Nutritional Guidelines for Toddlers


  • Present new foods at least twice a week.
  • Offer new foods along with old favorites.
  • Serve small, toddler-size portions. Too much on the plate can make them feel overwhelmed.
  • Foods should be easy to chew. Toddlers can't chew tough things.
  • Food should be bite-size.
  • Toddlers like colorful foods.
  • Try changing the venue of his meals -- serve lunch in the playhouse, snack as an afternoon tea party.
  • Toddlers enjoy playing with their food. It is a part of learning about it, so, within reason, allow this to happen.
  • Let them help in food preparation.
  • Grow a vegetable garden.
  • Make food attractive -- arrange it in the shape of an animal, a face, etc.
  • Offer limited choices. For example, ask "Do you want orange juice or apple juice?" instead of "What do you want to drink?"
  • Eat as a family as much as possible. Kids learn by imitating what they see.
  • Help ensure that they come to the table hungry.
  • Don't use food to cure boredom or as a pacifier.


Toddlers need snacks to get them through the day and because they eat so little, they have no room for calories without nutrients. To make sure the snacks you serve aren't "empty calories," keep your pantry full of healthful snacks and pack some along when you go out. 

Healthy Snack Ideas for the Toddler on the Go

Like this? Want more?
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web