Oct. 27, 2008 -- Preschoolers now have their own food pyramid, covering not just what they should eat, but also their growth, physical activity, and what to do when they draw battle lines over food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today launched the "My Pyramid for Preschoolers" Web site today in Chicago at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.
My Pyramid for Preschoolers is geared to the parent or other caregiver who makes most of the food choices for children aged 2-5.
Visitors to the My Pyramid for Preschoolers Web site can enter the child's first name, age, gender, and typical amount of daily activity. The site then generates a plan tailored to that child.
For instance, My Pyramid for Preschoolers recommends that a 2-year-old boy who gets 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity (including playing) get 3 ounces of grains, one cup of vegetables, one cup of fruits, two cups of milk, and 2 ounces of meat and beans per day. And a 5-year-old girl who gets less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day should get 4 ounces of grains, 1.5 cups of vegetables, one cup of fruits, two cups of milk, and 3 ounces of meat and beans per day, according to the Web site.
The Web site also includes sample meal plans and ideas for coping with picky eaters (such as letting the child help you cook and giving them choices, not eat-it-or-else ultimatums) and ways to encourage kids to try new foods (such as offering new foods at the start of a meal, when the child is hungry).