A 2 year old food chart, food menu, sample meal plan with meal ideas and healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, created following American Academy of Dietetics Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.
2 Year old food & meals
At 2 years old your child should be eating 3 main meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 1-2 snacks.
The amount they eat will be dependent on their weight, height, sex and physical activity.
It is your choice what you serve but it should be their choice if they want to eat it.
Encourage eating with cutlery and drinking from an open cup.
Toddlers at this age can eat almost any food (other than coffee and alcohol of course) but we would still want to avoid:
- Low-fat milk and dairy products – cause excessive intake of protein and low intake of essential fats
- Excessive salt – kidneys not sufficiently developed
- Fruit juices and soda – high sugar content
- Unpasteurized products – can contain dangerous bacteria
- Smoked & cured meats / processed food – excessive salt intake
- High mercury fish (fresh tuna, halibut, grouper, shark) – excessive intake of mercury
- Chocolate, especially dark – high caffeine content
Food chart for 2 year old baby
The food chart, food menu and meal plan with meal ideas are based on average recommendations per age per FAO/WHO/UNU Energy Requirements and the American Academy of Dietetics Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.
But please adapt the quantities to your own child!
Download FREE PDF version of the 2-4 Year Old Toddler Food Chart.
Food menu for 2 year old baby
We have made a "Build you own food menu" infographic and a "Made for you 2 year old toddler meal plan" so you can easily make your own or get ideas from the one we created.
A few points to consider when it comes to feeding toddlers:
- Adapt the order of the meals to your family's eating habits if it doesn't fit for you already
- Try to keep a consistent schedule to provide your toddler with a sense of order in their day
- Every attempt should be made to ensure that all food groups are included in the daily toddler food plan
- The amounts of servings don't need to be exact each day but there should be a balance and the average number of servings of a food group throughout the week should roughly line up with the recommendations
2 year old meal plan with meal ideas
- Breakfast - Walnut Raspberry Oatmeal
- Snack - 1 Applesauce Oatmeal Cookie with ¾ cup milk
- Lunch - 1 Slice Oven-baked Spanish Tortilla
- Afternoon snack - ½ apple and 1 cup yogurt
- Dinner - Pan-fried turkey, eggplant and millet with olive oil
Breakfast ideas for a 2 year old
Dinner and lunch ideas for 2 year old
Snacks for 2 year olds
- How much food any toddler needs is influenced by a number of different factors, including gender, age, weight, height, and physical activity.
- Some days your child will eat more than others – that's normal. They might want way more than you served one day and barely anything at all the next. Again: that's normal. Children naturally understand portion control and how to follow their bodies' cues. Unfortunately, we often un-learn that as we grow up.
- A hungry child should always be fed!
- You are in charge of what you serve, your child is in charge of what they eat. They might want more potatoes one day while ignoring the chicken on their plate. But the next day could be the opposite. Don't force them to finish something just because it's on their plate. They didn't put it there.
- You are in charge of monitoring your child's allergies and dietary requirements. These meal plans have not been customized for any specific child's allergies, dietary requirements, pre-existing nutrient deficiencies, or any other food-related requirements.
- Nothing can replace proper supervision of your child while they are eating. It should go without saying, but keep an eye on your kids while they eat. If you have any concerns for your child's health, you should seek advice without delay. And always follow safe food handling practices when preparing food.
Hopefully this helps you to have an instinct for what kinds of foods to serve and in (approximately) what amounts. Ultimately we hope this makes life a little easier for you and your toddler!
To learn more about toddler nutrition and see toddler nutrition charts see the Daily Toddler Nutrition Chart, 3 toddler meal plans and schedule, Toddler 12-15 month old sample meal plan, Toddler 16-18 month old sample meal plan and the 19-21 month old toddler baby food chart and meal plan.
More toddler recipes
see all toddler recipes
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