In general, children at this age can eat the same foods as the rest of the family. They need the same variety, just smaller portions. They also can eat with the rest of the family during family meals.

Looking for snack ideas?

Finding a balance for your 1-2 year old: I'm not a baby anymore!

Your toddler needs to eat according to the Food Pyramid - just like you. The portion sizes may be smaller, but the balance of the food groups should be the same! As toddlers grow, they need a wider variety of table foods and a smaller amount of milk to meet their needs. Offer foods from each group of the Food Guide Pyramid every day.

Try these ideas:

  • Scrambled eggs and cheese
  • Rice, lentils and yogurt
  • French toast or pancakes toppled with fruit
  • English muffin pizza
  • Chili, homemade soup or stew
  • Broccoli with melted cheese
  • Mashed potato (white or sweet)
  • Rice mixed with beans or spinach or
  • Rice with tofu and vegetables
  • Grapenut or rice pudding
  • Vegetable or soy burgers
  • Vegetable or meat dumplings or
  • Hummus with pita bread and cucumbers
  • Cottage cheese/yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Boiled egg with boiled mashed potato
  • Mashed green plantains
  • Fish cakes and beans

Growing up Means...

  • Using a cup, not a bottle.
  • Feeding myself and maybe making a mess.
  • Eating a lot of small meals and snacks.
  • Trying new foods and textures - no more baby foods!
  • Eating a lot on some days and a little on others.
  • Learning to use a spoon and fork.

Help me Adjust...

  • Give me a child-sized fork and spoon.
  • Cut up my food into bite sized pieces.
  • Let's eat together at the table. I love company while eating!
  • I like routine. Serve me meals and snacks at the same time every day.
  • Offer me the same foods that our family eats. Don't assume I will not like the same foods as you do!
  • Offer me new foods along with foods that I like.
  • If I don't like a food the first time, keep trying. I will grow to like it!
  • Let me try foods you don't like. I may like them!
  • Have patience while I explore my new foods.
  • Don't force me to eat certain foods.
  • Don't fight with me about food. nobody wins.
  • Don't stress about the mess.
  • Limit me to 20-24 oz. of milk a day and 4-6 oz. of 100% fruit juice a day.
  • Don't forget to offer me water throughout the day.

Help me feel good about myself...

  • Let me help in the kitchen.
  • I can wash my hands with soap and water before we start preparing and eating food.
  • I can tear up lettuce leaves.
  • I can pour ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix them up with a spoon.
  • I can pretend to cook with pots, pans, bowl and spoon.
  • Let me help pick out fruits and vegetables in the supermarket.
  • Sing, dance and listen to music with me.
  • Let's take more walks together as a family.
  • Turn off the TV while we eat.

Remember, you are my best teacher. I learn most of my eating habits and make my food choices by watching you!

Physical Activity is just as important as nutrition in keeping your child healthy.


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.