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Healthy Kids Diet Guidelines

By EatingWell Editors

Make healthy shopping and cooking changes now—our simple nutrition guidelines get you started.

Introduce a variety of produce

By learning to love fruits and vegetables while they are young, kids will develop food preferences that can help lower their risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers later in life. A produce-rich diet is also naturally lower in calories and fat and higher in vitamins and minerals. According to the latest recommendations from the USDA, kids ages 2 to 3 should have 1 cup each of fruit and vegetables each day. Kids ages 4 to 8 should have 1½ cups of fruit and 1½ cups of vegetables; and kids 9 to 12 need 1½ cups of fruit and 2 to 2½ cups of vegetables. What counts as a cup? Click here. Aim to serve a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the week.

Next: Balance calories with exercise »



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