19 - 23 month olds feeding schedule: Amounts, food chart, breastmilk
Chances are your 19 - 23 month old feels much more like a toddler these days than a baby! They are discovering something new every day and may even be starting to show their likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Now is the time to keep working on good habits and division of responsibility, which is when parents decide what to serve and kids decide what and how much to eat of the foods served. This helps to ensure your little one continues on a successful path of creating a good relationship with food.
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19 to 23 month old baby sample feeding schedule
At 19 - 23 months, your toddler may be eating roughly five times a day, broken into three meals and two snacks a day. While we traditionally think of meals as larger eating occasions and snacks as smaller eating occasions, we don’t need to really be worried about the amount of food eaten during each meal or snack. Think of all eating occasions equally and treat snacks as mini-meals, offering nutritious options that are well-balanced to help keep your little one full.
If breastfeeding, you may continue nursing as you and your child wish, but remember that the goal is for most of your child’s nutrition to come from solid foods. If your child is drinking cow’s milk or another cow’s milk alternative make sure it isn’t interfering with their solid food consumption as this can displace other important foods in the diet. Typically this looks like limiting milk to about 16 - 24 oz a day.
You can use the schedule below to guide how your day of feeding may go with your little one. Know it can be modified to fit your needs.
|6:00 AM||Optional nursing session (wake up)|
|9:00/9:30 AM||Morning snack|
|2:30 PM||Afternoon snack|
|6:30/6:45 PM||Optional nursing session or pre-bedtime snack|
How much to feed a 19 to 23 month old: Food chart
Around this time, most toddlers will have three meals and two snacks a day, relying on solid foods to get them the nutrition they need. At this age, the majority of kids are able to handle most textures and most kinds of food.
19 - 23 month feeding chart
|Wake-up:||Optional nursing session|
|Breakfast:||Scrambled eggs, avocado, clementine slices|
|Mid-morning snack:||Cheese slices, blueberries|
|Lunch:||Pasta with sauce and meatballs (leftovers from last night’s dinner)|
|Mid-afternoon snack:||Hard-boiled egg, pretzels|
|Dinner:||Grilled fish, green beans, rice and melon|
|Before bed:||Optional nursing session or pre-bedtime snack|
Tips for feeding your 19 to 23 month old toddler
Tip #1: Avoid becoming a short-order cook
Most children go through a selective eating phase around this age. They may refuse to eat foods they previously enjoyed and ask for their favorites at mealtime. Instead of giving in to their wishes and making them a new meal, avoid becoming a short-order cook. This only encourages kids to ask for a favorite meal and limits their willingness to try new foods.
Tip #2: Continue to offer new foods
Even if your child hesitates to try new foods, continue to offer them. Research shows that it may take many (like 15 times!) exposures  to a food before your child tries it. Aim to serve a new food alongside a food your child regularly enjoys to make it seem less intimidating. Also, know that touching, licking, biting, and spitting out food are all positive steps!
Tip #3: Watch out for added sugars
Around this age, as your kiddo can eat more types of food, it becomes easier and easier to serve prepackaged convenience foods. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this! These types of foods can be part of a balanced diet and anything that makes the job of parenting a little easier is wonderful in our book. Just be cautious to read the nutrition label and do your best to avoid and limit added sugars.
Tip #4: Still be careful of choking hazards
It can be easy to forget toddlers around 19 - 23 months are still new eaters since they’ve mastered a lot already. However, it’s important to still be conscious of high-risk choking foods at this age. Avoid hard, round foods as well as chewy and sticky foods. Keep cutting up grapes, hot dogs, cheesesticks, nuts, etc.
Tip #5: Focus on balance
As parents, we want what is best for our children and that means ensuring they are eating healthy foods to help them grow. While it can be tempting to nudge kids to eat their veggies, research shows pressuring kiddos doesn’t really work . To help ease your worry, focus on balance instead of specific foods or nutrients. When you zoom out and look at a week, most toddlers at this age eat a fairly balanced diet.
Tip #6: Optimize lunchtime for naptime success
It can feel a bit difficult to squeeze in a midday meal and still get your toddler sleeping by nap time. While it can feel tempting to forgo food for a nap, we don’t recommend it - at least not regularly.
Serving lunch before a nap helps to make sure your child doesn’t wake up early from their nap due to hunger. If it feels too hard to serve a full meal, try a split lunch with a smaller meal/snack before and another smaller meal/snack after naptime. Make sure to include some protein and/or fat to help keep your little one full.
Night feedings from 19 to 23 month olds
At 19 - 23 months, toddlers typically do not need night feedings. Be sure to offer sufficient calories and opportunities to eat throughout the day to help them sleep well at night. If your family eats dinner earlier or you find your toddler is constantly hungry at bedtime, you may offer a small bedtime snack about 30 minutes before bed. Choose a mix of protein and carbohydrates like milk and fruit or toast with peanut butter. If your child still wakes up hungry at night, talk with your pediatrician.
Feeding a 19 - 23 month old toddler is exciting, but can test your patience at times! Kids at this age are testing their limits and independence, even with food, so do your best to still follow positive feeding practices. Keep in mind they are still relatively new eaters, so keep safety at the top of your mind!
19 to 23 month olds feeding schedule FAQ
Q: How often should 19 - 23 month olds eat?
19 - 23 month olds should eat about every three hours or so. This helps to ensure they eat enough calories throughout the day as they have small stomachs. Continue to offer food on a schedule every two to three hours even if they don’t eat.
Q: How long between feeds can a 19 - 23 month olds go?
A 19 - 23 month old can likely go about three to four hours between eating. It may be more if they are napping or may be less if they are going through a growth spurt. Keep in mind that kids at this age have a variable appetite and may eat a lot during one meal and barely anything the next.
Q: Can you drop night feeds at 19 - 23 month olds?
Yes, most toddlers at 19 - 23 months do not need night feeds. They should be able to eat sufficient calories during the day. If your child is waking up hungry at night, talk with your healthcare provider.
Q: Why is my 19 - 23 month old eating less than usual?
At 19 - 23 months, your toddler’s appetite will vary greatly from meal to meal and from day to day. So there is no reason to be concerned if your toddler is eating less than usual for a short period of time. They may also be uncomfortable due to teething or illness.
Q: Is 30 oz of milk too much for a 19 - 23 month olds?
Yes, typically 30 oz is too much milk for a 19 - 23 month old. If you are serving cow’s milk or another milk alternative, you may be wondering how much is too much for the day. It’s best to stick to no more than 16 - 24 oz a day, so you don’t crowd out other important foods.
Q: Will my toddler get the nutrients they need from milk alternatives like oat milk?
Milk alternatives, such as soy, almond, or oat milk are not nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk but still can fit into a balanced diet. Most are lower in fat and protein than whole cow’s milk as well as lower in micronutrients like calcium and vitamin D if they aren’t fortified. If milk alternatives work for your family, be sure to make up for the missing nutrients with other foods.
Q: Should my kid be drinking whole milk or is skim milk okay?
Unless otherwise recommended by your healthcare provider, toddlers should drink whole milk until they are two years old. Their bodies need the fat for proper growth and development. After their second birthday, you may switch to low-fat milk if your family prefers.
Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.
Scaglioni, S., Cosmi, V. D., Ciappolino, V., Parazzini, F., Brambilla, P., & Agostoni, C. (2018). Factors Influencing Children’s Eating Behaviours. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024598/#B28-nutrients-10-00706
Lumeng, J. C., Miller, A. L., Appugliese, D., Rosenblum, K., & Kaciroti, N. (2018). Picky eating, pressuring feeding, and growth in toddlers. Appetite. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666317308784