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How Many Fruits and Vegetables Should My Kids Eat?
Question of the Week
Q. How many fruits and vegetables should my 3 and 8 year old children be eating each day?
A. The food guide pyramids are a good guide to what your children should be eating each day.
The Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children, which can be used for kids between 2 and 6 years, recommends that they get 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit each day.
Older children, over age 6 years, can use the regular Food Guide Pyramid (pictured below), which shows that they should have 3-5 servings of foods from the Vegetable Group, and 2-4 servings from the Fruit Group.
Servings from the Vegetable Group include:
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
- 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw
- 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
Servings from the Fruit Group include:
- 1 medium apple, banana, orange
- 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
- 3/4 cup of fruit juice
If your child eats a larger serving, such as 2 apples or 1 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruits, then count it as two servings.
Remember that these are just general guidelines and your children don't need to eat the exact number of recommended servings each day. Instead, his or her diet, over a period of a week or two, should average out to the recommended servings. So some days they may eat more and some days less than the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings.
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