Food Groups with Serving Suggestions

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Food Groups with Serving Suggestions

Mental Health
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Growth and Nutrition
Food Groups with Serving Suggestions
Food Groups with Serving Suggestions
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Feed your child the right foods in the right amounts.
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InteliHealth
2008-03-11
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2010-03-11
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Food Groups with Serving Suggestions

Breads, cereals, grains and pasta

Breads, cereals, grains and pasta consist largely of carbohydrates (special types of complex sugars), which are excellent sources of energy. Choose products made from whole grain, which contain more nutrients and fiber, rather than refined (more processed) products. For example, choose 100% whole-wheat bread instead of wheat bread or white bread. Also choose products that are low in sugar and salt. For example, serve graham crackers instead of doughnuts, and serve unsweetened cereals instead of sugar-coated cereals.

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Fruits

Fruits, excellent sources of vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals and fiber, are favorites among children of all ages. Suggestions include apples, bananas, nectarines, peaches, pears, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons, mango, kiwi, plums, and dried fruits such as apricots, dates, prunes, and raisins.

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Vegetables

Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), minerals and fiber. However, many children do not eat the recommended number of servings of vegetables each day. To ensure that children do eat their vegetables, it is best for parents to set a good example and use creativity in preparing the vegetables. Vegetables can be served with sauces and dips, and blended into other foods (pizza, spaghetti sauce, casseroles).Suggestions for children include sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, other greens, bell peppers, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, corn on the cob and asparagus.

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Dairy

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium and protein. Milk also contains vitamin D, which is important for getting enough calcium into our bodies. Calcium can be found in nondairy products such as fortified soy milk, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, turnip greens) and calcium-fortified orange juice. If your child does not eat dairy products, speak with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure that your child is getting enough of these nutrients in other ways.

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Meat, poultry, fish and eggs

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are all excellent sources of protein, which supplies the amino acids (building blocks) necessary for the growth, repair and maintenance of all parts of our bodies. These important amino acids can also be obtained by eating a variety of plant-based foods, including grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and vegetables. For example, one of the best plant-based sources for amino acids is soybean (found in tofu, tempeh, nondairy cheeses and other products) because soy protein is considered nutritionally equivalent to the protein found in meat. If your child does not eat any meat, poultry, fish or eggs, speak with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure that your child is getting enough protein from plant-based foods.Note that one-half cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons peanut butter or 4 ounces of tofu have approximately the same protein content as 1 ounce of lean meat. Last updated March 11, 2008

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Food Servings for 5 and 6 years (6-8 Servings/Day) Servings for 7 to 10 years (6-8 Servings/Day)
bread one-half to 1 slice 1 slice
cereal, dry one-third to three-quarter cup three-quarters to 1 cup
cereal, cooked one-third to one-half cup one-half cup
crackers 4 to 5 5 to 8
pasta one-third to one-half cup one-half cup
rice, brown or white one-third to one-half cup one-half cup
bagels one-half to 1 1
English muffin one-half to 1 1
Food Servings for 5 and 6 years (6-8 Servings/Day) Servings for 7 to 10 years (6-8 Servings/Day)
fresh fruit one-half to 1 piece 1 piece
canned or cooked fruit one-half cup one-half cup
dried fruit one-quarter to one-half cup one-half cup
fruit juice one-half cup (4 ounces) one-half cup (4 ounces)
Food Servings for 5 and 6 years (2-3 Servings/Day) Servings for 7 to 10 years (2-3 Servings/Day)
cooked vegetables one-quarter to one-half cup one-half cup
raw vegetables one-quarter to one-half cup one-half cup
salad one-half to 1 cup 1 cup
vegetable juice one-quarter to one-half cup (2-4 ounces) one-half cup (4 ounces)
Food Servings for 5 and 6 years (2 Servings/Day) Servings for 7 to 10 years (2 Servings/Day)
milk, low-fat or nonfat one cup (8 ounces) one cup (8 ounces)
cheese 1 to 1.5 ounces 1.5 ounces
yogurt, low-fat or nonfat three-quarters to 1 cup (6 to 8 ounces) 1 cup (8 ounces)
Food Servings for 5 and 6 years (2 Servings/Day) Servings for 7 to 10 years (2 Servings/Day)
fish 2 ounces 2 to 3 ounces
poultry 2 ounces 2 to 3 ounces
beef and pork 2 ounces 2 to 3 ounces
ground meat 2 ounces 2 to 3 ounces
tofu 8 ounces (protein content varies with type) 8 ounces (protein content varies with type)
cooked dry beans one-half to 1 cup one-half to 1 cup
eggs 1 to 2 1 to 2
peanut butter 2 to 4 tablespoons 2 to 4 tablespoons
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children,serving sizes,calcium,vitamin
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dmtChildGuide
Last updated March 11, 2008


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