A 3 Year Old’s Diet

One of my good friends requested some information about what her 3 ½ year old son should be eating. So, instead of just informing just her I figured there might be more than one person out there interested in this information as well.  This information is just for a 3 year old male,  my next post will give detailed information like this for girls and boys ages 2 to 5 years old.  Check back!

The portion sizes offered here come from www.choosemyplate.gov.  Your child’s intake may vary slightly and will very likely vary day to day as kids rarely eat the same way every single day.  Use this guide as an average.

3 Year Old Male – 1,400 calorie diet

Grains – 5 ounces/day.  One ounce is 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of dry cereal, ½ cup of cooked cereal, cooked pasta or rice, 5 round crackers, 1 cup of snack food (goldfish, pretzels).

Vegetables – 1.5 cups/day.  One cup of raw or cooked vegetables or 2 cups of leafy greens.

Fruit – 1.5 cups/day.  One whole piece of fruit or 1 cup of sliced or chopped fruit. Do not exceed more than 6 ounces (3/4 cup) per day of 100% juice.

Protein Foods – 4 ounces/day.  1 chicken tender is about 1.5 oz.  3 oz. piece of meat, chicken or fish is about the size of a deck of cards, ¼ cups of beans equals 1 ounce, about 12 almonds or 1 tbsp of peanut butter also equals 1 ounce.

Dairy Foods – 2.5 cups/day.  1 cup (8oz.) of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, and 1 slice of cheese are all equal to a 1 cup portion from the Dairy Group.

In addition, my friend’s 3 year old son can have up to 120 extra calories of fats and/or sweets a day. These would be what I call “treat” foods.

Image from http://www.stock.xchng.com, by tg44.

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2 responses to “A 3 Year Old’s Diet

  1. Thanks for this info. I have my 31/2 year old Grandson 4 days a week and he weighs 55 lbs already and i want too make sure he is eating healthy while he is with me.

    • Thank you Jonette. So many of my clients are cared for by multiple caregivers. It’s nice to see that caregivers other than parents are concerning themselves with the nutritional well-being of the children they care for. It really does take a village! Keep up the good work with your grandson!

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