Did You Know…?
Children over 5 years old should eat about 1.5 to 2 cups of vegetables everyday. 1 cup of vegetables is the equivalent of:
- 12 baby carrots,
- 1 medium potato
- 1 large baked sweet potato
- 1 large ear of corn
- 2 cups of spinach, romaine, watercress, dark green leafy lettuce, endive, & escarole
- 1 cup cooked vegetables (broccoli, carrots, squash, peas, etc.)
- 2 11-12” celery stalks
- Frozen vegetables have the same nutritional value as fresh, just be sure they don’t have added salt.
Children over 5 years old should eat about 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit everyday. 1 cup of fruit is the equivalent of:
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- 32 grapes
- 1 orange
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 8 strawberries
- 3 medium plums or 2 large plums
- ½ cup raisins/prunes/dried fruits
Choose canned fruits that are packed in natural juices!
Milk and Milk Equivalents
Children over 5 years old should consume 2-3 cups or equivalent of milk everyday. 1 cup of milk or milk equivalent is equal to:
- 1 ½ oz hard cheeses (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss)
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese
- 2 oz processed cheese (American)
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 cup milk, lactose free milk, or soy milk
- 8oz yogurt
After two years of age everyone should be drinking low fat or non fat milk.
If you are used to whole milk, try 2% first and then gradually work your way down to 1% or even skim.
- Sugar sweetened beverages should be consumed in moderation, not on an everyday basis.
- Instead try carbonated, calorie free water, or a low-calorie fitness water.
- The average person needs to consume about 48-64 ounces of water per day.
- Fill two 32oz water bottles and take one with you when you are out and keep one in the fridge at home so cold, refreshing water is always on hand.
- The current recommendation is that at least half of all grains should be whole grains.
- For most people at least 3 ounces of grains eaten should be whole grains.
- Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel - the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Examples of whole grains:
- Whole-wheat flour
- Bulgur Wheat
- Oatmeal, barley, & rye
- Whole cornmeal
- Whole grain rice
1 ounce of grain equals:
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of oatmeal/ cooked cereal
- ½ cup of pasta/rice
- It’s important to not skip meals. If you do it regularly, your body begins to recognize that it is not being fed and stops breaking down food as quickly.
- Breakfast should be eaten every morning to help meet your daily nutritional needs.
- It’s a good way to jump start your day.
- Eating breakfast gives you energy for school.
- Lunch should be eaten every day to help you meet your daily nutritional needs.
To find out your own personal meal plan check out http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx
To test how well your food choices will meet your recommendations try the Mypyramid Blast Off Game: