Toddler portion sizes

portionToddlers and children are very good at self-regulating the amount of food they eat. They’ll usually eat all they need for growth and development, even if it doesn't seem much to you!

The average toddler needs 95 kcal per kg of body weight (adults need only 30-35 kcal per kg body weight) so they need a high-energy diet with more good-quality calories per spoonful. Every bite really does count.

However, their tummies are only one third the size of an adult's, so it’s important not to fill them up before they’ve eaten all of the essential nutrients they need.

Sometimes they’ll eat more, sometimes less

It’s worth remembering that, like us, toddlers often have days where they don't eat much and other days when they’ll eat more than usual. It usually balances out in the end. As long as they appear to be happy and generally well and your doctor or health visitor is pleased with their progress and weight, your toddler is probably eating the right amount of food for them.

Weight worries

If you are at all concerned about your toddler's weight, it’s best to speak to your doctor or health visitor before making any changes to their diet. They’ll be able to check their weight and their height and plot it against standard growth charts. It would be a good idea to take your toddler’s health record along with you so that they can check these measurements against their previous growth measurements.

If it’s suspected that your toddler might be a bit heavier than they should be, you may be requested to check whether your child is active enough and that they are eating the right amounts and types of foods. You should then consider what you are feeding them and whether they are perhaps snacking on more sugary foods than they should be, or drinking excessive amounts of sugary drinks or milk. You might also be asked to record their typical intake of foods and drink for a period of time so any problem areas can be identified. If you need any advice on making changes, they’ll be able to help you.

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