Daily dietary guidelines for children 4-8 years
Children need a wide variety of healthy foods from each of the five food groups. How much food children need depends on body size and activity levels.
Children aged 4-8 years should aim for 1½ serves of fruit; 4½ serves of vegies; 1½-2 serves of dairy; 4 serves of grains; and 1½ serves of lean meats, nuts and nut pastes and legumes.
Children need lots of water – the cheapest, healthiest and most thirst-quenching drink. They need more water on hot or humid days and if they sweat a lot. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, flavoured milk and water, sports drinks and energy drinks.
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 (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.
Cereal and grains: 1 serve = 1 slice of bread; or ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa or polenta; or ½ cup porridge; or ⅔ cup wheat cereal flakes; or ¼ cup muesli; or 1 crumpet or small English muffin. Offer 4 serves a day. Wholegrain is best.
Food groups: daily serves of dairy, protein and healthy fats
Dairy: 1 serve = 1 cup (250 ml) 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, 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 or sunflower seeds. Offer 1½ serves a day.