parenting

A Mom’s Food Guide for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are usually hard to persuade in eating nutritious food. In this stage, you have to be creative in making your child consume healthy meals. Outsmarting your kid can be a challenge but you must also try to make it fun for both you. You don’t want your child to have a traumatic experience with his/her food intake in early childhood. To make it a little easier for you, here’s a food guide for your preschooler.

Food Preparation

It’s preferable to feed your child with food prepared in your own kitchen. Avoid frozen products and ready-made meals from fast food chains. Ask your kid about what kind of food to prepare by giving them healthy options. Introduce something new every day. You can also let your kid help you in basic tasks as well to promote his/her skills and abilities. During the preparation, you can explain to your kid the importance of eating the food you both prepared. Educate him/her on the advantages of healthy and nutritious meals. Share this beautiful learning experience with your little one.

Daily Meal Plan

You can prepare a daily meal plan in order to avoid stress in deciding what food to make for that certain meal. Attempt to make a variety of delicious recipes that are high in nutritional value. Here is a short food list you can mix and match which are advisable for each meal:

Breakfast: Wheat cereal with milk and fruits (complete meal), whole wheat muffin/whole wheat bread, egg with mayonnaise, tomato slices, a slice of cheese, Skim milk/1% milk, Water

Morning Snack: Fruit slices, Yogurt, Water

Lunch: Rice (small amount)/rice soup/bean soup/ wheat crackers, Meat (e.g. fish, chicken), vegetables and fruits (e.g. carrots, celery, and cucumber with dressing), Milk, Water

Afternoon Snack: Vegetables and fruits (carrot sticks, apple wedges, banana), Hummus, Water

Dinner: Rice (small amount)/Pasta, Meat (e.g. chicken, fish, shrimp), vegetables (side dish), Water

Before Bedtime: Fruit smoothie, Milk, Yogurt

Food Amount

Food Group Daily Amount of Food Serving
Ages 2-3 Ages 4-5
Grain Products (per oz.) 3 4-5
Fruits and Vegetables (per cup) 4 4-5
Meat and alternatives (per oz.) 2 3-4
Milk and alternatives (per cup) 2 2

 

Iron requirements

Iron is very important for toddlers because they are at risk for iron deficiency after 12 months of age. They are required to take 7 milligrams of iron each day. Avoid giving them cow’s milk because it is low in iron. Always remember to include iron-enriched food in your meal plans as well.

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