Making a healthy toddler meal plan

Toddlers normally start to become pickier eaters as they become more independent, which naturally puts more stress on making sure each meal is providing your child with plenty of nutrition. Unlike babies who should be fed on demand, toddlers are ready to start having a structured diet. Many parents find that creating a detailed meal plan with feeding times can be very helpful when trying to keep their toddler happy and healthy. A typical daily toddler menu will include 3 meals and 2-3 snacks served an hour or longer before and after meals. One of the most important things about your toddler’s meal plan is looking at each food group and making sure they are getting as many servings as needed in each area. Below is an outline for how often you should feed your toddler each food group.

  • Grains:

    • Include at all meals and in some snacks.
    • Examples:
      • Bread
      • Crackers
      • Breakfast Cereals
      • Potatoes
      • Pasta
  • Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Dairy:

    • 3 times during the day
    • Examples:
      • Milk
      • Cheese cubes
      • Yogurt
      • Custard
      • Milk Puddings
  • Meat, Fish, and Nuts:

    • Twice a day with fish twice per week (including one serving of oily fish)
    • Examples:
      • Cooked meat plain or in sauce
      • Eggs
      • Cooked fish
      • Ground or crushed nuts
      • Peanut butter
  • High-Fat and Sugar:

    • Small amounts to add flavor or interest. Should be limited to 3 meals and 1 snack per day. 
    • Examples:
      • Butter
      • Cooking oil
      • Pastry
      • Ice Cream
      • Jam / Honey