The Correct Serving Size of Fruit for Toddlers

Little Girl Picking Strawberries in the Summer
Light Artist Photography / Getty Images

Fruit has the good fortune of being one of the foods babies love most. This tends to spill over into the toddler years and as long as you aren't allowing a lot of sugary snacks and cereals, your child's love for fruit can go on indefinitely.

1 Cup Serving Size

1 cup of fruit can come in the form of:

  • 1 cup chopped or sliced pieces of any fruit (fresh, frozen, cooked or canned) like apples, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruit, fruit cocktail, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, strawberries, or watermelon
  • 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice
  • 1/2 large apple
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 large banana
  • 32 seedless grapes
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large peach
  • 2 canned peach halves
  • 3 medium plums
  • 2 large plums
  • 8 large strawberries
  • 1 1-inch thick wedge of watermelon
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit like raisins, prunes or apricots

Be Careful With Juice

The biggest problem most parents face when it comes to the fruit requirement is juice. Juices may be fortified with vitamin C, which is great, but they often come with added sugars, flavors, and they lack fiber, which is so important in a toddler's diet. Toddlers need fiber to keep their bowel movements soft and easy to pass. It also keeps them going regularly and helps prevent constipation which can cause potty training to grind to an unpleasant halt. If you choose juice for your toddler, try to keep it to 1/2 cup (4 ounces) per day.

Canned Fruit

Another issue involves canned fruit. It's often packed in sugar or corn syrup which can add unnecessary calories. Your toddler only needs about 1,000 calories each day and fruit is sweet enough without the adding sugars. Check the label and choose fruit that is packed in water, its own juice or other fruit juice with no sugar.

Watch for Choking Hazards

Be careful with fruits like grapes, raisins, and other dried fruits. These can pose a choking hazard and should be chopped up appropriately. If introducing fruit snacks like fruit leather or fruit chews, choose natural varieties with 100 percent fruit and few sugars and again, make sure that the pieces are small enough that your child will not choke. Fruit leathers and dried fruits can be chopped and soaked in warm water which makes them easier to chew and swallow. Add these to bread, oatmeal, yogurt, or pudding for a nice treat.

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition

By Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown is a parenting writer with experience in the Head Start program and in NAEYC accredited child care centers.