Preschool Nutrition

by Christine Steendahl - Date: 2007-03-08 - Word Count: 404 Share This!

The guidelines that are set by the USDA "MyPyramid" provide a detailed nutrition program for preschool aged children. This nutrition program emphasize the importance of healthy eating by combining all food groups in a daily menu plan. Teaching children the value of a healthy eating plan early in their life will insure that they acquire good eating habits that will last a lifetime.

Establishing healthy eating habits for preschoolers includes modeling their eating habits at home so that when they enter the school environment, they can make healthy choices.

The guidelines for a nutritious healthy eating plan for toddlers include the 5 major food groups as part of a daily diet. Each food group contributes specific nutrients to the diet. These nutrients are necessary for children's growth and development.

1) Bread and Grains: 6 servings a day

These foods provide energy for activity and growth. Children should consume some whole grain products. At least half of the grains consumed should be in the form of whole-grain cereals and sandwiches made with whole wheat bread. Check the ingredients on the product label to insure that the product is in fact made with "whole wheat."

2) Milk & Milk Products: 3-4 servings a day

These products provide needed calcium for strong teeth and bones. Children from 2 to 8 years of age should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or an equivalent in milk products.

3) Fruits - 2 servings per day

The number of fruits children should eat is determined by their calorie needs. But the base requirement as outlined in the food pyramid for this age group is at least 2 fruit servings per day.

4) Vegetables - 3 servings a day

Vegetables provide the important vitamins and minerals to protect eyesight and the body's immune system.

5) Meats, Beans & Nuts: 2 servings per day

Meats, beans & nuts provide protein and iron to form muscles.

Parents should limit the intake of high saturated fats or salt (sodium) in the toddler's diet to reduce the risk of high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Total fat intake should be limited to 30 and 35 percent of calories for children ages 2 to 3 years, and between 25 and 35 percent of calories for children and adolescents from the age of 4 to 18.

Most fats should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Help the toddler make smart choices: replace sugary snacks with healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Related Tags: kids nutrition, nutrition for kids, preschool nutrition, nutrition for preschoolers

Do you need Kid-Friendly Recipes? Christine Steendahl - "The Menu Mom" invites you to visit Kid Approved Meals ( to pick up your personal 13 week breakfast and lunch menu designed just for children!

Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: