Food Pyramid & Project M.O.M.
|Evenflo Smart Steps is a proud partner in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid.gov Corporate Challenge and Project M.O.M initiatives, which are dedicated to improving family nutrition, ending childhood obesity, and transforming the way American
Project M.O.M adapted the Food Pyramid to fit the nutritional needs of preschoolers – toddlers 2-5 years of age. See below for helpful information and advice for each different food category to help balance your toddler's nutrition from MyPyramid.gov.
Help your preschooler learn to eat and enjoy whole grains.
Include them often in meals and snacks. In general, at least half of all grains eaten should be whole grains.
Eating grains, such as whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta provides nutrients and health benefits. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a lower risk of some chronic diseases. Many preschoolers don’t eat enough fiber, and whole grain foods are an easy way to get fiber into your child’s diet.
What foods are whole grains?
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Help your preschooler learn to eat and enjoy a variety of vegetables.
Vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that help your child grow and stay healthy. It is common for preschoolers to dislike or refuse some vegetables.
Encourage your child to try vegetables and eat them yourself. There are many types of vegetables to choose from. For example, try a new dark green or orange vegetable. Learn more about helping your child enjoy new vegetables. Vegetables may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. Do vegetables bring out the picky eater in your preschooler? Learn more about picky eating. (link to picky eating page)
Eating vegetables provides long term health benefits. People who include vegetables in an overall healthy diet have lower risks of developing some chronic diseases. Include vegetables in meals and snacks every day.
Help your preschooler learn to eat and enjoy a variety of fruits.
Eating fruit provides a variety of health benefits. Fruits contain many vitamins and minerals that help your child grow and stay healthy. People who eat more fruits in an overall healthy diet have lower risks of some chronic diseases.
Include fruits in meals and snacks every day. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. Choose canned fruits packed in juice instead of syrup.
Fruit juice does not contain the fiber that is in whole and cut-up fruits. Serve your preschooler no more than ½ cup to 3/4 cup (4 to 6 ounces) of juice a day. Choose 100% fruit juice — check the label to be sure.
Help your preschooler consume and enjoy milk and milk products.
Milk and milk products provide health benefits ― like building and maintaining strong, dense bones. They are important parts of your child’s food intake. Include low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products in meals and snacks for your child every day. If you think your preschooler may be lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, check with your child’s doctor to be sure.
Now is the time to switch your preschooler from drinking whole to low-fat or fat-free milk. Kids that are two years and older can drink low-fat and fat-free milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as whole milk or 2% milk, but less saturated fat and calories. Foods high in saturated fat tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. Fat-free milk is also called skim milk and low-fat milk is also called 1% milk.
Meat and Beans Group:
Help your child learn to eat and enjoy a variety of foods from this food group.
Eating foods in the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds group provides nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your preschooler’s body. For example, all kids need protein to help them grow.
Do meat and beans bring out the picky eater in your preschooler? Learn more about picky eating.
Choose foods from the meat & beans group that are low in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. Include a variety of lean meat and poultry choices in your meals. Include fish and cooked dry beans in meals often.
For more information on the MyPyramid program visit the official MyPyramid page for Preschoolers at: www.mypyramid.gov/preschoolers