Once your child turns one, she slowly begins to progress towards a more solid diet.

So this is the time when we should focus on a healthy eating pattern

Food that Toddlers Need

While they need a significant amount of fat and carbohydrates, toddlers also require considerable intake of proteins and vitamins.

Focus on giving meals from two major food groups, dairy and carbohydrates, and provide foods from other food groups as snacks.

Variety is the key to encourage your toddler to try all types of food.

Provide healthy snacks between meals consisting of fruits and vegetables and dairy products. Kids of this age group do not require health supplements, unless suggested by your paediatrician.

Since toddlers are in the transition period, they can be very fussy about what they choose and eat.  Providing the right nutrition and making your child eat sufficient quantities, can be quite a complicated task.

Presenting the Food

Sneak in the nutrition that you want to provide your child in an artful way. Present the food in various colors, shapes, textures in a kid-friendly way.

Freedom of Choice

Give your child the freedom to choose between two healthy food options. Toddlers feel powerful when they have control over food. This can reduce the meal tantrums, to some extent.

Be Gradual

Spread her diet by gradually offering foods that are similar with ones that she already likes.

Never force food on your child; she may develop distaste for the food forever.

A toddler’s stomach is small; feed him only when he feels hungry.

Watch What You Give

Do exercise caution on the types of food she eats. Certain foods are choking hazards, or can cause food allergy.

Cut, shred, or mash the food to prevent possible choking. She should always sit down while eating; she could choke if she eats while walking or running.


Food Group Servings Sources Remarks
Dairy & dairy products 2-3 Whole milk, cheese,yogurt, cottage cheese
Grains 4 – 6 rice, ragi, wheat, wheat bread, cup pasta ,wheat crackers ½ to ¼ cup/slice
Vegetables & Fruits 4-5 Carrots, cauliflower, mangos, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, papaya, water melon, cabbage, apples,  squash, banana, berries, pears, apricots, peas ¼  to 1 cup well-cooked vegetablesFruits – fresh/juice form


Protein 2-4 Lentils, legumes, Meat, egg, fish, chicken, nuts ½ cup meat or lentils or legumes½ egg
Avoid Big pieces of raw and hard foods – carrots, beans, popcorn, nuts, chewing gum or grapes

Checkout other articles in this series:

Your Child’s Nutrition: A Complete Guide.