In this section
Young children are busy learning about the world. Food provides
them with energy, nutrients and a wonderful variety of tastes and
textures. It is important to help children make good food choices
by having a healthy range of foods available.
Milk and milk products are convenient and nutritious foods which
provide protein, carbohydrates and fat for energy and growth. They
also contain vitamins and minerals such as calcium necessary for
strong bones and teeth.
We recommend that full cream milk is used for children less
than 2 years old. Reduced fat milks (eg. Rev) may be an
alternative for older children or adolescents.
One serve may be:
Three serves a day of milk or milk products will provide a good
balance of nutrients from this group.
If your child has no milk, then a calcium fortified soya based
alternative is recommended.
Foods from this group contain carbohydrates (starch) for energy,
some protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals
Most bread and cereal products form an excellent base to a
healthy diet, but try to avoid products with added sugar or
We recommend that whole grain breads and cereals are used as
they are more nutritious than foods that have been overly
One serve from this group may be:
Include four to five serves a day.
Fibre, starch, sugar vitamins and minerals are all provided by
foods in this group.
Vegetables can be eaten raw or cook them for a short time so
that precious vitamins are not destroyed. Fresh fruits, especially
seasonal varieties are popular. Tinned & dried fruits can add
variety to meals and snacks
Children often love to design their own salads - mixing together
a variety of chopped seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Soups and dips are fun ways to encourage children to eat more
Include 4 or more serves each day eg. pieces of fruit eg. 1
banana, 1 apple, or 2 tablespoons of vegetables.
These foods are rich in protein needed to build and repair body
muscle and tissue.
This group includes a variety of meats, fish, poultry, eggs,
dried peas, beans, lentils and nuts.
It is best to trim off any visible fat from meat and cook
without adding fats and oils.
Include 2 serve a day.
Fats such as butter, margarine and oil are very dense in energy.
Only small quantities are needed to provide the fat soluble
vitamins A & D.
Eating too many high fat foods, such as fried takeaways, chips,
pies and ice-cream, may cause your child to become overweight and
have less appetite for other foods.
In Australia we have a wonderful variety of tasty foods for
children to enjoy from each of the food groups.
Encourage your child to drink 3-4 glasses of plain water each
day and even more on hot days.
Health snack ideas
Note: Make sure you look at labels to avoid foods high in
fats, sugar and salt.