Last week, I told you that the USDA recommends most toddlers eat about 1000 calories per day, broken down according to the chart below.
According to that chart, your toddler should eat 3 ounces of grains per day, and half of those should be whole grains (including whole grain cereals and breads, popcorn, brown rice, and other un-hulled grains). 1 ounce of grains is usually equivalent to:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 cup of cold cereal
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
According to that chart, your toddler should eat 1 cup of vegetables per day. These should be easy to get into your toddler's diet, as all of the following count:
- 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables
- 1 cup 100% vegetable juice
- 2 cups leafy vegeables
According to that chart, your toddler should eat 1 cup of fruits per day. These, too, should be easy to get into your toddler's diet. All of the following count as 1 cup of fruit:
- 1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
- 1 cup of 100% no sugar added fruit juice
- 1/2 cup dried fruit
According to that chart, your toddler should eat 2 cups of milk products per day. 1 cup of milk is usually equivalent to:
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 1.5 ounces of natural cheese
- 2 ounces or processed cheese
According to that chart, your toddler should eat 2 ounces of meat and beans per day. 1 ounce of meat or beans is equivalent to:
- 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
- 1/4 cooked dry beans
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1/2 ounce nuts and seeds
Next week in Grace's Kitchen, I'll give you some more concrete examples of how to work these foods into your toddler's diet.
Grace's Kitchen Friends
Please join in Grace's Kitchen Friends! To play along, all you have to do is fill out Mr. Linky below. (If Mr. Linky isn't there, leave your link in the comments.) You can link up any post that talks about kids and food:
- feeding kids
- cooking with kids
- play with food or play kitchens
- crafts with or about food
- and probably a lot of other kids and food things I can't think of now.
I'm easy like that, Dear Reader. The only thing I ask is that you link back here to Grace's Kitchen Friends in your post. I can't wait to see what your kids are doing!
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