A diet fit for a toddler

Every parent just wants the best for their child and one thing you can do is to ensure that your little one gets the very best in their diet!

How much should your toddler eat?
  • One year old: one teaspoon at a time of cereal, pureed fruit, cooked meat, cooked vegetables, one egg and milk or dairy products in portions of ½ a cup at a time.
  • Two years old: two tablespoons at a time of different foods.
  • Three years old: should have three tablespoons at a time of different food.
What should your toddler be eating?
  • Your toddler is more active year by year and needs more solids to sustain him during a busy day.
  • Meal-to-meal appetite changes are normal.
  • It is important that you don't force your toddler to clean his plate.
Your toddler should be eating from the following food groups:
  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Fruits and vegetables
  3. Protein
  4. Dairy products
The following is a basic table and should only be used as a reference for what your 1 – 3 year old toddler should be eating. Speak to your doctor /paediatrician /dietician to find out how much of each food group your toddler needs.

Food group

Portion size

Daily serving





¼ to a ½ slice of bread




Fruits and vegetables



Vegetables – ¼ - 1/3 cup raw and cooked chopped and mixed


Fruit - ¼ - ½ small fruit








1 egg

1-3 tablespoons of lean meat/ chicken / fish





Dairy products



½ cup of yogurt / milk – full cream




Your toddler should not be eating:

  • Whole grapes; large pieces of meats; candy and cough drops can cause choking.
  • Small, hard foods such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, chips, pretzels, raw carrots, and raisins can also cause choking.
  • Sticky foods such as peanut butter and marshmallows can cause tooth decay.
  • Always cut up foods into small pieces and watch your child while he eats.
  • Also, your child may have food allergies. The most common food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts and other nuts, soybeans, wheat, fish, and shellfish. If you think your child might have a food allergy, talk to your doctor.
How your child eats
  • Your toddler should be on an eating schedule and join the family at the dinner table 3 times a day.
  • Your toddler's appetite may decrease.
  • Your child may prefer only one type of food.
Do you think it's worth setting out your toddler's diet like this?
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24