5 Food Groups for Children with Examples

The secret to healthy consuming is to delight in a range of healthy foods from each of the 5 food groups. The Australian Overview of Healthy Consuming displays the 5 food groups on a plate, in the proportion that you need to be eating them throughout your day. If you eat a variety of foods from each of these groups, your body will get all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to work.

The 5 food groups are:

  • Dairy: the foods in this group are outstanding sources of calcium, which is important for strong, healthy bones. Very few other foods in our diet contain as much calcium as dairy foods.
  • Fruit: fruit supplies vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and numerous phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants), that assist your body stay healthy.
  • Grain (cereal) foods: constantly select wholegrain and/or high fibre ranges of breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, and so on. Fine-tuned grain items (such as cakes or biscuits) can be high in added sugar, fat and salt.
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds: our body uses the protein we eat to make specialised chemicals such as haemoglobin and adrenalin. Protein also builds, keeps, and repair works the tissues in our body. Muscles and organs (such as your heart) are made of protein.
  • Veggies, vegetables and beans: vegetables should make up a big part of your everyday food consumption and should be motivated at every meal (including snack times). They offer vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants) to assist your body remain healthy.

Every food group is very important to providing important nutrients and energy that can support regular growth and good health.Choose foods that have a high content of nutrients (protein, vitamins, and minerals) compared with the amount of calories, fat, and salt material.

Each of the 5 food groups supply nourishment. But certain groups are best for providing particular nutrients.

How much do kids need? It’s less than you believe

The amount of food kids need from each group differs with gender and age. This chart gives you a general concept of the quantity from each food group that is suggested for a complete, well balanced diet. As a general guideline, a nutritionally well balanced diet must include a minimum of 3 of the 5 food groups at each meal. Snacks ought to consist of two groups. Discover more about the essentials of child nutrition, including which minerals and vitamins children need in their daily diet.

5 Food Groups for Children with Examples

The Five Food Groups: Suggested Daily Servings for Children

Grains (oz)

  • 2 to 3 Years * 3 oz
  • 4 to 8 Years * 5 oz
  • 9 to 13 Years * 5 oz (girls) 6 oz (boys)

1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of prepared rice, prepared pasta, or cooked cereal = 1 ounce.

Veggies (cup)

  • 2 to 3 Years * 1 cup
  • 4 to 8 Years * 1 1/2 cups
  • 9 to 13 Years * 2 cups (ladies) 2 1/2 cups (young boys)

1 cup of raw or prepared veggies or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens = 1 cup.

Fruits (cup)

  • 2 to 3 Years * 1 cup
  • 4 to 8 Years * 1 1/2 cups
  • 9 to 13 Years * 1 1/2 cups

1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit = 1 cup.

Milk/Dairy (cup)

  • 2 to 3 Years * 2 cups
  • 4 to 8 Years * 2 1/2 cups
  • 9 to 13 Years * 3 cups

1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese = 1 cup.

Meat/Beans (oz)

  • 2 to 3 Years * 2 oz
  • 4 to 8 Years * 4 oz
  • 9 to 13 Years * 5 oz

1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish, 1/4 cup prepared dry beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds = 1 ounce.



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