CARE Connection: Nutrition Needs of Young Children

Young children need variety, balance, and moderation in nutrition. They need protein to build strong bodies and calories to fuel growth, learning, and play. These lessons approach the nutrition needs of young children.


Grab and Go Lesson - Balanced Nutrition in Child Care
Variety and moderation using CACFP Meal Pattern requirements and MyPlate for Preschoolers as a guide. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Select Grains and Breads for Good Health
Whole grains in child care menus for complex carbohydrates and energy. 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Vary Your Vegetables and Fruits
Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables to provide vitamins A and C. 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
Milk and milk products provide calcium and protein to build strong bones, teeth and muscles. Includes recommendations for infants and young children, and children with milk sensitivities. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Vary Meat and Meat Alternates for Good Nutrition
Use meat and meat alternates as good sources of iron and protein. Includes tips to reduce fat. 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Menu Planning Tips for Variety
Planning nutritious meals in child care. 2010.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Serve the Right Amount and Kind of Fat in Child Care Menus
Guidelines from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Reduce the Salt in Child Care Menus
Use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce added salt. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Reduce the Sugar in Child Care Menus
Use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to reduce sugar. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Snack Time is Variety Time
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Grab and Go Lesson - Using CACFP Meal Patterns for Good Nutrition
Using Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns and MyPlate for Preschoolers to plan healthy meals in child care. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Nutrition for Toddlers and Young Children
Meeting nutrition needs. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - How Much is Enough?
Learning to gauge whether a child has had enough to eat. Developing the feeding relationship. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Which Foods and How Often is Enough?
Using MyPyramid as a guide to which foods to serve; planning regular meal times; encouraging healthy eating.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Nutrition for the Pre-School and School-Age Child
A guide to the roles of key nutrients in good health for young children; encourage balance, variety, and moderation in food choices.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Guide to Variety
Tips for offering a variety of foods for good nutrition in child care. Revised 2013.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Simple Snack Ideas
Planning nutritious, healthful snacks that contribute to the nutrition needs of young children.
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Grab and Go Lesson - Vegetarian Diets for Young Children
Families choose vegetarian diets for their children for many reasons. With planning, a vegetarian diet can meet the nutrition needs of the growing child. Revised 2013.
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Nutrition Needs of Young Children Video - Flash Version
Video lesson on the nutrition needs of young children. Variety and moderation, feeding infants, and special needs. RT 16.5 min. View online in streaming video. 2009.
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Nutrition Needs of Young Children Video - Windows Media Video Version
Video lesson on the nutrition needs of young children. Variety and moderation, feeding infants, and special needs. RT 16.5 min. Download this Windows Media Video (WMV) version to your computer. 2009.
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Nutrition Needs of Young Children Video Lesson Plan - PDF Version
Use this lesson plan to accompany the video for training. 2010.
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Nutrition Needs of Young Children Video Lesson Plan - Microsoft Word® Version
Use this lesson plan to accompany the video for training. 2010.
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Variety and Moderation Video - Flash Version
Video lesson on variety and moderation for balanced nutrition in child care. RT 5 min. View online in streaming video. 2009.
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Variety and Moderation Video - Windows Media Video Version
Video lesson on variety and moderation for balanced nutrition in child care. RT 5 min. Download this Windows Media Video (WMV) version to your computer. 2009.
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Children’s Activity - MyPyramid for Preschoolers
Games and activities help children learn about food groups and good nutrition. 2010.
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Children’s Activity - Awesome Blossoms
Food and art project involving children in making a healthy snack. 2010.
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Children’s Activity - Milk and Dairy Foods
Explore where milk comes from, good things milk and dairy foods do for our bodies, and foods made from milk. 2010.
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Children’s Activity - Help Children Learn about Seasoning
Activities that introduce children to spices and herbs used as seasoning.
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Children’s Activity - Food Train
Young children learn about the food groups by creating a "food train" and sorting foods by groups.
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Children’s Activity - Song: Old MacDonald
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Children’s Activity - Let's Learn About Beans
Learn about beans by sorting, identifying, and growing them.
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Simple Snack Ideas – Family Materials
Ideas to help families serve healthful, nutritious snacks at home.
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Children Need a Variety of Vitamins and Minerals – Family Materials
An overview of good nutrition for families.
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Parent’s Tips: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans – Family Materials
Balance, variety, and moderation for good nutrition. Revised 2013.
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Parent’s Tips: Help Your Child Learn Healthy Eating Habits – Family Materials
Tips to help families encourage healthy eating habits.
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Your child drew this picture. Ask about what we had for lunch today. – Family Materials
A drawing page for children to start a conversation about food and good nutrition.
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Tips Your Family Can Use to Encourage Healthy Choices– Family Materials
Information to send home with families.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute lesson helps child care providers share information and Family Materials with families. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute lesson helps child care providers share information and Family Materials with families. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Fat in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Fat in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Sugar in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Sugar in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Salt in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Reducing Salt in the Child Care Menu
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute training. PDF format.
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Lesson Plan - Helping Families Make Healthy Changes for Themselves and Their Children
15 minute training. MS Word format.
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Lesson Plan - Introducing Culture to Nutrition
PDF format. Published 2012.
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Lesson Plan - Introducing Culture to Nutrition
MS Word format. Published 2012.
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Good Nutrition for Teeth
Foods that keep teeth healthy.
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Good Sources of Vitamin A
This poster lists foods that are good sources of Vitamin A.
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Good Sources of Vitamin C
Learn about fruits and vegetables that are good sources of Vitamin C.
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Milk
Learn the dietary guidelines about milk.
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