What’s a healthy portion for your little one?

It’s important to encourage your child to eat a variety of foods to help them get used to lots of different flavours and textures, and also to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy.

It can be difficult to know how much to offer your child.

Watch our portion guide animation to see how using child sized plates and bowls along with the size of your child’s hand can be an easy way to help guide you on how much (the portion size) to offer your child.

How much should I offer my child?

Children are all different in lots of ways, such as how tall they are, how active they are and what type of foods they like. However, many parents and carers worry whether their child is getting the ‘right’ amount and ‘type’ of food to keep them healthy.

Our portion size guide provides a ‘general guide’ on amounts of foods, from each of the food groups, to offer children of different ages. It’s based on the nutritional needs of young children, and by working towards these types and amounts of foods, parents and carers can feel more confident they are offering suitable amounts.

Of course, young children’s appetites will vary from day to day; they will have growth spurts and be more active some days than others, however, using the ‘portion guide’ as a general guide can help young children develop good habits about food and drinks at an early age.

Handy portion size guide for under 5’s

You can also download and print off our handy portion size guide below for some portion size help at home.

Portion size guide for under 5s

Useful links


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Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Leicester City: text 07520 615381

Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382

You can also call and speak to a public health nurse on our professional advice line: 0300 3000 007

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