By 12 months age the child is usually crawling on hands and knees, pulling to stand and taking steps with/without support.

Toddlers want to assert independence, they can feed themselves with a spoon and will hold a cup independently by 12-15 months age.

By 18 months age they will try to use a fork and drink with an open cup.

They can feed themselves well with a spoon and fork by 2-3 years of age.

What are the calorie/food requirements for toddlers?

After rapid growth during infancy, the rate of weight gain slows down in the 2nd year of life. Toddlers are expected to gain 4 pounds to 7 pounds of weight  in a year. Parents may notice a decrease in their toddler’s appetite after they turn 1 year old.

Parents should try to offer a toddler 3 meals plus two nutritious snacks per day. Toddlers need about 1,000 calories per day. Try to go for healthy choices and avoid packaged processed foods

Whole milk intake should be limited to 16-20 ounces per day and juice up to 4 ounces per day for toddlers, they can have 8-16 ounces of water per day. Excess whole milk intake can lead to iron deficiency anemia in toddlers.

What types of foods should I offer my toddler?

Toddlers usually can tolerate soft textures to firm textures of food. They would eat ground, mashed, or chopped table foods (including soft vegetables and meats ) by 12-15 months.

They usually can eat coarsely chopped table foods, including raw vegetables by 20-24 months. Parents should cut the raw vegetables and fruits like carrots and apples, for example, in thin slices to prevent choking. Parents should always make the toddler sit at the table and eat.

They can eat the same foods as the rest of the family by 2-3 years of age.

Picky eating is a norm for most toddlers.

Toddlers begin to develop food preferences. Sometimes they like one food, the next day they don’t want to look at their favorite food.

Sometimes they will eat certain food for several weeks, then suddenly they don’t want it.  Some days they will eat very well and other days not much at all.

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and nutrition. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials.


  1. AAP Pediatric Nutrition, 8th Edition
  2. Nutrition, 2nd Edition, What every parent needs to know by AAP