Serving Sizes for Toddlers

This week we are featuring an article from the pediatricians at, a site managed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Serving Sizes for Toddlers offers very practical guidance about the amount and types of food toddlers need. If you want to do the math, kids between one- and three-years-old need “about 40 calories for every inch of height.” So, for example, a 32-inch-tall toddler “should be taking in an average of about 1300 calories a day” depending on build and activity level. A toddler’s serving size is about one-quarter of an adult’s serving size.

Serving Sizes for Toddlers provides food suggestions and recommended amounts across all the food groups. There’s even a handy chart to put up on the fridge! This resource wraps up with links to other nutrition- and eating-related articles the families we serve will likely greatly appreciate at some point. Check it out and print out that chart to have in your virtual back pocket for when the subject of toddler food requirements comes up.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK4: The range of typical infant/toddler physiological factors such as:
      • Early neurological/brain development
      • Basic health and nutrition
      • Physical growth and maturation
  • Identification and Referral (IR):
    • IR10 (EIS): Knows strategies that support parents in providing basic health, nutrition, and safety for infants and toddlers in natural environments.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-DR):
    • IFSP-DR3 (EIS): Knows community agencies and resources such as primary health care, infant/family mental health, social services, and parent-parent support groups.
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