A healthy diet for children


The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits later in life, so it’s important to install good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age.

Ensure your child’s nutritional requirements are met by aiming for three balanced meals a day with up to two healthy snacks. Get into the habit of trying different types of protein such as egg, fish, lean meat or legumes with meals and a couple of different vegetables.

Children should also be encouraged to:

· Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit – as many different colours as possible

· Eat starchy carbs (such as low-sugar cereals, bread, rice, pasta and noodles)

· Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives for example nuts or legumes

· Include milk, yogurts, cheeses or alternatives

· Choose water as their main drink and to drink regularly throughout the day

Care should be taken to:

· Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake

· Choose foods low in salt

· Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and keep to guidelines on foods containing added or 'free' sugars


See our guides for more advice on giving your child a healthy diet

Healthy foods kids will love
Top 5 healthy family meals
A balanced diet for toddlers
A balanced diet for school children
How much sugar should children have?
Healthy eating: What young children need

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