2 Years to Adult

Nutrition Advice for Children and Their Families

The Food Plate has now replaced the food pyramid for children 2 years and older based on the idea that this is simpler concept.

FoodPlate
Balancing Calories
Enjoy your food, but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Make at least half your grains whole grains.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.

Protein: Beef; poultry; fish; eggs; nuts and seeds; and beans and peas like black beans, split peas, lentils, and even tofu and veggie burgers. Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body.

Grains: Bread, cereal, rice, tortillas, and pasta. Whole-grain products such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice are recommended because they have more fiber and help you feel full.

Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy milk. With MyPlate, the dairy circle could be a cup of milk, but you also can get your dairy servings from yogurt or cheese. Choose low-fat or nonfat  dairy most of the time.

The plate can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That may make you wonder: Do I really have to eat vegetables with breakfast? The answer is no, but aim to eat a variety of food groups at each meal. And if your breakfast doesn’t include a veggie, consider a vegetable at snack time. (Yes, healthy, portion-controlled snacks are still OK.)

The plate also shows how to balance your food groups. There’s a reason the protein section is smaller: You don’t need as much from that group. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you eat fewer calories overall, which helps you keep a healthy weight. Eating fruits and veggies also gives you lots of vitamins and minerals.

For portion size for children and adolescents, please go to ChooseMyPlate.gov. and click on I want to … Get a Personalized plan