Objective To produce recommendations for children aged 2–5 years, considering the specificities of this age group in relation to nutritional needs and capacity of food intake.
Methods Individual energy requirements were estimated using the formulae for calculating the Recommended Dietary Intake. Taken as reference data on weight and height, by age and sex, referring to the 50th percentile established by the multicenter study of growth references developed by the WHO (2006). After obtaining the total energy, we calculated its mean and SD for each year studied. The minimum and maximum portions related to the lower and higher energy values established were adapted in the Food Guide Pyramid developed by Philippi et al, 1996.
Results The average total energy was around 1000, 1300 and 1400 kcal for two, three and 4 years old children, respectively. Minimum and maximum portions were: 4 to 7 servings for the group of cereals, breads, tubers and roots, 3 to 4 for vegetables, 4 to 5 for fruit and 3 servings for milk and milk products, 2 for meat and eggs; 1 part for the group of pulses, 1 to 2 for oils and fats, and 1 to 2 servings for sugars and sweets.
Conclusion The results of this study can be applied in nutritionist's professional practice and to planning public policies aimed at ensuring the adequate provision of nutritional support to children in the age group studied.
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