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Diet For Children

Diet For Children

 

Children need a well-balanced diet to obtain essential nutrients for health, growth and development. Each of the five food groups listed below contribute different nutrients to their diet in the right amounts. Therefore, eating a variety of foods from each group daily will support their growth. Water is the best choice for hydration; sweetened beverages are unnecessary as they promote dental caries. Foods and beverages high in saturated fats, salt and/or sugar should also be limited as they are of minimal nutrition benefit. Examples of discretionary foods which should be limited include sweet biscuits, cakes, commercial take-away, soft drinks and processed meats.

 

 

Where do I get them from and how much?
Choose different foods from within each group each day:

 

Fruits: includes fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit.
One serve is equal to 1 medium piece of fruit such as an apple; 2 small fruits such as kiwi fruit or 1 cup of tinned fruit or fruit salad.

Amount: 1 ½ - 2 serves per day

 

Vegetables and legumes: includes fresh, frozen or tinned vegetables. Legumes include things like baked beans, chickpeas or lentils.
One serve is equal to 1 cup of salad vegetables; ½ cup cooked vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli); ½ medium potato or ½ cup baked beans, chickpeas or lentils.

Amount: 4 ½ - 5 serves per day

 

Breads and cereals: preferably wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties such as bread, rice, pasta or noodles.
One serve is equal to 1 slice bread, ½ cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles or 2/3 cup breakfast cereal.

Amount: 4 - 5 serves per day

 

Lean meat and meat alternatives: includes red meat, poultry, fish, tofu, nuts and seeds, eggs and legumes.
One serve is equal to 65g cooked red meat, 80g cooked chicken breast, 2 large eggs, 100g fish fillet or 170g tofu.

Amount: 1 ½ - 2 ½ serves per day

 

Dairy and/or alternatives: includes milk, cheese and yoghurt or calcium-fortified soy, oat, rice or almond milk.
One serve is equal to 250ml milk, 2 slices cheese or 200g yoghurt.

Amount: 1 ½ - 3 serves per day

 

 

How do I know if I’m getting enough?
If your child is eating a variety of foods from the five groups throughout the day, there is no need to worry. Consuming more than the recommended serves is not harmful, but may displace foods from other groups. For instance, eating more than the recommended serves of dairy may displace iron-rich foods from the meat group from their diet. If you have concerns about your child’s diet, make an appointment to see an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

 

 

Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

Healthy Kids Association
http://healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/5-food-groups/

 

Better Health Channel
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Food_variety_and_a_healthy_diet?open

 

Eat for Health
http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups

 

 

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