Food Facts

Did You Know…?
 
Vegetables

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. 

STEPS

Fruit

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!

STEPS

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.

Beverages

  • 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.

Grains

  • 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

Meals

  • 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.choosemyplate.gov/
 
To test how well your food choices will meet your recommendations try the Mypyramid Blast Off Game:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/multimedia/Games/Blastoff/BlastOff_Game.html
 

Steps for Kids


 

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