from kellymom (so you know you can trust it 😉
Between ages one and five, a child’s growth is in a decelerated stage; that is, they have slowed down in growth. Since growth slows down, their need for calories subsequently decreases, which in turn leads to a smaller quantity of food ingested per day. Added to the decelerated growth is a burgeoning independence which limits the variety of foods your child is willing to eat (“finicky eater”). Rest assured that toddlers do not need as much food as you might expect because of this slowing down of the growth rate. Three small meals and two snacks a day (and some will eat a good bit less) will probably be enough to fuel even the most active toddler. Please realize, too, that finicky eaters are the rule rather than the exception.