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USDA’s Choose My Plate

Nutrition for Infants and Toddlers

Time and attention are necessary to make sure infants and toddlers get all the nutrients they need for normal growth and development.

It’s never too early to set the stage for healthy eating habits. Even in infancy, feeding choices can have a lifetime impact on health and weight. For example, breast feeding can reduce a baby’s risk of some types of infections and illness. It also increases their chances of having a healthy weight later in life.

What is USDA’s Choose My Plate?

MyPlate is USDA’s primary food group symbol, a food icon that serves as a powerful reminder to make healthy food choices and to build a healthy plate at mealtimes. This visual cue that identifies the five (5) basic food groups from which consumers can choose healthy foods to build a healthy plate. Please visit for resources, tools and  specific information about what and how much to eat. Consumers will also find specific recommendations for each USDA Food Group, based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), including proportions based on research that relate to individual calorie and nutrient needs. At, consumers can determine their individual eating patterns that fit their lifestyle and food preferences.

Choose a Food Group

MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. To learn more about building a healthy plate, select a food group below.

USDA Recipes for Child Care

The recipes from the 1999 publication Child Care Recipes: Food for Health and Fun for USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program have been updated.

The booklet describes how to work with recipes, adjusting recipes, food safety information, and much more.

Download USDA Recipes for Child Care Book Now


Contact Information

Amy Stutt
Statewide Director
151 Point O Woods Road
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
Tel: (757) 378-3177

Request for VA ITSN On-Site Services

The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network on-site services include individualized consultation, targeted training, classroom-focused mentoring, and feedback as well as resources and materials related to increasing the quality of care provided to infants and toddlers. Click here to request on-site services online now!

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