Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight


When we talk about healthy eating for children, we usually talk about what to eat, but we don’t often talk about how much to eat. To make sure children grow and develop well and achieve and maintain a healthy weight, it is just as important that they eat the right amount of food as the right type of food. It is also important that their weight and height are checked regularly.

The amount of food children should eat varies depending on their age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level.

The recommended daily number of serves and serve sizes from each of the five food groups, which follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines, are shown in the table below. As children are growing, it is not recommended for children to have dietary restriction less than the recommended number of serves in the table. If you have concerns regarding your child’s weight, discuss them with a health professional.

Note that the recommended serve size doesn’t change but the portion size at a meal can vary. Few children eat the same way every day, and it’s common for them to eat a little more on some days than others, but the average amount of food eaten overall should be similar to the recommendations per day.

The types and amounts of foods in the table provide all the nutrients and healthy foods needed by children. There is little room for less active, shorter or younger children in each age group, to have additional serves - it is particularly important for these children to limit unhealthy foods and drinks. If your child is physically active, taller or older, the best option is for them to enjoy additional serves of healthy food.

There are many different ways that healthy foods can be combined to provide health benefits. More information about different dietary patterns, for example, for those who follow a vegetarian diet, is provided at the Eat for Health website.

Table showing recommended daily serves by sex and age

If you want to know more about how much of each food is in a serve and how much of each food group children should eat, go to the Eat for Health website.



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