Harvard Made a Visual Guide to Childhood Nutrition

The Kid's Healthy Eating Plate is a simple graphic showing ideal eating habits for kids.

Kid's Healthy Eating Plate

Copyright © 2015 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For more information about The Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/kids-healthy-eating-plate.

If your child’s plate is filled with chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese more often than you’d like, a new tool from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) may be for you.

Called the Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate, it’s a visual nutritional guide (above) for children that’s meant to enhance the visual cues provided by the Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate icon. Key tips from the guide include:

  • Eating as many vegetables—except potatoes—as possible.
  • Eating plenty of fruit, choosing whole fruits over juice.
  • Filling half the plate with produce.
  • Emphasizing the type of carbohydrates eaten over the quantity, choosing whole grains whenever possible.
  • Getting the majority of necessary protein from beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, and poultry, rather than red and processed meats.
  • Limiting trans and saturated fats, and using healthy oils over butter.
  • Making dairy a relatively small portion of the plate. When it is eaten, it should be unflavored milk, plain yogurt, or small amounts of cheese.
  • Drinking water with every meal.
  • Getting at least an hour of physical activity each day.

Read up, parents. While HSPH’s graphic is targeted toward kids, the tips are sound advice for people of any age—and good things to keep in mind when you’re picking food off of your son or daughter’s plate.