How do I know if my child is eating a balanced diet?

Parents of young children often wonder whether their child is getting the proper amount of nutrition when they are away at daycare or school.

These parents should start by asking: Is my child growing well? Does he or she have enough energy to play and learn? If so, he or she is probably eating enough.

Your child's doctor, pediatric nurse or registered dietitian can help you monitor growth and development by plotting the child's progress on a growth chart.

The other question to ask: Is your child eating a variety of foods and enough from the five food groups? If so, he or she is probably getting enough nutrients to grow well.
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

It is sometimes difficult to know if children are receiving adequate nutrition when they are at school or daycare. However, you can ensure that they are eating well when they are with you. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet when they are at home. Make a fruit smoothie, a dessert with fruit, a favorite salad with an additional vegetable at supper. If they take a lunch, pack a lean meat sandwich or peanut butter and all fruit spread. Add fruit or vegetable and a healthy side such as light yogurt, healthy granola bar or baked chips. You can asked them about what they ate during the day and monitor what they are eating, but that can be time-consuming. If you have any concerns about their intake, review it with your pediatrician, who will be able to tell you how they are growing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.