By Raising Children Network
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Daily dietary guidelines for children 1-2 years

Toddlers need daily serves of healthy food from the five food groups; offer lots of water and milk; avoid sugary drinks.
  • At 1-2 years, toddlers need a wide variety of healthy foods. You decide what your child eats from the five food groups. He decides whether to eat and how much. Think about what he eats each week, rather than each day.

  • At this age, toddler appetites vary from day to day. Suggested daily serves are ½ serve of fruit; 2-3 serves of vegies; 1-1½ serves of dairy; 4 serves of grains; and 1 serve of lean meats, eggs, nut pastes and legumes. 

  • Toddlers need lots of water – the cheapest, healthiest and most thirst-quenching drink. They also need lots of milk. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, flavoured milk and water, sports drinks and energy drinks.


Food groups: daily serves of fruit, vegetables, cereals and grains

Fruit, vegetable and cereals serving sizes
  • Fruit: 1 serve = 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear; or 2 small plums, kiwi fruits or apricots; or 1 cup diced or canned fruit drained (no added sugar). Offer ½ serve a day.

  • Vegetables: 1 serve = ½ medium potato (or sweet potato or corn); or ½ cup cooked vegies (broccoli, spinach, carrots, pumpkin); or 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegies; or ½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans or lentils. Offer 2-3 serves a day.

  • Cereal and grains: 1 serve = 1 slice of bread; or ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa or polenta; or ½ cup porridge; or ⅔ cup wheat cereal flakes; or ¼ cup muesli; or 1 crumpet or small English muffin. Offer 4 serves a day – wholegrain is best.


Food groups: daily serves of dairy, protein and healthy fats

Dairy, protein, and 'sometimes' foods serving sizes
  • Dairy: 1 serve = 1 cup (250 ml) milk or calcium-fortified non-dairy milk like soy or rice; or 2 slices cheese; or ¾ cup (200 gm) yoghurt; or ½ cup ricotta cheese. Choose full-fat dairy. Offer 1-1½ serves a day. 

  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes: 1 serve = 65 gm cooked lean beef, lamb, veal or pork; or 80 gm cooked lean chicken or turkey; or 100 gm cooked fish fillet; or 170 gm cooked tofu; or 2 large eggs; or 1 cup cooked lentils, chickpeas or canned beans; or 1½ tablespoons nut pastes and spreads (whole nuts can be a choking risk). Offer 1 serve a day.

  • Healthy fats: include a small amount (7-10 gm) of unsaturated fats – for example, 1 tablespoon of nut butter or ¼ avocado. Avoid ‘sometimes’ foods. These are very high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

  • Last updated or reviewed 19-09-2017