Red River Public Schools has posted information on the role nutrition plays in a child’s growth and development.
Research indicates that 90% of an individual’s brain development occurs between birth and 5 years, and that the first 2 years of life is vital for overall healthy growth and development. Starting good nutrition practices in a child’s early years can help them develop healthy dietary patterns as they get older.
Following are the 5-food groups and typical minimum servings for your child per healthychildren.org. This is a great place to start!
- Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 3/4 cup of vegetable juice, or 1/2 cup of other vegetables, chopped raw or cooked.
- Fruits: 2-4 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1/2 cup of sliced fruit, 3/4 cup of fruit juice, or a medium-size whole fruit, like an apple, banana, or pear.
- Bread, cereal, or pasta: 6-11 servings per day. Each serving should equal 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of rice or pasta, or 1 ounce of cereal.
- Protein foods: 2-3 servings of 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish per day. A serving in this group may also consist of 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, one egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for each ounce of lean meat.
- Dairy products: 2-3 servings per day of 1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese.