Daily Guide to Feeding Your Kids

Daily Guide to Feeding Your Kids

Author -  Kate Morland, Nutritionist

Guidelines on healthy eating for kids have been developed by the Ministry of Health and to make it easier for you, we’ve simplified them with a few suggestions.

Daily Guide to Feeding your Kids

We’re bombarded with information on ‘what to eat’ and ‘what not to eat’, and ‘how much’ etc. This advice can be useless at times unless we have some guidelines around what exactly is a serving size, or what foods fall into which categories. Knowing what and how much to feed your kids will depend on so many individual factors such as likes and dislikes, but here are a few examples to start the ball rolling. The Ministry of Health has done an excellent job in creating guidelines for healthy eating (1). Here are some practical tips to help you achieve their recommendations:

Fruit & Vegetables

Choose 2 serves of fruit & 3 serves of veggies each day!
1 serve = 1 medium sized, ½ cup canned or cooked, 1 cup salad

  • Add ½ cup of canned, fresh or stewed fruit to breakfast cereal
  • Thread cubes of fresh fruit on kebab sticks for a creative dessert
  • Combine carrot and celery sticks with a small container of hummus in the lunchbox
  • Grate raw carrot, pumpkin, courgette or beetroot into mince dishes eg. bolognaise
  • Mash carrot, potato and broccoli together, top with grated cheese and grill. Perfect for a casserole topping or disguising veggies in mash!

Breads & Cereals

Choose 4-6 serves each day
1 serve = 1 cup cereal, 1 slice bread, 1 cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles, 1 muffin, ½ cup porridge

  • Serve 1 cup of cereal with fruit and yoghurt for breakie
  • Cut into mini triangles grainy sandwiches filled with lettuce, cheese and marmite or grated carrot, ham and relish
  • Bake mini bran and fruit muffins for quick and easy lunchbox fillers (great to freeze)
  • Spread cottage cheese or hummus on 2-3 grainy crackers for an afterschool snack

Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes

Choose at least 1 serve each day
1 serve = ¾ cup canned beans, mince or casserole, 2 slices meat, 1 egg, 100g steak, 1 fillet fish

  • Canned beans are a quick dinner option served on grainy toast with diced tomato & capsicum
  • Soft boil one egg and serve with soldiers (toast sliced in 3) or mash into a sandwich with lite mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup of casserole or mince or 2 chicken drums served with mixed vege and mash spud
  • 2 slices of cooked meat served with rice and stirfry veggies

Milk & Milk Products

Choose 2-3 servings each day
1 serve = 1 glass milk, 1 pottle yoghurt or 2 slices cheese

  • Pop a pottle of yoghurt into the freezer overnight, it will be perfectly slushy by morning tea time
  • Make a smoothie for breakfast or as an afterschool snack with milk and fruit
  • Cheese and marmite with some grainy bread or crackers is a great lunchbox filler

Sample day that ticks the boxes

  • Breakfast: 1 cup cereal, ¼ cup fruit, 1 cup milk
  • Snack: 1 banana & mini wholemeal muffin
  • Lunch: Ham & lettuce grainy sandwich, pottle yoghurt
  • Snack: Grainy crackers & cheese
  • Afterschool: Carrot & celery sticks & hummus
  • Dinner: Beef stirfry with rice and veggies
  • Supper: Fruit kebabs

    (1) Ministry of Health. Eating for Healthy Children Aged 2 to 12. 2002. Wellington, New Zealand.