While all children need nutritious, healthy foods to eat throughout the week, it can be difficult to know how much to pack for daycare lunches. If you’re wondering what is considered a “normal” amount of food for your child to eat at school, Ducklings has you covered. Below, we explore each age group’s recommended nutrition intake (from infancy to six years old) and sample snacks and meals you can pack at home.
Developed by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, MyPlate offers guides, activities, and other resources for parents pertaining to healthy foods for children age two and older. “The MyPlate icon is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. MyPlate can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat.”
MyPlate divides food groups into the following five categories:
Grains: Whole grains such as whole-wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal. Different grains include wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other cereal grains.
Vegetables: Eat a variety of colorful and/or starchy vegetables and legumes. Examples include spinach, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, kale, peppers, peas, and beans.
Fruits: Kids should eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen, or dried fruit.
Dairy: Milk products should be fat-free or low-fat.
Protein: Focus on lean protein like chicken, fish, or turkey. Vegetarian options include nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.
While every child has different nutritional needs due to overall health, height, weight, age, dietary restrictions, and otherwise, health experts state babies and toddlers need roughly 1,000-1,400 calories. With that being said, their appetites may differ day to day.
Healthy Daycare Routine Lunches for Toddlers: Sample Menu
Preschool and kindergarten-aged children need approximately 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day.
Healthy Daycare Routine Lunches for Preschool- and Kindergarten-Aged Children: Sample Menu
If you’re searching for a high-quality daycare near Philadelphia, turn to Ducklings Early Learning Center. Children can look forward to fun, themed enrichment activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. Our college-trained teachers encourage children to explore the world around them with a focus on mind, body, heart, and family. Families can feel confident that students are engaged in an age-appropriate daycare curriculum in a safe, compassionate environment.
For more information on specific childcare center locations, visit our Locations page or get in touch with our office.