Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children

Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children
A Daily Guide for 2- to 8-Year-Olds

Make half your grains whole

• Look for the word "whole" in front of the grain name on the list of ingredients
Vary your vegetables

• Eat more dark vegetables
• Eat more orange vegetables
• Eat more dry beans and peas
Focus on fruits

• Eat a variety of fruits
• Choose fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit
• Go easy on fruit juices
Know your fats

• Make most of your fat sources from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils
• Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening, and lard
Get your calcium-rich foods

• Go low-fat or fat-free
• If you don't or can't consume milk, choose lactose-free products or other calcium sources
Meat & Beans
Go lean on protein

• Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry
• Bake it, broil it, or grill it
• Vary your sources with more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds

If allergies run in your family, you may want to delay the introduction of highly allergenic foods — like peanut butter, nuts, and fish — until your child is 3 or 4 years old.

Give your child a variety of foods in each of the food groups (bananas for one fruit serving, grapes for another; eggs for one protein serving, meat for another, for example). And offer whole or mixed-grain products for the majority of your child's grain servings each day.

Adapted with permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

Go to ParentCenter's nutrition guidelines for 2- to 4-year-olds or older kids to learn more about your child's eating habits.

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