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.
What you need to know:
Children as young as 2 years old can, and should be encouraged to, eat the same foods as their parents (with a few exceptions such as nuts). Starting early and exposing them to “adult food” will lessen the risk of “addictions” to specially formulated (ie sweetened) foods for kids. This of course assumes that the parents are eating healthfully.
What to do at the supermarket:
Here is a handy chart from the MyPyramid website with suggestions for more nutritious choices at the grocery store.
|Regular cheese||Low-fat cheese|
|Sweetened yogurt||Plain yogurt plus fruit|
|Whole milk||Fat-free or low-fat milk|
|Sweetened breakfast cereals||Cereals with little or no added sugar|
|Fried chicken or fried fish||Baked chicken or fish|
|French fries||Oven-baked fries|
|Ice cream or frozen yogurt||Frozen fruits or frozen 100% fruit bars|
|Soft drinks or fruit punch||Water|
|Potato chips||Baked chips or whole grain crackers|
|Butter or margarine||Trans fat-free tub margarine|
|Jam or jelly||100% Fruit spread|