Foods That Boys From 2 to 5 Years Love to Eat
Toddlers and young children are sometimes selective when it comes to eating healthy foods. However, your child’s nutrition affects his growth and development. Offering your child healthy foods he loves to eat can help him meet his nutrition requirements and provide him the best chance to excel developmentally.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Daily Food Plan, boys ages 2 to 5 should generally consume 1,000 to 1,600 calories per day, depending on their age and activity level. Based on these calorie recommendations, the USDA encourages boys ages 2 to 5 to consume 1 to 1.5 cups of fruits, 1 to 2 cups of vegetables, 3 to 5 ounces of grains, 2 to 5 ounces of high-protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, soy products and nuts, 2 to 3 cups of dairy foods, 3 to 5 teaspoons of oils and 120 to 140 extra calories from added sugar and saturated fat each day.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Most boys ages 2 to 5 love to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich made using one slice of whole-grain bread, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of reduced-sugar jelly contains about 195 calories, 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbohydrates. One slice of whole-wheat or whole-grain bread counts as 1 ounce from the grains group, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter counts as 1 ounce from the protein group. One tablespoon of reduced-sugar jelly counts as about 20 calories toward your child’s daily allotment of extra calories.
Many boys ages 2 to 5 like drinking fruit smoothies; they might also enjoy watching or helping you make them. Drinking fruit smoothies is a delicious way for your child to consume foods from the dairy, fruit and oils groups. Make a quick and easy fruit smoothie by blending ice, regular milk or soy milk, yogurt, fruit and a small amount of peanut butter or almond butter. Smoothies made using these ingredients are high in protein, calcium, vitamin D and healthy, monounsaturated fats.
When you and your child prepare your own homemade pizza, you can improve its nutritional value by using whole-wheat crust instead of white pizza crust and grilled chicken breast or turkey pepperoni instead of regular pepperoni or sausage. You can also add fresh veggies such as broccoli, tomatoes or green peppers. One medium slice of cheese pizza contains about 200 calories, 11 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat.
Many 2- to 5-year-old boys enjoy eating trail mix. You can use raisins, fortified whole-grain breakfast cereal and mixed nuts as ingredients. Trail mix made using these ingredients contains foods from the fruit, grains, protein and oils groups and is rich in iron and B vitamins. One cup of trail mix contains about 285 calories, 8 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat and about 40 grams of carbohydrates. However, ask your pediatrician before offering a 2-year-old nuts to make sure the child is developmentally ready and isn’t at risk for choking on them.
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