There is no 'ideal' portion size for toddlers, they should be eating a balanced and healthy diet along with these portions of the four main food groups a day.

  • 5-a-day: Fruit & vegetables
  • 5-a-day: Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes, pasta.& breakfast cereal
  • 3-a-day: Milk, cheese & yogurt (or calcium enriched soya alternatives)
  • 2-a-day: Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts & pulses

For more info about portion sizes for your toddler visit here.


Here are our top tips:

  • Serving toddler food on sandwich plates or children’s crockery keeps portion sizes realistic

  • Don’t overfill your toddlers plate, they may find this overwhelming and refuse to eat any of it.

  • Offer less than you think your toddler might eat as they can always ask for more.

  • Remember that some days toddlers will seem ravenous and eat large amounts whilst the next day they might eat very little.

  • Toddlers appetites are like a rollercoaster and fluctuate continuously so it’s important to look at food and nutrition intake across a whole week rather than a day.


What is an average serving size for a toddler?

It can be helpful to think of a portion being as much as your toddler could hold in their fist for carbohydrate dense foods. Protein and fruit portions the size of the palm of their hand. Vegetable portions as much as their two fistfuls could hold.

Always serve your toddler a smaller portion than you think necessary as you can always offer more.

Can I overfeed my toddler?

If you do not allow your toddler to experience hunger and regulate their own appetite the messages from their brain regarding hunger and satiety can become very muddled.

Forcing, cajoling or bribing your toddler to take another mouthful or empty their plate does not set up a healthy relationship with food and can cause your toddler to consume more than their body actually requires. A cycle of over eating and not recognising satiety can begin to emerge.

How much food should a 2-year old eat?

Two-year olds require around 1,165-1,230 calories a day with 35% of calories coming from fat and about 14g of protein a day. This should consist of breakfast lunch and dinner with two healthy snacks in between as well as 200-300ml of milk.

How do you know when a toddler is full?

Toddlers and children are great at regulating their own appetites in accordance to their dietary needs so long as this is not interfered with by our own assumptions of thinking we know how hungry they might be.

Trust your toddlers response to food and mealtimes and offer a miniature version of the meal at snack time if it has been refused earlier, rather than an exciting snack which may entice your toddler to deliberately skip or refuse meals in favour of a more interesting snack later.