Food groups for kids

The Five Food Groups for Kids

WHAT DO KIDS NEED, AND HOW MUCH?

Kids need to eat a wide variety of foods to get the nutrients essential to their health. A good rule of thumb is to make sure every meal contains at least three of the five food groups, and every snack contains at least two groups. Knowing your way around the five groups is a great way to be sure you’re making the most of every meal and snack.

The Five Food Groups: Recommended Daily Servings for Children

2 to 3 Years*

4 to 8 Years*

9 to 13 Years*

Food Choices

Grains (oz)

3

4 (girls)
5 (boys)

5 (girls)
6 (boys)

1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal = 1 ounce

Vegetables (c)

1

1 (girls)
1-1/2 (boys)

2 (girls)
2-1/2 (boys)

1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens = 1 cup

Fruits (c)

1

1-1/2

1-1/2

1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit = 1 cup

Milk/Dairy (c)

2

2

3

1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese = 1 cup

Meat/Beans (oz)

2

3 (girls)
4 (boys)

5

1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish, 1/4 cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds = 1 ounce
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