Portion Sizes for 1-4 year olds

Use our portion size ranges to find out how much is too much.

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Tot It Up

Use our toddler food tracker to check that your 1-4 year olds are getting a good balance of foods and activity

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Meals, Snacks and Drinks for Toddlers

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Quick Overview

A nutritionally balanced diet containing a combination of different foods is one of the foundations of child health. This guide provides a practical overview of what foods and drinks to offer and how to combine foods from the five food groups to create nutritious meals.

Toddler enjoying an afternoon snack and drink

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  • A Toddler sitting on her high chair enjoying a biscuit
  • Toddler enjoying an afternoon snack and drink



Guidance & Tips for Parents

The food groups are:

  • 1. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods,
  • 2. Fruit and vegetables,
  • 3. Milk, cheese and yogurt,
  • 4. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses,
  • 5. Foods high in fat and sugar.
Download the food groups for each meal >


Nutritious Breakfasts

  • Are based on a starchy food such as bread, toast or breakfast cereal
  • Include milk, yogurt, cheese, egg or meat such as bacon or ham
  • Include some fruit.

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Savoury Courses

  • Are based on starchy foods – bread, rice, potatoes or pasta
  • Include vegetables cooked, raw or in sauces or soups
  • Include a food from Food Groups 3 or 4 to provide some protein.

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Second Courses

  • Include fruit on its own or
  • Along with yogurt or a pudding made with nutritious ingredients such as milk, flour, rice, bread, eggs or nuts.

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Combine foods from groups 1-4

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Offer to toddlers at each meal and snack – about 100-120ml or 3-4oz is adequate.

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Factsheets for Health & Childcare Professionals

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Guidance & Tips
for Parents

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