A healthy child begins with balanced meals that include foods from all the food groups. Children need foods in the proper portions to provide them with the energy and nutrients to grow and have a healthy and strong body.
A healthy meal plan consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner and one or two healthy snacks. Because your child is growing and developing, three healthy meals a day are especially important.
Our summary meal plan guidelines are based on the USDA guidelines. If you have any questions about the proper nutrition for your child, please consult your pediatrician or family dietitian.
Calories give children energy and comes from the food your child eats. A child's energy requirements vary depending on age, gender, height, weight, activity level and growth rate. If you are not sure how many calories your child needs, your pediatrician or dietitian can help you determine your child's calorie needs.
But calories are just one part of the equation. The proper portion sizes and healthy food choices from each of the food groups are all part of a healthy, balanced meal.
You may not be sure what calorie amount is recommended for your child. We are here to help. Find calorie and food group recommendations for your child. See all our nutrition education printables for preschool and elementary school children!