Children 4 to 7 years: Meat based diet.

The early school years are a time of rapid learning and slow and steady physical growth. It is also an important time for developing lifelong healthy eating habits . Children need a variety of foods to meet the nutrient needs of their growing bodies. As body size increases so does the need for more food.

When children are very active, they have higher energy (kilojoule) needs. Appetites usually increase to meet these needs.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating will help you select the type of foods to make the best choices for your child. The amounts suggested are a guide only, remember the amounts your child eats will vary depending on their appetite, activity levels, individual needs, and body size as they are growing.

It is recommended that young children are not given “Extra” foods (or very occasionally only) as they replace other foods and the essential nutrients needed for growth and development.

Eat at least the following serves from the five food groups:




Breads, cereals, rice, pasta,

Illustration of bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles

serves per day


= 2 slices of bread
= 1 medium bread roll
= 1 cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles
= 1 cup porridge
= 1 1/3 cup breakfast cereal
= ½ cup muesli


Vegetables, legumes

Illustration of vegetables and legumes

serves per day


= 75 g or ½ cup cooked vegetables
= 75 g or ½ cup cooked or canned
beans, lentils, chick peas or split
= 1 cup salad vegetables
= 1 medium potato



Illustration of assorted fruit


serves per day


= 1 medium piece, eg apple, banana,
orange, pear
= 2 small pieces (eg apricots,
kiwifruits, plums)
= 1 cup diced or canned fruit
= ½ cup 100% juice
= dried fruit, eg 4 dried apricot halves,
1½ tablespoons sultanas.

Milk, yogurt, cheese
Illustration of milk, yogurt, cheese

Choose reduced fat varieties

serves per day


= 250mL (1 cup) milk
= ½ cup evaporated milk
= 40 g (2 slices) cheese
= 200 g (1 small carton) yogurt
= 250 mL (1 cup) custard


Meat, fish, poultry, eggs,
nuts, legumes
Illustration of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes


serves per day


= 65-100 g cooked meat, chicken,
eg ½ cup lean mince, 2 small
chops or 2 slices of roast meat.
= 80-120 g cooked fish fillet
= ½ cup cooked (dried) beans,
lentils, chick peas, split peas or
canned beans.
= 2 small eggs
= 1/3 cup peanuts or almonds
= ¼ cup sunflower seeds or sesame


Limit “extra” foods. Some foods do not fit into the five food groups. They contain too much fat, sugar and/or salt and very few essential nutrients. Choose carefully – only eat these foods sometimes or in small amounts. Avoid sugar substitutes and drinks high in kilojoules, sugar or artificial sweeteners (eg. soft drinks and diet drinks).