We are not supporting this browser

Toddler Tummy

      Toddler taste buds
































      Getting the right balance of good stuff

      Your toddler needs more fat and less fibre than a grown-up. The extra calories in fat give them the energy they need to grow and run around. Too much fibre can fill their tiny tummy, which is only the same size as their closed fist!

      To help them get their fill of good stuff, they’ll need to eat 3 nutrient-packed and balanced meals, plus 2-3 healthy snacks a day. Fitting them in around their playtime might be easier said than done, as your toddler may be more interested in having fun than eating! 

      Try to give them a good mix of foods from the food groups below, keeping treats to a minimum. And if you need more ideas on toddler meals, our recipes have been specially created with your active explorer in mind.

      Things to include in your toddler’s diet:

      Starchy foods

      Bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals can help your busy toddler get the energy they need for all that dashing around. Try to include these in every meal and some snacks. Aim for four servings daily.

      Fruit & veg

      For their size, toddlers need up to 4 times more nutrients like vitamin C than adults. To help them get their daily fix, serve up plenty of fruit and veg at every meal, and as snacks. Offer a rainbow of colours and lots of tastes and textures. Remember, fresh foods are at their lowest prices when they’re in season, and that’s when they taste best too. And tinned (without syrup), dried and frozen fruit and veg are great long-lasting options to keep on hand. Aim for 2-4 servings daily.

      Full-fat dairy products

      To help them keep up with their rapid bone growth, your toddler needs 3 servings of calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt every day.

      Meat, fish & veggie options

      Protein, iron and omega-3 play an important role in your toddler’s healthy development. It’s best to ensure they get 2 daily portions of foods like meat, fish, well-cooked eggs, lentils and beans. Try not to offer your toddler processed meats like chicken nuggets, sausages, fish fingers and burgers on a regular basis as they tend to be lower in protein and high in fat and salt.

      Milk & drinks

      With all that charging around your toddler will need to stay hydrated. Aim for 6-8 drinks a day, with most of these being water. Your toddler still needs milk every day to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need.

      Things to avoid:

      Foods high in sugar

      It’s best to keep sugary foods like biscuits, cakes, jam and orange squash to a minimum, to stop your toddler from developing a sweet tooth and possibly tooth decay. For something yummy and naturally sweet, choose fresh fruit instead of desserts with added sugar.

      Tempting a fussy eater

      Even happy little eaters have off days. In fact, around half of all toddlers have fussy eating habits. It’s a natural phase that many go through as they become more independent and learn to say “no!” So if your toddler suddenly refuses to touch their favourite food, don’t panic. Chances are they’ll love it again in a few days or a weeks time. Just keep smiling and wait a while before you try it again. Read our fussy eaters article for more tips and advice.

      Adding texture and variety

      Our Careline often gets calls from mums looking for tips on ways to add more texture or variety to a toddler diet. Our articles on toddler feeding, and adding variety, plus our homemade recipes are all great inspiration for feeding your little one!

      Any more questions?

      Our specialist baby advisors and experienced mums are here to talk and ready to help whenever you need them. You can call us or reach us on Live Chat 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Friday.

      Join the C&G baby club today

      Join the C&G baby club today

      • Weekly emails with tips and advice for your stage
      • 1-to-1 support from our dedicated Careline team, 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.
      Join us now

      More from toddler

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.