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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the nutrition guidelines for children?

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    Courtney Bates

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Courtney is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and member of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). She runs her own practice on ... View Profile

    The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents outlines the types and amounts of food children need to eat each day to get adequate nutrients for good health and well-being. Children need to eat a wide variety of foods everyday, from all of the five food groups. The number of serves of each food group depends on their age but varies from:

    Breads & Cereals: 5-11 (1 serve = 1 cup cereal, 2 slices bread)
    Vegetables & legumes: 2-4 (1 serve = 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, 1 cup salad vegetables)
    Fruit: 1-3 (1 serve = 1 medium piece fruit, tbsp sultanas, 125ml fruit juice)
    Milk, yoghurt, cheese: 2-3 (1 serve = 250ml glass milk, 200g yoghurt)
    Lean meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts: 1/2 - 1 (1 serve = 65-100g meat, 2 small eggs)

    Teach your children healthy eating habits for life from a young age. Teach them that “everyday” foods are foods like fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, dairy, legumes, lean meats and eggs. Teach them that “occasional” foods like sweet biscuits, cakes, potato chips, chocolates and soft drinks should be shared and enjoyed on special occasions.  Water is the drink of choice for children.For a PDF poster visit NHMRC website http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n30.pdf

    Courtney Dinnerville
    Accredited Practising Dietitian

  • Sandra Brastein

    Nutritionist

    I hold a BSc in Public Health Nutrition from Oslo and Akershus University College in Norway. I use an evidence-based approach to tailor a plan ... View Profile

    As Courtney has mentioned above, the recommended serves for each food group vary as this is based on the differing requirements of children as they grow. 

    The most recent dietary guidelines for Australians that are available for now (the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating) are those published in 2013. You can find an overall summary of the guidelines here: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/The%20Guidelines/n55a_australian_dietary_guidelines_summary_131014_1.pdf 

    And here is a brochure summarising the guidelines for children with the serves for each age group: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/The%20Guidelines/n55f_children_brochure.pdf

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