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K-State News
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Sidebar: What a child should eat

Friday, April 17, 2015


MANHATTAN — According to Tanda Kidd, associate professor of human nutrition and Extension specialist, and Paula Peters, associate professor of human nutrition and Extension assistant director, both at Kansas State University, a child from 2 to 5 years old needs:

• 3 to 5 ounces grains: One ounce equals one slice of bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal or 1/2 cup cook paste or cooked cereal. Offer your child whole grains, such as 100 percent whole wheat products, oatmeal, toasted oat cereal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc., for at least half of their grain options.

• 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetables: One cup vegetables equals 1 cup cooked or raw vegetables, 2 cups raw leafy greens, 1 large tomato or two medium carrots. To avoid choking, cut vegetables and fruits into bite-sized pieces for your child.

• 1 to 1 1/2 cups fruit: A cup of fruit equals 1 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit; 1/2 cup dried fruit; 1/2 large apple; 1 8- or 9-inch banana; 1 medium grapefruit.

• 2 to 2 1/2 cups dairy: One cup can be 1 cup milk, yogurt or soy milk; 1 1/2 ounces, 2 slices or 1/3 cup shredded hard cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss or Parmesan; 2 ounces American cheese; 2 cups cottage cheese; 1 cup pudding made with milk; 1 1/2 cups ice cream. Offer low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

• 2 to 5 ounces equivalents protein: An ounce is equivalent equals 1 ounce meat, fish or poultry; 1 egg; 1 tablespoon nut butter, 1/4 cup cooked beans; 1/8 cup tofu; and 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds.


Tanda Kidd

Paula Peters


College of Human Ecology

Written by

Jane P. Marshall

At a glance

K-State nutrition give tips on nutrition for young children.