As a mother of two, I too, find myself wondering (though less often) about healthy food intake of my kids, So I can imagine what nightmare it is for a parents. Here is a brief knowledge one should have to monitor your child's nutrition intake.

As the preschoolers grow, they develop curiosity about food and new eating habits. They develop preferences and unique dietary needs on their likes and dislikes.

To overcome this offer your child foods from all five major food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein) at every meal. He may not eat the way diet chart states, but if you serve a variety of healthy food, he'll eventually get what he needs over the course of a week.


Grains aids digestion because it contain fibre, and provide energy from complex carbohydrates. It is also great sources Vitamin B. There are 2 types of grain– whole grains and refined grains. 

Whole grain products use the entire grain kernel and have more fiber, iron, and B vitamins than refined grains. Eg. whole wheat flour chapati, oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice.  Refined grain products include white flour and bread, white rice, and most kinds of pasta. The USDA recommends getting at least half of your grains from whole grains.

How much preschoolers need daily:

Children 2 to 3 years old: 85 gms

Children 4 years old: 140gms

How much is that?  So, for a 2-3 year it will be equals 3 small 6 inch chapatti , 2 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1 cup of cooked cereal.


Vegetables is store house of fiber, vitamin C, and A and potassium and loads of antioxidants which are disease fighting substances which lowers the long term risk of  cancer and heart disease.

Make a timetable so that over  a week, your child has lots of different-colored vegetables – dark green broccoli, light green beans, orange, carrots, red tomatoes, and so on. That way, we are  sure he's getting all the nutrients, plus its
not boring for him. Make the recipe presentation easy for you and interesting for kids. Get hold of some cookie cutter, cut the salads along with your kids, make meal preparation time a game time for them, and you will be surprised, to
see your child eating carrot cucumber and so on.

How much preschoolers need daily:

Children 2 to 3 years old: 1 cup.

Children 4 years old: 1 1/2 cups.


Contains huge amounts of fiber, Vitamin C, A and potassium and Antioxidants. Use fruits as munching bites in between meals, or soon after food. Or, just be liberal with fruits, offer it whenever child wants it.

How much preschoolers need daily:

Children 2 to 3 years old: 1 cup.

Children 4 years old: 1 to 1 1/2 cups.


Dairy products are rich sources of calcium, which helps your child get strong teeth and bones. And source of protein. It is a good substitute especially if your child hates meat.

If children 2 years old and above, are good weight, it is safe to switch to low-fat or fat-free milk, because they'll get the same amount of calcium and vitamin D, but less solid fat and fewer calories. This will decrease chances of obesity. Solid fats are mainly saturated fat, which can raise blood cholesterol levels.

How much preschoolers need daily:

Children 2 to 3 years old: 2 cups.

Children 4 years old: 2 1/2 cups.

What does this mean : A cup of dairy can be 1 cup milk, yogurt, or soy milk; 1 1/2 ounces, two slices, or 1/3 cup shredded hard cheese (such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, or Parmesan); 2 ounces processed (American) cheese; 1/2 cup ricotta cheese; 2 cups cottage cheese; 1 cup pudding made with milk; or 1 1/2 cups ice cream.


This category contains meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, and nuts and seeds are all protein foods. (Beans and peas are also part of the vegetable food group.) Try to serve seafood at least twice a week. Protein food give child iron, zinc, and some B vitamins.

How much preschoolers need daily:

Children 2 to 3 years old: 60 gms

Children 4 years old: 120gms

Oils and fats

Oils aren't considered a separate food group, but they do provide some nutrients necessary for a healthy diet, and they are the major source of vitamin E .Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking or salad dressings. Some foods, such as nuts, certain fish, avocados, and olives, are naturally high in oils. (Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains 2 teaspoons of oil.) Children get all the oils they need in the food they eat or in salad dressings or oils used for cooking. 

Children 2 to 3 years old need about 3 teaspoons of oil per day,  and 4-year-olds need 4 teaspoons a day.

Happy Parenting!