While it’s extremely important for young children to be active, many of them are not having an adequate amount of the right foods that will allow them to grow into strong and healthy adults.
So, how much of everything should children be eating?
- 2 – 3 years: 1 serve of fruit; 2½ serves of vegetables; 4 serves of grains; 1 serve of meat/poultry; 1½ serves of dairy
- 4 – 8 years: 1½ serves of fruit; 4½ serves of vegetables; 4 serves of grains; 1 ½ serves of meat/poultry; 1½ – 2 serves of dairy
- 9 – 11 years: 2 serves of fruit; 5 serves of vegetables; 4 – 5 serves of grains; 2½ serves of meat/poultry; 2½ – 3 serves of dairy
- 12 – 13 years: 2 serves of fruit; 5 – 5 ½ serves of vegetables; 5 – 6 serves of grains; 2 ½ serves meat/poultry; 3 ½ serves dairy.
It may be a struggle to get your kids to start eating healthy so here are a few tips to make things easier:
- make meal time family time, without any screens
- make healthy foods fun, for example by cutting fruit or sandwiches into interesting shapes
- encourage your children to sit with you at the table
- eat a healthy breakfast every day
- try out new foods and show your children where food comes from; let them help you buy food from the shops
- cook and try new recipes together
- don’t keep junk food in the house
- keep a bowl of fruit handy for a snack
- wash your hands and make sure food is prepared and stored safely.