Healthy Eating Guideline

Make sure that food offered to children is appropriate to the child’s age and development and includes a wide variety of nutritious foods.

Healthy food, strong kids

  • Good nutrition is needed for healthy growth and development in early childhood.
  • Healthy eating in childhood protects kids from sickness.
  • Poor nutrition can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
  • You can work with parents and families to support healthy eating habits.

Healthy ‘everyday foods’

A balanced diet means eating a variety of food from the 5 food groups. It’s good to have some food from each food group every day.
The 5 food groups include:
  • plenty of vegetables, beans and lentils
  • fruit
  • breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles (mostly wholegrain) and
  • other grains like oats and barley
  • milk, yoghurt and cheese (mostly reduced fat for kids over 2 years)
  • lean meat such as kangaroo, fish, chicken (without skin), eggs,
  • beans and nuts (but not whole nuts for kids under 3 years).

Encourage parents to give kids these healthy foods every day

  • Kids need lots of vegies and fruit as well as food from all the food groups.
  • Most bush tucker is very healthy for kids.
  • If a child has special eating needs, talk to the family.
At 12 months kids can have all the healthy food that the family eats.
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‘Sometimes foods’

  • Sometimes foods are not in the 5 food groups because they are not needed for good health.
  • Sometimes foods are high in fat, sugar and/or salt and don’t have much nutritional value.
  • There is no need to give these foods to kids on a regular basis.
  • Ask families not to include sometimes foods in lunchboxes.
Sometimes foods are:
  • chocolate and lollies
  • biscuits and chips
  • pastries, pies, sausage rolls
  • fried foods like chicken and hot chips
  • takeaway food
  • cakes and ice cream
  • soft drinks, fruit juice, fruit drinks, cordial, sports drinks,
  • energy drinks, flavoured milk and flavoured waters.
There is no need to add salt, sugar, honey, butter or margarine to food for babies and kids.