What to Feed Kids Every Day

Strike a balance between what your child should be eating and what he's actually eating. Our take-your-pick menu planner gives you plenty of wiggle room.
grains

Not everything on your kid's plate has to be a superfood. But children need at least a couple of servings daily from each of the five main food groups: grains, healthy fats, fruits and veggies, dairy, and protein. Find out exactly how much your child needs based on her age, see what counts as a portion, and learn why you should bother.

GRAINS

At least half of your kids' grain servings should be the unrefined type -- like whole wheat or oats -- because they pack more vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber than their processed counterparts. These "whole" grains may also reduce your kids' risk of asthma, diabetes, and, later in life, heart disease. If your family is having trouble making the transition, look for breads and pastas made with a mix of whole and refined grains. Your kids may not notice the difference. Still, it's okay for kids to have regular pasta or white bread sometimes.

HOW MANY SERVINGS EACH DAY

Toddlers (age 2): 3

Preschoolers (ages 3-4): 3-5

School-age Kids (ages 5-8): 5

WHAT'S IN A SERVING

1/2 cup cooked whole-grain pasta

3 cups popcorn (for kids 4 and up)

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1 6" whole-wheat or corn tortilla

50 whole-grain goldfish crackers

1 cup whole-grain cereal

1 slice whole-grain bread

1 mini whole-grain bagel

1 packet instant oatmeal

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