Nutritional guidelines for your kids


Here's what they need to eat on a daily basis to make sure they meet their nutritional requirements:

  • 2 to 3 cups of milk (or 1 /2 oz cheese or 1 /2 cup yogurt for each 1/ 2 cup milk)
  • 2 servings of meat of one to two ounces each (or an egg, peanut butter, tofu, legumes)
  • 4 to 5 one quarter cup servings of vegetables and fruits (that's one small apple, a half of a banana, three carrots sticks, mashed potatoes, four or five strawberries, a half cup of juice) Be sure to serve vitamin C rich foods daily, and a good source of vitamin A at least three to four times a week)
  • 4 servings of grain foods ( 1 slice bread, 1 /2 cup pasta, 5 saltines, 1 /2 cup cooked cereal)

Have set mealtimes. Make sure your child is hungry when she comes to the table, that way she's not only more inclined to eat, she's more apt to enjoy the food. Develop strategies to help your child wait to eat, even when she's hungry. Keep her away from where the food is being prepared if necessary. Perhaps Dad can read a favorite story why you get the meal on the table?

Eating skills are still being developed. It's inevitable that she'll spill on occasion, and leave a mess around her plate. The less you criticize the better off she'll be. Studies show that kids do less well nutritionally the more they are criticized. That doesn't mean you can't set reasonable limits and expectations. Certain behaviors just don't belong at the table.

Food away from home: By now your child is probably spending significant parts of the day away from home, either in preschool or elementary school. School lunches can be good or bad, or somewhere in between. Count yourself lucky if you are pleased with the quality of the food your child is offered.


10 healthy lunchbox meals:

  1. Tuna salad in a pita
    Small container of applesauce
    Cheese cubes
  2. Corn bread with honey
    Thermos of soup
    Small apple
  3. Tortilla wrapped around cheese sticks
    Sliced kiwi
  4. Cottage cheese and banana on whole wheat bread
    Green pepper strips
  5. Hard boiled egg
    Cream cheese on pumpkin bread
    Orange sections
  6. Soup in a thermos
    Crackers and cheese
    Box of raisins
  7. Peanut butter on banana bread
    Cucumber coins
    Small yogurt
  8. Bagel with cream cheese
    Orange juice
    Veggie sticks
  9. Cheese and apple slices on cinnamon raisin bread
    Baby carrots
  10. Bran muffin
    Small fruit yogurt

Article Reviewed: August 29, 2001

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