Five basic food groups for kids

Updated November 22, 2016

The five basic food groups for kids have been determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a means to educate parents and child care providers about proper nutrition. This information was updated in 2005 to promote even healthier eating.


Foods in this group include breads, rice, pasta and cereals. In this case, one serving is equivalent to one ounce. Depending on a child's age, he should eat 4 to 6 servings, per day. At least half of these servings should be whole grain.


All vegetables are important, but when it comes to children's nutrition the green and orange varieties are highly recommended. Children should consume 2.5 cups per day.


A wide variety of fruit is just as important as eating vegetables. Whenever possible, fresh fruit is best. In moderation, 100 per cent fruit juice is acceptable; 1.5 cups per day is recommended.

Dairy Products

Children should eat three cups of dairy products on a daily basis. This includes foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Fat free or low fat versions are best.

Meat and Poultry

When it comes to meat and poultry, children should eat five servings per day. One serving is equal to one ounce of meat, poultry or fish, one egg, a tablespoon of peanut butter or two ounces of dried beans.

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