Photo by roxysmommy
Toddler moms are usually so preoccupied with trying to get those fussy kids to eat anything at all, that we sometimes don't concern ourselves with the proportion or variety of foods they should be eating every day for optimal health. But it's still good to be aware of your child's nutritional goals, even if you only meet them some of the time.
Here's a really cool resource to bookmark: the food pyramid for preschoolers.
The tool, from the same folks at the USDA who give us the adult food pyramid, crafted this one specifically for 2 to 5 year olds. You just plug in your child's gender, age, and level of daily physical activity. It's pretty cool. I just tried it for my 3-year-old, and here's what I found out:
My daughter, who gets about an hour of physical exercise a day, should eat 4 ounces of grains, 1.5 cups of vegetables, 1 cup of fruit, 2 cups of milk and 3 ounces of meat and beans.
Wow, seems like I was forcing my daughter to drink way too much milk! And one cup of fruit a day really isn't that hard to do.
Try it for your kids, and let me know what you find out about their diet. Are you pretty much on target? Do you think this will help you plan meals?