, 40-60g cooked fish fillet||1 – 2|
|Fats and Oils||2 tsp|