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Healthy Growth & Weight for Toddlers


toddler boy with toque playing on deck



What's a healthy weight for a toddler? And how can you help your child maintain a healthy weight for life?

Here's some advice - and some general guidelines on typical weights by age and height.

Parents are often concerned about their child's growth. You can help your toddler stay at a healthy weight by combining healthy food with physical activity . If you have concerns, keep track of your child's growth and speak to your physician, public health nurse or dietitian.

To help your toddler maintain a healthy weight:

  • Breastfeed until your toddler is 24 months and older.
  • Offer regular meals and snacks with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For more information on healthy eating, click here.
  • Trust that your toddler will eat the amount of food that he needs. A healthy eating relationship is one where you provide the what, when and where and your toddler decides how much and whether to eat.
  • Don't force a toddler to eat or punish him for not eating. 
  • Toddlers do not need juice. 100% unsweetened fruit juice is nutritious, but high in natural sugar, calories and acid. Limit their intake to 125 mL (1/2 cup) daily. 
  • Provide water only between meals and snack times.
  • Be physically active with your toddler every day. To learn more about physical activity for your toddler, click here.
  • Limit the amount of time your toddler spends in front of the TV or other media to a maximum of one hour a day or, better yet, not at all.

Healthy Weights for Kids: Children who were overweight at 24 months are more likely to be overweight at 12 years than are normal weight children of the same age. Help your toddler learn healthy eating and physical activity habits. 

Toddler Weight

Watching your toddler grow can be amazing. Between the ages of 12 and 24 months, the rate of growth will slow, but your toddler will continue gaining weight and getting taller.

Your healthcare provider should measure your toddler's weight and head size regularly and use a growth chart to track your child's development.

Once they start walking, toddlers develop more muscle in their legs and arms and lose some fat around the face and tummy. This makes them look less like a baby and more like a young child.

Here are some general guidelines for growth from 12 to 60 months:

Between 24-60 months (2-5 years) children gain an average of 1.5-2.5 kg (3.3-5.5 lb.) If you are concerned about your toddler’s growth, talk to your doctor or public health nurse. 
Age Weight Length/Height
12 months Birth weight has usually increased by 2.5-3 times  Average growth is 25.5 cm (10 in.) in length since birth
12-24 months An average of 1.4-2.3 kg (3-5 lb.) of weight is gained Average growth is 7-12 cm (3-5 in.) 
24-60 months Between 24-60 months (2-5 years) children gain an average of 1.5-2.5 kg (3.3-5.5 lb.) Average growth is about 8 cm (3 in.) between 24-60 months (2-5 years)

Your Toddler's Growth

For more information about your toddler’s growth and growth charts, see the resource Is My Child Growing Well?

Childhood Obesity

In Canada, the percentage of children who are overweight or obese has more than doubled in the past 20 years. About a third of Canadian children are overweight, and about half of these children are considered obese. Help your child learn to live a healthy life and reduce the risk of obesity.

Resources and Links:

Interactive Tool: What Is Your Child's BMI? 

Last Updated: August 12, 2013