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How much food at 2 to 3 years? - text version

2-minute read

When your toddler turns 2, they should be eating the same food as the rest of the family.

Fussy eaters

It’s very common for kids to go through stages of refusing food or always wanting the same thing.

  • DO give your kids healthy options
  • DO include them in planning the family meals
  • DON’T fill them up with snack throughout the day
  • DON’T bribe kids in to eating food

The best drink you can give your child is water. Milk is also good and can help with their daily dairy requirements.

Daily needs

Breakfast

The best drink you can give your child is water. Milk is also good and can help with their daily dairy requirements. Cereal with milk is a great start to the day for growing bodies, but be careful not to buy a cereal that is high in sugar. You can use the Healthy Star Rating system to help you choose healthy and nutritious food. The more stars, the better for you and your family.

Lunch

Rice is a great option for lunch or dinner. It can be eaten hot or cold and add variety by serving with different veggies, proteins and sauces.

Dinner

Tofu is a good alternative source of protein if you don't always want to serve meat. You can swap the pasta for rice or noodles and choose whichever veggies you prefer.

How many serves a day?

  • Fruit - 1 serve
  • Vegetables - 2 1/2 serves
  • Grains - 4 serves
  • Protein - 1 serve
  • Dairy - 1 1/2 serves

What is a serve?

The size of a serve will depend on the type of food. Here are some examples:

  • Fruit - 1 cup diced fruit or 1 medium apple or banana
  • Vegetables - 1/2 cup cooked veggies or 1 cup salad greens
  • Grains - 1/2 cup cooked rice or 1 slice bread
  • Protein - 80g cooked chicken or 2 eggs
  • Dairy - 1 cup milk or 2 slices cheese

Kids will get hungry throughout the day, so have a selection of healthy snacks for them to enjoy. Remember not to let them fill up on snacks before meals.

See this list as an infographic.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: March 2019


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