Younger toddlers 1-2 years of age tend to eat small portions. Serve small nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day, aiming for 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day. To ensure a balanced diet, serve your younger toddler a variety of healthy foods as outlined in Canada’s Food Guide. Most toddlers will have one quarter to one half of an adult portion. Your child should decide how much they eat, trust their ability to follow their hunger and fullness cues.

Have plenty of vegetables and fruit Eat whole grain foods Eat protein foods Beverages
Eat a variety of healthy foods

Offer plenty of vegetables and fruit – providing a variety of textures, colours and shapes.

Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Choose whole grain products as often as possible.

Whole grain foods are great sources of energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals

Choose lean meats and plant based proteins like peas, beans, tofu or lentils

Eat at least 2 servings of fish each week.*

Proteins provide energy and are important to build and repair tissues.

Protein foods are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals like iron. Plant based proteins also provide more fibre and are lower in saturated fats.

If your toddler seems thirsty, water should be the beverage of choice.

Limit fruit juice and other sweetened beverages

Initial portion examples

30-45 mL cooked vegetables

45-75 mL soft fruit

½ piece of toast

60-125 mL cereal (hot or cold)

¼ cup pasta or rice

30 mL Yogurt

30-45 mL cooked meats or meat alternatives

½ medium egg

Offer 500 mL of whole milk (3.25%) daily to toddlers 1-2 years old. Do not exceed more than 750 mL daily.

Choose foods with healthy fats

Foods that contain healthy fats: nuts & seeds, avocado, fatty fish, vegetable oils, soft margarine.

Do not restrict nutritious foods because of their fat content, fat is an important source of energy for development and growth of children. Choose foods that contain healthy fats instead of those with saturated fats.

*Health Canada recommends that to limit the amount of mercury from fish, toddlers should eat no more than 75 g per month of fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy and escolar. Albacore (white) canned tuna should be limited to 75 g per week.

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