PediaSure® icon representing four different food groups

While we all need a healthy balance of nutrients for our bodies to function properly, this is especially true for children. Their organs and bodily systems need to function and grow simultaneously. Nutrients make that possible.

Each of the four basic food groups provides a variety of nutrients. But certain groups are best for providing specific nutrients.

Food groups at a glance:

  • Vegetables and Fruit: Vegetables and fruits contain plenty of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Grain Products: Whole grains are best known for fibre, energy from carbohydrates, and B vitamins.
  • Milk and Alternatives: Dairy products contain calcium, vitamins, and protein.
  • Meat and Alternatives: Meat, fish, and beans and substitutes are excellent sources of protein.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure every meal contains at least three of the four food groups, and every snack contains at least two. Knowing your way around the four groups is a great way to be sure you’re making the most of every meal and snack. If ever unsure, add balance to your child’s diet with PediaSure Complete®.

Your child is unique and he may eat a little more or less than the suggested servings. Offer him healthy choices and adapt portions to his appetite. For example, toddlers and preschoolers have smaller stomachs, so they may need to eat smaller amounts of foods more frequently.

One Food Guide serving may be divided into smaller amounts throughout the day. For example, 1 serving of Meat and Alternatives can be split between lunch and dinner (1 egg at lunch and 30-40 grams of chicken at dinner).

PediaSure® arrow icon for recipe ingredients2 TO 3 YEARS
NUTRIENT

Grain Products

FOOD CHOICES

1 slice of bread, ½ bagel, 30g of ready-to-eat cereal or ¾ cup hot cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or quinoa

Recommended Daily Amount2

3

NUTRIENT

Vegetables and Fruit

FOOD CHOICES

½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy greens, ½ cup vegetable juice, 1 fresh fruit, ½ cup applesauce, ½ cup of 100% juice

Recommended Daily Amount2

4

NUTRIENT

Milk and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

1 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, ¾ cup yogurt, 50 g of cheese

Recommended Daily Amount2

2

NUTRIENT

Meat and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

75 g of cooked meat, poultry, or fish, ¾ cup cooked legumes, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or ¼ cup of shelled nuts or seeds

Recommended Daily Amount2

1

PediaSure® arrow icon for recipe ingredients4 TO 8 YEARS
NUTRIENT

Grain Products

FOOD CHOICES

1 slice of bread, ½ bagel, 30g of ready-to-eat cereal or ¾ cup hot cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or quinoa

Recommended Daily Amount2

4

NUTRIENT

Vegetables and Fruit

FOOD CHOICES

½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy greens, ½ cup vegetable juice, 1 fresh fruit, ½ cup applesauce, ½ cup of 100% juice

Recommended Daily Amount2

5

NUTRIENT

Milk and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

1 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, ¾ cup yogurt, 50 g of cheese

Recommended Daily Amount2

2

NUTRIENT

Meat and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

75 g of cooked meat, poultry, or fish, ¾ cup cooked legumes, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or ¼ cup of shelled nuts or seeds

Recommended Daily Amount2

1

PediaSure® arrow icon for recipe ingredients9 TO 13 YEARS
NUTRIENT

Grain Products

FOOD CHOICES

1 slice of bread, ½ bagel, 30g of ready-to-eat cereal or ¾ cup hot cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or quinoa

Recommended Daily Amount2

6

NUTRIENT

Vegetables and Fruit

FOOD CHOICES

½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy greens, ½ cup vegetable juice, 1 fresh fruit, ½ cup applesauce, ½ cup of 100% juice

Recommended Daily Amount2

6

NUTRIENT

Milk and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

1 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, ¾ cup yogurt, 50 g of cheese

Recommended Daily Amount2

3-4

NUTRIENT

Meat and Alternatives

FOOD CHOICES

75 g of cooked meat, poultry, or fish, ¾ cup cooked legumes, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or ¼ cup of shelled nuts or seeds

Recommended Daily Amount2

1-2

RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF FOOD GUIDE SERVINGS PER DAY FOR CHILDREN1
 2-3 YEARS4-8 YEARS9-13 YEARSFOOD CHOICES
GRAIN PRODUCTS
3461 slice of bread, ½ bagel, 30 g of ready-to-eat cereal or ¾ cup of hot cereal, ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or quinoa
VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
456½ cup of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy greens, ½ cup of vegetable juice, 1 fresh fruit, ½ cup of applesauce, ½ cup of 100% juice
MILK AND ALTERNATIVES
223-41 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage, ¾ cup of yogurt, 50 g of cheese
MEAT AND ALTERNATIVES
111-275 g of cooked meat, poultry, or fish, ¾ cup of cooked legumes, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, or ¼ cup of shelled nuts or seeds
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