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Sample meal plan for feeding your toddler (ages 1 to 3)



Need some ideas to feed your toddler? Use these sample meal plans and tips on healthy eating to help you feed your little one. 

What should I feed my toddler?

Toddlers aged 1 to 3 are able to eat a variety of healthy foods. Offer your toddler the same foods that the rest of the family eats.  Offer foods with different tastes, textures and colours from each of the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide.  

How much should my toddler eat?

Let your toddler decide how much to eat from the foods you offer. Do not force your toddler to eat or restrict the amount of food you allow her to eat.  Some days your toddler might eat more. Some days she might eat less. A toddler’s appetite can change from day to day. Use the sample meals below as general guidelines only.  Start with small serving sizes and give more if your toddler is still hungry.  

Sample Meals for Toddlers: 1 to 3 years old

Sample 1

Breakfast Oatmeal with milk
Sliced fresh or canned peaches
Scrambled egg
Milk in a cup or breastmilk
Morning Snack Ripe melon pieces
Plain, vanilla or fruit yogurt
Water
Lunch Baked beans, lentils or dahl
Whole wheat bread, bun or roti spread with hummus
Cooked sliced carrots
Milk in a cup or breastmilk
Afternoon Snack 100% whole wheat unsalted crackers
Cheese cubes
Water
Dinner Baked salmon flavoured with sesame oil
Quinoa or whole wheat couscous
Grilled asparagus and sweet potato with curry
Water or breastmilk
Bedtime Snack Blueberries
Homemade mini banana muffins spread with cream cheese
Milk in a cup or breastmilk

Sample 2

Breakfast Nut butter or yogurt banana roll
Berries with plain yogurt
Milk in a cup or breastmilk
Morning Snack Apple slices or applesauce
Cheese cubes
Water
Lunch Tofu Vegetable Soup
100% whole wheat unsalted crackers  
Ripe pear slices
Milk in a cup or breastmilk
Afternoon Snack Pita with hummus
Cherry tomatoes (cut into quarters)
Water
Dinner Bean, vegetable and lean meat chili
Whole grain bun or roll
Water
Bedtime Snack Grapes (cut lengthwise into quarters)
Bite size shredded wheat cereal
Milk in a cup or breastmilk

Tips for feeding your toddler (1 to 3 years)

  • Offer meals and snacks around the same time each day.
  • Eat meals and snacks prepared at home more often.  Prepare healthy homemade recipes. Try cheesy chicken crunchie quesadillas, mini pizza sandwiches and mac and “squeeze”.
  • Let your toddler decide what and how much to eat from the foods you offer. It is normal for toddlers to refuse to eat new foods, change their minds about foods they ate before, or want the same food every day. Continue to offer a variety of familiar foods and new foods at each meal.  
  • Continue to breastfeed your toddler until the age of two and beyond.  
  • If your toddler uses a bottle, wean him to a regular cup. Bottles also make it easy for your toddler to drink too much. This may leave less room for other healthy foods.
  • Serve full fat milk (3.25%) milk until age two.  You can offer cow’s milk in an open cup.   After age two, you can switch to skim, 1% or 2% milk. Do not give soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or coconut milk instead of breastmilk or cow’s milk before 2 years of age.   Unflavoured, full-fat, fortified soy beverage can be used occasionally in small amounts after 6 months, in addition to breastmilk, cow's milk or formula.
  • Offer water between meals.  Sipping on milk or juice between meals can decrease appetite. If you give your toddler juice, offer 100% fruit juice and limit it to 125-175 mL (4-6 oz) a day.
  • Always supervise your toddler while eating. Cut foods into bite size pieces to avoid choking.  

Last Update – May 31, 2017

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