Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Plate for Preschoolers

My Plate for Preschoolers
One important part of helping your child develop healthy eating habits is serving them appropriate portion sizes. Why does size matter? Obesity among preschoolers aged 2-5 years has more than doubled since the mid 1970s. Large food portions are thought to contribute to these trends by causing children to overeat at meals.
MyPlate was developed by the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) to help children “eat well, be active, and be healthy.” MyPlate (
) shows the types of foods and proportions that preschoolers should eat each day to get the energy, vitamins, and minerals that they need. For example, fruits and vegetables should cover about half of the child’s plate.
The average preschooler will need somewhere between 1200-1600 calories each day. A fairly active preschooler will get a healthy balance of nutrients from eating the following:

Food Group
        Serving per day*
1.5 cups
1.5 cups
5 oz
Meat or Meat alternative
4 oz
2.5 cups
*Based on 1400 kcal needs of a moderately active 3 to 5-year-old child; actual needs will vary from child to child

What does this mean for preschooler portion sizes at snacks and meals?
There are many different ways to help preschoolers meet these recommendations each day. For instance, on one day a child might meet their recommended 1 ½ cup of fruit by eating a banana strawberry smoothie at breakfast and some grapes at lunch. On another day, it might be a ½ cup of orange juice at breakfast, a ½ cup of applesauce at lunch, and a ½ cup of pears at snack.

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