Feeding the toddler: 12 months to 3 years--challenges and opportunities

J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(2):49-52.


The toddler stage from one to three years continues to be a period of rapid growth although not as rapid as in the first year. Energy needs are high as toddlers become more active, but stomachs are still small relative to nutrient needs so food provided for this age group needs to be nutrient dense. Toddlers are beginning to exert their independence in food choices and parents may be faced with a fussy eater who refuses food that they normally like and enjoy. Parents need to be encouraged to establish a routine of three meals and two snacks a day and not to allow the toddler to set the rules for eating. Making time to enjoy eating together as a family should be a priority to help toddlers establish good eating habits for the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Obesity / prevention & control