Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What's on Your Child's Lunch Plate?: USDA for Tots

I have a toddler.  He is extremely picky.  I also have a baby.  So between the two our lunches have to be 1) somewhat nutritious 2) something the toddler will eat and 3) something that I can fix in about 15 minutes.  It's a tall order.

So far our lunches have been boring.  I'm getting tired of the frozen food and sandwiches.  Maybe you are also facing this problem.  Maybe you've got a few tricks up your sleeve.  Maybe we can help each other.


I figure on every Tuesday I will feature what he ate.  Maybe it will be whole bunch of pictures.  Maybe it will be only one.  And then I'll tell you (or if it's not too disgusting show you) what and how much of it he ate.


I need your help.  Please comment or upload something.  I'm desperate.


Well...I didn't have a chance to snap a picture, but it was an apple (which he choose to eat whole), chimis, and green beans.  He only ate the apple.  Well, part of it.

USDA Regs for Tots


I used to work in daycare, and there are heavy regulations as to what a child can eat:  that is lunch, breakfast, dinner, and two snacks.  I'm not going to get into the snacks because it's usually pick a fruit or veggie serving, add a protein or grain.

For lunch for children ages 1-2 you must have the following:  1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup total of two different kinds of fruit or veggies, 1/2 slice of bread or 1/4 size dry cereal or pasta or rice, and protein for example 4 oz of yogurt or 1 oz cheese or meat.

The portion sizes increase with the age of the child for example in the age 3-4 year group it's 3/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of vegetable.

Now you may be thinking, well that's not a whole lot portion size.  The reality is that this is the bare minimum that daycare centers must offer children.  They can always ask for more.  Additionally what you should be seeing on the plate, as suggested by the menu, is green beans, apple slices, tortilla, and 1 oz of cheese.  My son, I'll remind you, only ate the apple.  It's a lot of food for a little stinks.

While I try to adhere to these basic standards, it's certainly far from perfect.  My son is picky and I tend to include things that are high in salt and fat.

I'm trying to do better which is the reason behind this whole thing.  So tell me, what's on your child's lunch plate?

Next weeks topic:  Gagging or choking?

1 comment:

  1. I can't remember yesterday (LOL) but today it was turkey and cheese sandwiches w/ ranch (they put them together) and then veggies w/ ranch on the side that they really didn't touch. There's a pic on FB of it too, just love watching them working on putting the things together :-)

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!