It can be hard a lot of times to know what we as adults need in our diets, but it only gets more complicated trying to figure that out for kids. Have you ever wondered how much food that tiny preschooler body really needs? Are they lacking essential nutrients or eating too much? Worry not! There are a lot of awesome resources about child nutrition. So check out this helpful information from the USDA that we gathered for you, including a daily food plan for preschoolers.
Food Groups and Healthy Eating
Before going into the food plan, meet the food groups! A balanced diet is important for kids health so let’s see a few examples of food from the food groups they need.
- Fruit: banana, apple, grapes, orange, cantaloupe, strawberry
- Vegetables: spinach, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, corn, tomatoes
- Grains: bread, crackers, oatmeal, pancakes, rice, pasta, tortillas (at least 50% of grains should be 100% wheat)
- Protein: meat, eggs, seafood, poultry, beans and peas, nuts and seeds
- Dairy: milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese (choose fat free or low-fat dairy products)
Daily Food Plan
Now let’s translate all that into everyday life. Here are some ideas of patterns and menus! It’s also a good idea to involve kids in the cooking process when appropriate. On top of stimulating their senses and practicing coordination, kids are most likely to enjoy the meal if they are part of making it happen. Check out the KidsCreate website for kid-friendly recipes and more resources.
To download the PDFs and printable versions of the graphics, please visit ChooseMyPlate.org.