Nutrition guidelines for young children

Nutrition guidelines for young children

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Toddlers develop curiosity about food and master new eating skills as they grow. Certain foods are more appropriate at certain ages, and every child has unique dietary needs (and preferences). To make sure your child gets enough of all the right stuff, see these tips for healthy snacks and meals, and follow the guidelines below.

Nutrition for toddlers

Where should those building-block calories come from? Ideally from a diet rich in grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and lean meat. (A few calories may sneak in as fats and sweets too.)

Here's a quick overview of what your child needs every day from each food group. Keep in mind that these are estimates, and your child may need more or less depending on how active she is or whether she's still breastfeeding. Your child's doctor can answer any questions you have about your child's diet.


Grains come in two types – whole grains and refined grains. Products made from whole grains contain the entire grain kernel and have more fiber, iron, and B vitamins than refined grains. Examples of whole grains are whole wheat flour and bread, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.

Refined grains have been processed to give them a finer texture and a longer shelf life. Refined grain products include white flour and bread, white rice, and most kinds of pasta.

Some foods are made from both whole grains and refined grains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends getting at least half of your grains from whole grains.

How much toddlers need daily: At least 1 1/2 ounce equivalents of grain.

How much is in an ounce of grains: An ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.

Examples of the daily requirement:

  • 1/2 cup of cereal for breakfast, one slice of bread for lunch.
  • 1/2 cup (one packet instant) oatmeal for breakfast, three whole wheat crackers for snack.
  • One 3-inch pancake for breakfast, one slice of bread for lunch.


Over the course of a week, try to serve your child lots of different-colored vegetables – dark green broccoli, light green beans, orange carrots, red tomatoes, and so on. That way you'll be sure he's getting all the nutrients each vegetable has to offer.

How much toddlers need daily: 2 to 3 tablespoons.

Examples of the daily requirement:

  • 1 tablespoon cooked chopped broccoli trees for lunch, 1 or 2 tablespoons cooked beets mashed or chopped into small pieces for dinner.
  • 1/4 cup carrot juice for lunch or snack, 1 tablespoon mashed potato for dinner.
  • Two or three sweet potato fries for lunch, 1 tablespoon mashed peas for dinner.


Frozen and canned fruit is just as healthy as fresh fruit as long as it's packed in water or juice with no added sugar or syrup. Choose fruit over fruit juice because it contains fiber that juice doesn't have. Plus, juice often has added sugar.

How much toddlers need daily: 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

How much is in a cup of fruit: A cup of fruit equals 1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit; 1/2 cup dried fruit; 1/2 of a large apple; one 8- or 9-inch banana; and one medium (4-inch diameter) grapefruit.

Examples of the daily requirement:

  • 1/4 cup applesauce for snack, half a banana (cut up or mashed) for lunch.
  • 1/4 cup grapes (cut in quarters) for a snack and four large strawberries (cut into 1/2-inch pieces) for dessert
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple for breakfast, one 4-ounce snack container of drained, chopped peaches (in water or juice) for snack or dessert.


If your child is no longer breastfeeding after her first birthday, she'll need cow's milk or other dairy products to help get enough calcium and protein. Children younger than 2 need to stick to full-fat dairy products. After their second birthday, children can begin switching to low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

How much toddlers need daily: About 1 to 1 1/2 cups.

How much is in a cup of dairy: A cup of dairy can be 1 cup milk, yogurt, or soy milk; 1 1/2 ounces, two slices, or 1/3 cup shredded hard cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, or Parmesan; 2 ounces processed (American) cheese; 1/2 cup ricotta cheese; 2 cups cottage cheese; 1 cup pudding made with milk; or 1 1/2 cups ice cream.

Examples of the daily requirement:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk for breakfast, one slice of cheddar cheese for lunch, 1/2 cup whole milk for dinner.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk for breakfast, 1/2 cup yogurt for lunch or snack, 1/2 cup whole milk for dinner.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk for breakfast, 1/2 cup yogurt for lunch, 1/2 cup ice cream for dessert.


Meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, and nuts and seeds are all protein foods. (Beans and peas are also part of the vegetable food group.) Unless you're raising a vegetarian child, try to serve seafood at least twice a week.

How much toddlers need daily: About two ounce equivalents.

How much is in an ounce of protein: An ounce of meat, fish, or poultry; one egg; 1 tablespoon of nut butter; 1/4 cup of cooked beans; and 1/8 cup of tofu all equal one ounce equivalent of protein.

Examples of the daily requirement:

  • One egg for breakfast, 1/4 cup cooked, mashed black beans for dinner.
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (spread thinly on bread or crackers) for lunch, 1 ounce tuna for dinner.
  • One slice turkey for lunch, 1/4 cup cooked lentils for dinner.

Watch the video: Nutrition and Mental Health - The Scientific Evidence. Professor Lorraine Brennan (July 2022).


  1. Tuzshura

    Fine, I and thought.

  2. Akit

    I consider, that the theme is rather interesting. Give with you we will communicate in PM.

  3. Sanderson

    Someone was not able to do it)))

  4. Rans

    I'm sorry, but we can't do anything.

  5. Zoloshura

    I will attend just what is necessary.

  6. Lewis

    Agree, the remarkable sentence

Write a message