Healthy Portions for Preschoolers

Families, Food and Fitness September 25, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF


Healthy Portions for Preschoolers logoRecommended daily amounts found in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate are the amounts of food from each group that preschoolers need to consume each day to meet their needs. A portion size is how much food your child is served at individual meals and snacks.

Recommended daily amount: 5 ounces.   Portion size: how much is served at meals and snacks. 



Healthy Preschooler Portions at Meals and Snacks

What are healthy child portion sizes at meals and snacks? There are many different ways to help preschoolers meet their MyPlate recommended daily servings. In general, preschooler portions are quite a bit smaller than those for adults! You might be surprised to see the difference between child and adult portions.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program provides portion size guidelines for preschoolers that are used in many childcare settings to help meet young children's nutrition needs. (You can read more about the CACFP here.)The pictures below generally follow CACFP guidelines and are examples of healthy portion sizes for preschoolers.

This picture shows healthy preschooler portion sizes for different types of grains. Each food shows a 1 ounce portion of grains that a preschooler might eat at a meal or snack. To help preschoolers meet their daily recommended amounts, offer 5 of these portions or 5 ounces each day.

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Let's see how these portion sizes can come together at meals to help preschoolers meet MyPlate daily recommended amounts from each group. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to download these pictures.


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Click on the links below to see healthy preschooler portion sizes for each of the MyPlate food groups and for snacks and meals.

A Day's Worth of Healthy Portions for Preschoolers (PDF)

Healthy Portions for Preschoolers in Each Food Group (PDF)

More Examples of Healthy Preschooler Meal and Snack Portions (PDF)

*Want to include these food photos in a presentation? Click here to view the food photos on SlideShare.


Healthy Portions for Preschoolers logo To see more examples of healthy preschooler portion sizes please visit the links below:

MyPlate for Preschoolers

Teaching Children to Listen to Their Bodies

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.