Nutritional Guidelines for Toddlers
Daily requirements for a one-to-three-year-old:
- Protein: At least
16 grams. Try 16 ounces of milk plus one ounce of meat.
- Fat: Toddlers need
at least 30 percent of their calories from fat for energy and growth needs.
- Calories: 40 calories/day/inch
of height (1000 to 1300 calories/day). Calorie distribution should look something like this:
Vitamins and Minerals:
16 g protein =
44 g fat =
210 g carbohydrate =
- Sodium: 325 to
- Vitamin C: 40 mg.
- Vitamin A: 400
- Calcium*: 800 mg. Even with two cups
of milk a day, toddlers still need another 200 mg. Offer yogurt, cheese, tofu, and leafy greens.
- Iron*: 10 mg.
- Zinc*: 10 mg. A mild zinc deficiency in toddlers
is common. Symptoms include poor appetite, sub-optimal growth and a reduced sense of taste and smell. The best
sources of zinc are meat, eggs and seafood.
- Folate*: 50 ug.
* These are the ones most often deficient in toddlers.
Try to serve the following each day:
- 2 to 3 cups of milk
(or yogurt, cheese and pudding).
- 4 servings of fruits and vegetables.
(Serving size: one tablespoon per year of age.) One serving should be high in vitamin C and another in vitamin
- 4 servings of bread and cereal.
One should be an iron-fortified baby cereal. A serving is about 1/4 to 1/3 an adult portion (1/4 slice toast, 1/4
- 2 servings of meat, beans, eggs, tofu, or peanut butter. A good serving of protein should be served at every meal. One serving equals