Daily dietary guidelines for children 4-8 years
Children need a wide variety of healthy foods from each of the 5 food groups. How much food children need depends on body size and activity levels.
Food groups: daily serves of fruit, vegetables, cereals and grains
Fruit: 1 serve = 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear; or 2 small plums, kiwi fruits or apricots; or 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar). Offer 1½ serves a day.
Vegetables: 1 serve = ½ medium potato (or sweet potato or corn); or ½ cup cooked vegies (like broccoli, spinach, carrots, pumpkin); or 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegies; or ½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans or lentils. Offer 4½ serves a day.
Food groups: daily serves of dairy, protein and healthy fats
Dairy: 1 serve = 1 cup (250 ml) pasteurised cow’s milk; or 1 cup dairy alternative like soy or rice milk with at least 100 mg of added calcium per 100 ml; or 2 slices of cheese; or ¾ cup (200 gm) yoghurt; or ½ cup ricotta cheese. Choose mostly reduced-fat dairy. Offer 1½-2 serves a day.
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes: 1 serve = 65 gm cooked lean beef, lamb, veal or pork; or 80 gm cooked lean chicken or turkey; or 100 gm cooked fish fillet; or 170 gm cooked tofu; or 2 large eggs; or 1 cup cooked lentils, chickpeas or canned beans; or 30 gm (1½ tablespoons) peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds. Offer 1½ serves a day.
Healthy fats: you can include 1 serve of unsaturated fat per day in cooking, baking, pastes or dressings. 1 serve = 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 gm) of olive, canola and rice bran oil or margarine made from these oils; or 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 gm) of nut or seed pastes; or 1 tablespoon (20 gm) of avocado.
Avoid foods like cakes, biscuits, chips, lollies, processed meats, and fried or takeaway foods. They’re high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.