How Much is Enough Food for a 4-8 Year Old?

foodWith all the concerns about children’s food consumption, and gaining unhealthy amounts of weight, the following guidelines, on what to feed children 4-8 years old, may prove helpful.

The guidelines are from WebMD (


Total Servings a Day: 4

Look for reduced-fat, low-fat, or skim.

1 Serving Size


1/2 to 3/4 cup


Choose 1:

• 2 to 3 dice-sized cheese cubes

• 1/2 to 1 slice packaged cheese


1/2 cup to 3/4 cup (4 to 6 oz)


Total Servings a Day: 2

Make most meat choices lean or low-fat.

1 Serving Size

Meat, Fish, Poultry, or Meat Substitute

1 oz (about the 1/3 to 1/2 the size of an adult’s palm)

Tofu or Tempeh

1/2 cup


1 egg

4 Tbsp (about the size of your child’s fist)

Beans or Peas

Nuts (includes peanut butter)

2 Tbsp


Total Servings a Day: 4 to 8

Serve mostly green or brightly colored veggies.
Limit starchy veggies like potatoes.

1 Serving Size

3 to 4 Tbsp

Starchy Vegetables (like white potatoes)

Limit to 1 to 2 servings a day.


Total Servings a Day: 2

Raw fruit is best.

1 Serving Size

Choose 1:

• 1/2 to 1 small raw fruit

• Canned 4 to 6 Tbsp

Opt for fruit packed in water, juice, or light syrup
instead of heavy syrup.

4 to 6 oz total per day

Fruit Juice


Total Servings a Day: 4

Choose whole-grain options when possible.

1 Serving Size

Choose 1:

• 1 slice of bread

• 1/2 English muffin

• 1/2 Bagel

• 1/2 to 1 Tortilla

Cooked cereal

1/2 cup

Cold, Dry cereal

1 cup

Pasta, noodles, rice or grains

1/2 cup


Pediatric Nutrition Handbook 6th edition, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. 2009.

American Cancer Society: “Controlling Portion Sizes.”

Let’s Move: “Healthy Families.”

A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity, American Academy of Pediatrics. 2006.

© 2011 WebMD

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Mother’s Day and Food Safety

Here comes Mother’s Day; a day for hosting a gathering for our mothers. For many of us, it is a time to serve convenience food, so we have more time to enjoy our company.

The Partnership for Food Safety Education wants you to know that to prevent food-related illness due to under-cooking frozen or other convenience foods follow these four simple tips:

1. Read and follow package cooking instructions.

2. Know when to use a microwave or conventional oven.

3. Know your microwave wattage before microwaving food.

4. Always use a food thermometer to ensure a safe internal temperature.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service wants you to know the following about keeping party foods safe:

  • Make sure all food is cooked thoroughly before serving.
  • Store prepared foods in shallow pans so they cool quickly and evenly. Reheat and serve small amounts on platters while the remaining food stays hot in the oven.
  • Don’t let food stay at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Use chafing dishes, warming trays or slow cookers to keep foods hot.
  • Surround dishes of cold foods with ice.

Both government agencies are quick to remind us that taking precautions when preparing and serving food can spare us the misery of a food-induced illness.

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When Sandy Came to Can Do Street

While “Can Do”Street is an imaginary place, the creative place where “Can Do” Street is housed is in New York City. Since Sandy hit Monday, the 29th of October, the offices and homes of those make “Can Do” Street possible have been without electrical power and still are. We have no heat and no hot water. For a day or so, without a car, without buses running, many of us had no food with the closest access to fresh food  over a mile away

hurricaneThere is still nothing open from the tip of Manhattan to above 34th Street, river to river. Most people in Manhattan don’t keep a car. Parking is too expensive. Our mass transit system makes getting around easier than driving. But, when the lights go out, the heat goes off,  the only water is cold, and then the transit system is shut down, daily living becomes a challenge.

One of the staff has a car, so we can  travel beyond the blackout area in lower Manhattan to upper Manhattan where there is electricity and restaurants and stores open. Now gas is an issue. The lines for gas were hours long yesterday. Today, there is no gas to be had. We are getting seriously low on gas.

Buses returned to service on a limited schedule, but the initial traffic jams made commuting a several hour process. Trains are slowly returning to service but still do not operate below 34th Street. There is no train service through the tunnels that link Manhattan to Brooklyn, a route that carries  100,000’s of people to and from their homes to work each day.

Two major hospitals in lower Manhattan had to be evacuated, moving over a thousand patients to safety.

I have only praise for the police and first responders who continue to keep us safe, especially when we must navigate neighborhoods in total darkness as we make our way home from work.

I am writing this post on a laptop with a T-Mobile Wi-fi connection in a library in one of  the outer boroughs of NYC. The going is slow, but it is better than nothing.

Hopefully,  we can start working in our office soon. Until then…thanks for your patience!



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