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Sample Menu for a Preschooler

During the preschool years, your child should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family, with an emphasis on those with nutritional value. This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, nonfat or low-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheeses), lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, lean hamburger), and whole grain cereals and bread. At the same time, limit or eliminate the junk food in your child's diet, and get rid of sugared beverages as well. See the following sample menu ideas for a four-year-old child.

Note: This menu is planned for a four-year-old child who weighs approximately 36 pounds (16.5 kg).

1 teaspoon = 1⁄3 tablespoon (5 mL)

1 tablespoon = ½ ounce (15 mL)

1 ounce = 30 mL

1 cup = 8 ounces (240 mL)


  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • ½ cup cereal
  • 4–6 oz. or ½ cup cantaloupe or strawberries or banana


  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • ½ cup fruit such as melon, banana, or berries
  • ½ cup yogurt


  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 1 sandwich—2 slices whole wheat bread with 1–2 oz. of meat and cheese, veggie and dressing (if needed) or peanut butter and jelly
  • ¼ cup dark-yellow or dark-green vegetable


  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter with 1 slice whole wheat bread or 5 crackers or string cheese or cut-up fruit


  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 2 ounces meat, fish, or chicken
  • ½ cup pasta, rice, or potato
  • ¼ cup vegetable

If your family would like to include margarine, butter, or salad dressing as a "side" option to any meal, choose low- fat or healthier versions, if possible, and only give 1 or 2 teaspoons to your child.

Additional Information on

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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