MyPlate & Kids Nutrition

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The USDA’s MyPlate tool easily shows parents which foods hold the most nutritional value for children. Essential nutrients are in great demand during kids' growth and development. Nutrition impacts almost every aspect of kids' well-being: academic performance, immunity, disease risk, self-esteem, attention span and energy. What kids eat daily now will continue to impact their health and quality of life for years to come.

MyPlate help kids learn how to eat for their best health. It conveys these simple messages:

  • focus on fruits
  • vary your veggies
  • make at least half of your grains whole
  • go lean with protein
  • get your calcium-rich foods

Features of MyPlate that make it a great nutrition tool for kids:

  • Nutrient density is given a priority. MyPlate shows a clear division of food groups with a focus on nutrient-dense foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant compounds that fight off disease), which improve your child's overall well-being in addition to supporting optimal growth. Moreover, these foods are high in fiber. For example, one cup of sliced strawberries provides around 3 grams of fiber, which translates into 12% of the recommended daily amount of fiber for an 8-year-old.
  • Portion sizes for different age groups are easier for kids to understand. For example, 1 cup of whole, halved or sliced strawberries counts as 1 serving of fruit. A boy or girl between the ages of 9 and 18 needs a minimum of 1½ to 2 cups per day.
  • MyPlate is a great visual tool. Kids can clearly see that half of the plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, slightly less than ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part left for grains, half of them being whole.
     

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Kids Favorite Recipes
Kids' Favorite Recipes

It’s easy to make kid-friendly meals with our strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry recipes.

Cooking with Kids
Cooking with Kids

To get kids eating healthier, get them involved in the kitchen! These easy and fun recipes are a great place to start.

Lunch Ideas for Kids
Lunch Ideas for Kids

Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook, shares easy school lunches.