By Raising Children Network
Print Email

What should children eat?

A range of suitable foods and serving sizes
  • Children over four need to eat a variety of nutritious foods, in the right proportions. They should choose foods from each of the five food groups every day. The amount of food children need depends on their body size and how active they are.
  • Daily recommended serves: This information is currently under review following the release of the new Australian Dietary Guidelines. 
  • Drink plenty of water. The cheapest, healthiest and most thirst-quenching drink is plain water. Kids need to drink more fluid on hot or humid days, if they sweat or are physically active. Avoid sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and flavoured milk.

Serving examples: Fruit, vegetables, cereals and grains

Fruit, vegetable and cereals serving examples
  • Fruit: 1 serve = 1 medium piece such as an apple; or 2 small pieces such as 2 plums; or 1 cup chopped fruit.
  • Vegetables: 1 serve = 1 medium piece such as a potato; or ½ cup cooked vegetables; or 1 cup salad vegetables.
  • Cereal and grains: 1 serve = 2 slices bread; or 1 cup cooked rice/pasta/noodles; or 1 cup porridge; or 1⅓ cups breakfast cereal or ½ cup muesli.

Serving examples: dairy, protein and ‘sometimes’ foods

Dairy, protein and 'sometimes' foods serving examples
  • Dairy: 1 serve = 250 ml milk (or calcium-fortified soy milk); or 2 slices cheese; or 200 gm yoghurt; or 250 ml custard. 
  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes: 1 serve = 65-100 gm cooked meat/chicken (½ cup lean mince/2 small chops/2 slices roast meat); or 2 small eggs; or 80-120 gm cooked fish fillet; or ½ cup cooked lentils/chickpeas/canned beans; or ⅓ cup peanuts/almonds; or ¼ cup sunflower/sesame seeds.
  • ‘Sometimes’ foods: 1 serve = 1 doughnut; or 4 sweet biscuits; or 1 slice of cake; or ½ small chocolate bar; or 2 tablespoons mayonnaise; or 1 tablespoon butter/margarine/oil.
  • Add to favourites
  • Create pdf
  • Print
  • Email
  • Last Updated 31-05-2013
  • Last Reviewed 01-11-2011