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Laying it on the Table...
How much should you eat to stay healthy? It's a tricky question. It depends on your age, gender, and how active you are. Kids who are more active burn more calories, so they need more calories. Here are some estimates.
1 ounce = 1 slice of bread, ½ cup of cooked cereal, like oatmeal, ½ cup of rice or pasta or 1 cup of cold cereal
* 4 to 8-year-olds need 4–5 ounces each day.
* 9 to 13-year-old girls need 5 ounces each day.
* 9 to 13-year-old boys need 6 ounces each day.
Try to make at least half of your grain servings come from whole grain sources, such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal.
* 4 to 8-year-olds need 1½ cups of veggies each day.
* 9 to 13-year-old girls need 2 cups of veggies each day.
* 9 to 13-year-old boys need 2½ cups of veggies each day.
Try to include one source of vitamin A every other day from vegetables dark green and yellow/orange in color.
* 4 to 8-year-olds need 1-1½ cups of fruit each day.
* 9 to 13-year-olds need 1½ cups of fruit each day.
Limit juice to one serving a day. Try to include one source of vitamin C daily (citrus fruits, juices, melons or strawberries)
Milk and Other Calcium-Rich Foods
1 cup equivalent = 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 ½ ounce cheese, 2 ounce processed cheese
* 4 to 8-year-olds need 2 cups of milk each day.
* 9 to 13-year-olds need 3 cups of milk each day.
Meats, Beans, Fish, and Nuts
An ounce equivalent of this group would be:
1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
¼ cup cooked dry beans
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
½ ounce (about a small handful) of nuts or seeds
* 4 to 8-year-olds need 3-4 ounces each day.
* 9 to 13-year-olds need 5 ounces each day.
Adapted from the Food Guide Pyramid for kids. www.kidshealth.org.