U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Healthy Eating for Toddlers

Healthy Eating for Toddlers

Give your toddler healthy choices as they explore new foods and flavors. Young children have small stomachs and are developing food preferences, so make every bite count!


Provide foods full of nutrients

Offer your toddler a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives. Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars and choose those with lower sodium.

Prevent Choking

Have your toddler sit at a table for meals and snacks and not wander around with food in their mouth. Foods such as hot dogs, candy, nuts and seeds, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and chunks of peanut butter can be choking risks. See the USDA Team Nutrition worksheet for more.

Let your child help

Even young children can help at mealtimes by rinsing fruits and vegetables, tearing lettuce, or stirring ingredients. Children get excited about tasting items when they have been involved in preparation.

Try new foods

Try serving a new food alongside a familiar food in the same meal. It may take up to 8-10 tries for a child to accept a new food.

Get a MyPlate plan

The amount of food a young child needs or will eat depends on a variety of factors. Use the MyPlate Plan as a general guide to how much they should eat from each food group.

Serve safe food

Help your child learn to wash their hands before eating. Only serve foods that have been cooked properly and avoid serving your toddler unpasteurized (raw) juice or milk.

Image
DGA logo

MyPlate.gov is based on the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025

Learn more

Image
Start Simple app on phone and watch

Start Simple with MyPlate App

Build healthy eating habits one goal at a time! Download the Start Simple with MyPlate app today.

Learn more