Compiled by Jeanne Coates from CDC Guidelines


Eating right can be such a challenge, even when you know the right thing to do.  The guidelines about what is good for you has changed year over year, so the eating plan of your parents may not be right for you today.

The Center for Disease Control has issued new guidelines for the years 2020-2025.  Their recommendations are to help all Americans, including those who are healthy, at-risk for diet-related diseases and those living with these diseases.

  • Limit added sugars to less than 10% of calories per day for ages 2 and older and avoid added sugars for infants and toddlers.
  • Limit saturated fat to less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2.
  • Limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day (or less for those younger than 14).
  • Limit alcoholic beverages (if consumed) to 2 drinks or less a day for men and 1 drink or less per day for women.
  • Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations.
  • Stay within calorie limits.
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Create a pattern of healthy eating instead of just making a healthy choice now and then.


Key Recommendations

  • For about the first 6 months of life, exclusively feed infants human milk. Continue to feed infants human milk through at least the first year of life, and longer if desired. Feed infants iron-fortified infant formula during the first year of life when human milk is unavailable.
  • Provide infants with supplemental vitamin D beginning soon after birth.
  • If mother is on a strictly vegan diet and providing human milk, either mother or infant may need supplemental B12.
  • At about 6 months, introduce infants to nutrient-dense complementary foods.
    • Signs your infant is ready:
      • Being able to control head and neck.
      • Sitting up alone or with support.
      • Bringing objects to the mouth.
      • Trying to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
      • Swallowing food rather than pushing it back out onto the chin. Infants and young children should be given age- and developmentally appropriate foods to help prevent choking. Foods such as hot dogs, candy, nuts and seeds, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn and chunks of peanut butter are some of the foods that can be a choking risk for young children. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to take steps to decrease choking risks, including:
        • Offering foods in the appropriate size, consistency, and shape that will allow an infant or young child to eat and swallow easily.
        • Making sure the infant or young child is sitting up in a high chair or other safe, supervised place.
        • Ensuring an adult is supervising feeding during mealtimes.
        • Not putting infant cereal or other solid foods in an infant’s bottle. This could increase the risk of choking and will not make the infant sleep longer
        • Introduce infants to potentially allergenic foods along with other complementary foods.
      • Encourage infants and toddlers to consume a variety of foods from all food groups. Include foods rich in iron and zinc, particularly for infants fed human milk.
      • Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars.
      • Limit foods and beverages higher in sodium.
      • As infants wean from human milk or infant formula, transition to a healthy dietary pattern.
      • Introduce infants to potentially allergenic foods along with other complementary food.
      • Introduce iron-rich foods to infants starting at about 6 months old.
Range of Nutrients/DayAges 12 – 23 monthsAges 2-4Ages 5-8Ages 9-13Ages 14-18
Cups of vegetables0.75-11-21-1.51.75-2.251.75-2.252-3.51.5-32.5-42.5-3
Cups of Fruit0.5-11-1.51-1.51-21-1.51.5-21.5-22-2.51.5-2
Ounces of Grain1.75-33-53-54-64-65-95-76-106-8
Cups of Diary1.75-22-2.52-
Ounces of Protein22-52-43-5.53-55-6.54-65.5-75-6.5



Range of Nutrients/DayAges 19-30Ages 31-59Ages 60+
Cups of vegetables3-42.5-33-42-32.5-3.52-3
Cups of Fruit2-2.51.5-22-2.51.5-221.5-2
Ounces of Grain8-106-88-105-76-95-7
Cups of Diary333333
Ounces of Protein6.5-75-6.56.5-75-65.5-6.55-6

The bottom line is:  Eat nutrient rich foods, watch portion sizes and create a pattern of healthy eating.

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