How Much Should I Feed My Toddler? #rethinktoddlerportionsizes

I have always had concerns when it comes to what my daughters eat in a day. P1 is such a skinny little thing but tends to eat an incredible quantity of food so we were referred to a dietitian who assured us that we were doing the right thing. But more recently I have been faced with other worries surrounding my other two girls. P2 who at weaning stage would eat absolutely everything but now barely eats a thing, and P3 who seems to just take a bite from her food and that’s it. I was really interested to learn more about the proper portion sizes my girls should be eating and the Infant & Toddler Forum have created this rather amusing video on toddler portion sizes. 

My Hubby is really good at portion sizes when he dishes up our dinners but I really lack in the understanding and have been known to pile their plates high in a hope that they’ll eat some of it. It then results in me not really knowing what they’ve eaten and whether it’s enough to sustain and help them grow healthily. I really enjoyed reading through this amazing Toddler Portion sizes guide and it has been completely eye opening.


The portion sizes table has it all sectioned into categories related to the different food groups. There’s a really useful introduction paragraph on each one followed by some popular foods. The size guide is tailored for infants and toddlers aged 1-4 years old. After studying the portion sizes chart I now that I am offering far, far too much food during one meal. In fact I am probably offering double the amount or more. There would definitely be a lot less food waste in this household if I had been more clued up.The survey of 1000 UK mums and dads revealed that 79% of parents routinely offer portions bigger than the recommended size range for pre-schoolers.

The thing that really shocked me actually was the section on foods high in fat and sugar. It clearly states that you should limit biscuis, cakes and puddings to once a day and the portion size for a plain biscuit is just half to one per day for this age range. I know for a fact that my girls have more than this per day which is why that shocked me. 61% of parents routinely offer their child too many sweets, with 24% of parents giving their child a whole pack of jelly sweets as a treat: this is 3 times the recommended amount. I am one of those.


73% of parents surveyed are more concerned that their child does not eat enough and I think I am one of those. Knowing that they’ve only eaten half a sausage or one mouthful of mash potato used to really worry me. But actually that’s probably about right for a whole meal portion. It’s absolutely shockingly small and I think that’s why we worry as parents. It just doesn’t seem enough. For me, I needn’t have worried as my girls really love to drink milk which if you’ve been a reader for a long time you will know this is something we are trying to combat. The amount of milk they drink actually means they probably aren’t hungry which again is a huge concern now that I have really witnessed what a portion size should look like.

I have started to use a really handy Tot It Up which allows you to input everything your child eats so that you can see if they are having too much or too little. I personally think it’s great but they need to bring out a free app to make it a little easier to do on the go. Check out the online food portions guide to see how much to offer. Go to  and spread the word, share the video to encourage other mums to #rethinktoddlerportionsizes. Join the chat on Facebook and Twitter #rethinktoddlerportionsizes

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

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  1. Elizabeth Rebecca

    This is such a great guide – I would have served a lot more than what this suggests.

  2. I am so glad people are documenting the portion size for toddlers. I worry endlessly about my little lady and how little she eats but I am starting to feel a little less stressed now.

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