Many parents write us with a variety of questions. We are happy to hear from you, and we do our best to provide meaningful responses. An issue that comes up frequently is how much food should little ones (1-2 years old) be eating. We are very happy to hear this question come up, because it demonstrates parents are concerned about not just the quality of food, but the quantity they are feeding their children.
Recent media coverage suggests over the past 20 years, restaurants and food companies have been increasing their serving sizes. This trend is considered to be a contributing factor in the rise in obesity (among adults and children).
We all know that children should eat less than adults. After all, they are smaller. The following are some serving size guidelines for a 1-2 year old that may help you out.
Milk/Dairy: Servings: 16-20 ounces of milk per day. Whole milk, soy or rice milk are recommended. Other equivalents: 1/2 -3/4 ounce of cheese = 4 ounces of milk. 1/4 cup of yogurt = 2 ounces of milk.
Fruits and veggies: Servings: 5 or more per day. Serving size: 1-2 tablespoons – Pureed, mashed, or cubed.
Grains: Servings: 3-4 per day. Serving sizes: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/4 cup of cooked cereal, 1/4 cup of dry cereal. 1/4 cup of pasta, 2-3 saltine crackers, or 1/2 tortilla.
Non-dairy Proteins (meat, fish, beans, eggs): Servings: 2 per day. Servings sizes: 1/2 egg, 2-3 Tbsp beans (i.e. black, pinto, edamame, etc…), 1 Tbsp peanut butter, or 1 ounce of fish, lean beef, pork or chicken.