Rethinking Toddler Portion Sizes #rethinktoddlerportionsizes


During my pregnancies with Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian I suffered with Gestational Diabetes and my sessions with the dietician was a real eye opener, especially when it came to mealtime portion sizes.

It made me realise that the portion sizes we had been having were on the large side and not only did the family start changing its eating habits, but we all started eating healthier.

Sebastian is now 3 and is a real grazer when it comes to eating. He much prefers snacking throughout the day rather than having three individual meals so it is hard to judge his portion sizes or how much food to offer. That’s where the Infant & Toddler Forum can help.

A survey of 1000 UK mums and dads revealed that 79% of parents routinely offer portions bigger than the recommended size range for toddlers when offering popular meals, drinks and treats. It’s clear that guidance and practical advice for parents is lacking.

With evidence linking large portion sizes to excess weight gain, the Infant & Toddler Forum has launched the #rethinktoddlerportionsizes campaign to help take the guesswork out of how much is enough.

The Infant & Toddler Forum is an independent expert group promoting best practice through evidence ­based advice and practical resources. This year – against a backdrop of early interventions to reduce obesity in preschool children ­they are launching a campaign that re-frames the childhood obesity challenge for parents, focusing on ‘how much’ as well as ‘what’ toddlers eat. The new campaign sheds light on how much is too much. They believe it’s time to rethink our notion of how much food toddlers need. The campaign provides practical ways to help parents understand how much is too much.

The amount of food that young children eat varies from day-to-day, meal to meal. Using the portion size guide on how much to offer Eliza and Sebastian was a real eye-opener for me and made me realise that I had been giving them too much – no wonder they often don’t finish their dinner. Sebastian is a bit of a banana fiend and should only really be having half per day – he normally gets through two or three!

Toddler Meal
Image Credit:

The portion size guide allows children to eat to their appetite although taller or more active children will eat larger portions than shorter or less active children. It also advises what the right balance of food groups should be.

Isaac especially is a bit of a fussy eater and I have already made a change to our mealtimes by cooking from scratch rather than raiding the freezer for the quick option. My Tefal Cook4Me has been working on overdrive creating delicious, healthy meals for all the family and I am going to pay far more attention to portion sizes from now on, especially for the younger children, to ensure they grow up to be happy and healthy.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have received vouchers to write this post but editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

9 thoughts on “Rethinking Toddler Portion Sizes #rethinktoddlerportionsizes

  1. Sonia says:

    This is really interesting, I think i give the kids far too bigger portions so should look into this x
    Sonia recently posted…Unique Planners by Pirongs Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Ickle Pickle says:

    Great post – I have the opposite problem really where my lot don’t eat enough in a portion (I think) Pickle is a huge grazer. This really makes me think! Kaz x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…Oblumi Tapp Phone ThermometerMy Profile

  3. Rachel says:

    I would not have a clue what portion control is or should be x
    Rachel recently posted…Magazine Freebies – August 2016My Profile

  4. anna nuttall says:

    I use to know a parents (this was back when mum had her own school ) who would give their child 10 huge size portion a day!! I’m not talking about healthy stuff either – it was Mc Donald (vom), Nando and takeaway. I heard eventually the child was taken away from the parents and into care. It break my heart and really made me angry.

    Sorry this post made me think of it. xx
    anna nuttall recently posted…Sonia Rykiel & Lancome: Love At First SightMy Profile

  5. Portion sizes can be difficult to estimate can’t they so any help there is brilliant.

    I had no idea about the bananas x
    Cass@frugalfamily recently posted…The ONLY Sun protection that I’ll use on my children’s skin….My Profile

  6. gill says:

    Great read, advice for all ages of children would be good from these panels as allways not sure how much is too much.!

  7. Cassie Joss says:

    Wow Wow you raise some things in here I had never even thought of. What a great read.

  8. I think it is really difficult to judge what is the correct portion size for each member of the family. As the kids have their lunch at school I really don’t know what they eat during the day. I do give my son a smaller portion of the main dish at dinner time but he usually has the same amount of vegetables as us.
    nessjibberjabberuk recently posted…Sunday Snap – Meet me under the clockMy Profile

  9. I often worry about portion sizes and if I am feeding my kids the right thing.
    We were on holiday last week and my little girl ate more than she normally would but thinking about it, it wasn’t unhealthy or really that excessive. My son ate pretty much the same as he does at home. Both of them are the perfect weight/height (as per GP) but are solid (I can’t lift them lol) Will certainly check the forum out to get new ideas and tips x
    angela hamilton recently posted…Berwick Upon Tweed 2016My Profile

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