Parents will know that it can be hard enough getting your toddler to sit still for meals, let alone keeping track of how much they're actually eating! Food can sometimes end up in unexpected places, and let's not even get started on fussy eaters...
With the launch of our brand new toddler meals and finger foods, we've teamed up with our expert child nutritionist Jenna Hope (the mastermind behind our brand new range of toddler meals!) to help our community of parents understand how much their toddler should be eating on an average day.
How much should a toddler eat in a day?
A toddler aged 2 years old should be consuming around 900 calories per day. This can vary depending on their age, size and activity levels, however it's a good figure to aim for on a typical day.
Remember this number is just an average, and it's best to break this up into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, with each meal around the 220 calories mark and snacks around 100 calories.
However, these figures are fluid and will vary between meals and snacks and depending on their appetite that day. Usually, toddlers will eat to their appetite which can hugely vary, so if they seem more or less hungry than usual then you should respond accordingly to this.
It's easiest to break this down into food groups to make sure your toddler is getting a balanced diet.
Fruit and veg
40g, or a small handful of fruit and vegetables is plenty for a toddler. Think half a banana, or some smashed blueberries.
This could be 1 slice of wholegrain bread, one small sweet potato and 2-4 tbsp of whole grain rice, pasta or quinoa depending on the age.
If your child has a plant-based diet, then a daily hand-sized portion of beans or pulses should offer an adequate amount of protein.
Alternatively, they can also get protein from a hand-sized portion of fish or meat once a week.
A thumb size of fats such as avocado, nut butter, seed butters or ground flaxseeds is plenty for a toddler.
You could also drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil on their food
Remember - toddler appetites can vary hugely!
Some days your toddler may gobble down a whole plate of food, and other days it may seem like they're just not interested at all. That's okay - just like adults, toddler appetites can vary a lot too!
What's important is making sure that at every mealtime, you're offering a wide range of foods which offer nutritional benefits (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats) so when your child is hungry, you know they're benefitting from the meals they're having.
It's also okay to offer some treats occasionally - read our blog Toddlers & Sugar - How Much Is Too Much?
Mamamade meals are perfectly portioned for little tummies!
Mamamade organic baby and toddler meals are perfectly portioned for your little one's stage of development. Remember, the goal isn't for your baby to eat everything on their plate or in their bowl, but to gain exposure to a wide variety of different foods.
We offer purees for your baby's first tastes of solids, porridges that are the perfect size for sharing, plant-based mixes ready to mash or puree into your desired consistency, as well as our brand new range of toddler meals.