The kinds of food your preschooler eats and drinks are important for his or her health. Fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy provide the nutrients that their bodies need. Keep an eye on the amount of added sugars, sodium, and saturated (solid) fat.
- Fruits – Let your preschooler enjoy a variety of whole or bite-sized fruits such as apples, sliced bananas, and mandarin orange pieces. Serve 100% fruit juice in small amounts and less often.
- Vegetables – Prepare red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli as part of your child’s meals and snacks.
- Grains – Make at least half their grains whole grains by offering 100% whole-grain cereals, breads, and pasta.
- Protein Foods – Choose a variety of protein foods such as seafood, beans, and small portions of meat or poultry.
- Dairy – Give them low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese to provide much needed calcium.
- Encourage water instead of fruit juice or sugary drinks – Too much 100% juice or sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice drinks, or sport drinks, can add more calories than your child needs.
- Check out the sodium (salt) in canned foods, bread, and frozen meals – Read the Nutrition Facts label to find foods with lower numbers.
- Watch the amount of saturated fats in foods – Cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausages, and hot dogs are okay sometimes but not every day.