Article

Sample Meal Plan for Feeding Your Toddler (Ages 1 to 3)

happy toddler girl eating a meal

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 according to 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 them to eat.  Some days they might eat more. Some days they 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 Feeding Toddlers (1 to 3 years old)

Sample Menu 1

Breakfast Mini oatmeal pancakes with sliced bananas and nut butter
Breastmilk or milk in a cup
Morning Snack Ripe melon pieces
Plain, vanilla or fruit yogurt
Water
Lunch Meatballs (cut into small pieces)
Plain macaroni or penne pasta
Cooked sweet potato
Breastmilk or milk in a cup
Afternoon Snack 100% whole wheat unsalted crackers
Cheese cubes
Water
Dinner Baked risotto with salmon
Carrots and parsnips
Breastmilk or water
Bedtime Snack Fruity Tutti muffins with applesauce
Breastmilk or milk in a cup

Sample Menu 2

Breakfast Mini mushroom omelette
Berries with plain yogurt
Breastmilk or milk in a cup
Morning Snack Apple slices with nut butter
Cheese cubes
Water
Lunch Tofu Vegetable Soup
Potato patties  
Ripe pear slices
Breastmilk or milk in a cup
Afternoon Snack Hummus with 100% whole wheat pita
Cherry tomatoes (cut into quarters)
Water
Dinner Turkey or vegetarian chili
100% whole grain bun or roll
Water
Bedtime Snack Banana yogurt wrap
Breastmilk or milk in a cup

Tips for feeding your toddler (1 to 3 years)

  • Continue to breastfeed your toddler until the age of two and beyond. 
  • If your toddler uses a bottle, wean them 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 or fortified, unflavoured soy beverage.
  • Fortified soy, rice, almond or coconut beverages do not contain the same amount of nutrients as cow’s milk. Do not use them instead of breastmilk or cow’s milk before 2 years of age.   
  • 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.
  • Offer meals and snacks at the same time each day. Offer a variety of familiar foods as well new foods at each meal.
  • Let your toddler decide what and how much to eat when introducing solid foods. 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.
  • Eat meals and snacks prepared at home more often. Prepare healthy homemade recipes such as cheesy chicken crunchie quesadillas, mini pizza sandwiches, hummus and pita and mac and “squeese”
  • Always supervise your toddler while eating. Cut foods into bite size pieces to avoid choking.

You may also be interested in:

Nutri-eSTEP:  How to Build a Healthy Toddler (18 to 35 months)
Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby: Safety Tips
Transitioning Your Baby to Cow’s Milk
Cooking With Kids of Different Ages

Last Update – September 8, 2019

Phone Icon

Dietitians look beyond fads to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. Want to unlock the potential of food? Connect with a dietitian.