Home > Kids > Fitness and Nutrition > Children's Nutritional Needs > How Much Should I Expect My Young Child To Eat?
|

How Much Should I Expect My Young Child To Eat?

How much should I expect my young child to eat? Children's appetites vary considerably from day to day, and even from one meal to the next, so you shouldn't expect (or demand) a clean plate at every meal. It's tough to know how much food you should serve, but a good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of each food per year of age, up to about age 5. Don't be too concerned that a child gets the right amount of nutrients at each meal or snack. It's more important that nutrient needs are met by averaging intakes over time – over a day or a week.

Suggested meals and snacks

  1 to 3 years 4 to 6 years
breakfast    
milk 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
juice, fruit 1/4 cup 1/2 cup
cereal 1/4 cup 1/3 cup
bread 1/4 to 1/2 slice 1/2 slice
midmorning/ midafternoon snack    
milk 1/2 cup 1/2 cup
bread or 1/4 to 1/2 slice 1/2 cup
graham cracker (2" X 2") or 1 2
vanilla wafers 2 4-6
lunch or dinner    
milk 1/2 cup 1/2 to 3/4 cup
meat/meat alternative    
poultry, fish, cheese 1 oz 1-1/2 oz
cooked egg 1/2 egg 1 egg
cooked dry beans or peas 2 tbsp 1/4 cup
peanut butter 1 tbsp 2 tbsp
vegetables, fruit 2 tbsp 1/4 to 1/3 cup
breads (whole grain or enriched) 1/4 to 1/2 slice 1/2 slice

Quick Meals for Healthy Kids

From Quick Meals for Healthy Kids and Busy Parents. Copyright © 1995 by Sandra K. Nissenberg, Margaret L. Bogle, and Audrey C. Wright. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

To order this book visit www.wiley.com.

|

From Quick Meals for Healthy Kids and Busy Parents. Copyright 1995 by Sandra K. Nissenberg, Margaret L. Bogle, and Audrey C. Wright. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

To order this book visit www.wiley.com.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

happy holidays

‘Tis the season
for festive crafts,
recipes, & family
activities!

GO

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!