Abstract： Objective To evaluate the dietary quality of children aged 3 to 6 years during the kindergarten period in Lanzhou City using the Dietary Balance Index (DBI). Methods Based on kindergarten grades and geographical locations, 304 recipes for different semesters from 2014 to 2017 in 40 kindergartens in Lanzhou City were randomly selected with a sampling ratio of 5% (291 recipes with no recipes 13 copies) as the research object. Adjusted DBI indicators for children aged 3 to 6 years were used to evaluate the dietary quality of the recipes during the kindergarten period in the sample. Using the Kruskal‐Wallis H rank‐sum test, the food consumption rates and DBI evaluation results of the kindergartens in Lanzhou City were analyzed. Results Results of the sub‐group diet scores that were close to the recommended intake (DBI scores between‐2 to 2) showed that cereals, fresh vegetables, nuts and beans, fish, shrimp, eggs, and snacks accounted for the ideal intake of more than 80% of all the recipes. The diet scores of fruits, meat, and processed products ranged from 50% to 80%, and that for milk accounted for only 26.8%. Analyzing the type of food intake showed that the proportion of recipes that included eating more than six types of food per day was 98.3%. Analyzing by kindergarten level and year showed that the overall dietary quality problems with the studied recipes were mainly caused by insufficient intake and dietary imbalance, and the difference was statistically significant. Among them, the lack of intake in 2017 and the degree of dietary imbalance were greater compared to the other years. The level of insufficiency and dietary imbalance in the third‐grade kindergartens were higher than those in the first‐ and second‐grade kindergartens. Dietary pattern A recipes accounted for 63.6% of the kindergarten recipes, and there were no recipes for dietary patterns C, F, G, H, and I. Conclusion The dietary quality problems of kindergartens in Lanzhou City were mainly reflected in the inadequate dietary intake and dietary imbalance. The supervision of dietary quality by kindergartens should be strengthened and the concept of a balanced diet should be promoted. The dietary management of third‐grade kindergartens should be simultaneously strengthened.