Use our Toddler Meal planning tool to ensure your 1-4 years old receives a balanced diet every day.Find out more >
Use our portion size ranges to find out how much is too much.Find out more >
Use our toddler food tracker to check that your 1-4 year olds are getting a good balance of foods and activityFind out more >
Guidance & Tips for Parents
Introducing the Toddler Menu Planner
Use our Toddler Meal planning tool to ensure your 1-4 years old receives a balanced diet every day. The e-book includes all the guidance and tips featured on this page and more:
- 67 healthy recipes
- visual guidance on portion sizes for each meal idea
- a 14-day planner that shows how to mix meals to achieve a balance diet every day
- a customisable planner to make it easy to plan your favourite meals
- Make a list of meals and snacks and/or stock up on nutritious foods so that you can put together a meal in minutes
- Save money by just buying the foods for nutritious meals and snacks in your menu plan
- Involve your toddler in planning, shopping and preparing food
- Include foods from each of the five food groups each day:
– starchy foods at each meal and in some snacks
– fruit and vegetables at all meals and in some snacks
– milk, cheese and yogurt three times over the day
– meat, fish, eggs, nuts or pulses two or three times each day (serve fish twice per week – one of which is oily fish)
– only very small amounts of food high in fat and sugar.
Reducing food preparation time
- Cook a double or triple quantity of food and freeze the extra so that it can later be thawed in the fridge and then heated for a second or third meal
- Add leftover meat, fish or a tin of cooked lentils or beans to stir fried vegetables. They can be served with pasta, rice or noodles
- Add some extra raw or lightly cooked vegetables to a convenience meal
- Serve some fruit with yogurt, fromage frais, ice cream, a small cake or a biscuit to make a nutritious pudding.
Cold meals can be just as nutritious as hot cooked meals and can be prepared quickly and easily using simple ingredients from the five food groups.
- Fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables,meat and fish are usually cheaper than those out of season
- Frozen vegetables, fruit, meat and fish are often cheaper than fresh, especially when they are out of season
- Buy small amounts of foods high in fat and sugar, not multipacks
- Join the Healthy Start scheme if you are on a low income, and you will receive vouchers for fruit, vegetables and milk and coupons for free vitamin supplements: www.healthystart.nhs.uk.