Nutritional Needs for Kids 3-7

Children ages 3-7 should have the following each day:

  • 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, 1 to 2 ounces each (or an egg, peanut butter, tofu, legumes)
  • 4 to 5 1/4-cup servings of vegetables and fruits (one small apple, half a banana, three carrot sticks, mashed potatoes, four or five strawberries, a half cup of juice). 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)
  • Some good-habit-forming ideas:
  • Have set mealtimes.
  • Have reasonable expectations without being critical.
  • Have control over what your kids eat away from home. Here are a dozen healthy school lunch suggestions:
    1. Pita with tuna salad, small applesauce, cheese cubes
    2. Peanut butter, bagel, cantaloupe pieces
    3. Cheese and apple slices on raisin bread, baby carrots
    4. Corn bread with honey, thermos of soup, small apple
    5. Cottage cheese and banana on whole wheat, green pepper strips
    6. Bran muffin, small fruited yogurt, strawberries
    7. Tortilla wrapped around cheese sticks, sliced kiwi
    8. Hard-boiled egg, cream cheese on pumpkin bread, orange segments
    9. Peanut-butter-and-jam squares, carrot sticks, fruit
    10. Peanut butter on banana bread, cucumber coins, small yogurt
    11. Thermos of soup, cheese and crackers, box of raisins
    12. Cream cheese on bagel, orange juice, veggie sticks
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