- Helps kids grow healthy and strong
- Can help prevent kids from becoming overweight
- Can help to fight sickness
At 12 months, kids can eat the same healthy foods that the family eats.
Kids should eat healthy food every day.
‘Everyday foods’ include:
- plenty of vegetables, beans and lentils
- 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)
‘Sometimes foods’ are high in fat, sugar and salt and are not needed. They can lead to tooth decay and weight gain and leave less room for healthy foods.
Limit sometimes foods to kids. Tell kids they can only have sometimes foods on one day of the week, and in small amounts.
‘Sometimes foods’ are:
- chocolate, lollies, biscuits and chips
- pastries, pies and sausage rolls
- fried foods like chicken and hot chips
- takeaway and junk food
- cakes and ice cream
- juice, soft drinks, cordial and other sweet drinks
Help kids to enjoy eating healthy foods
- Talk to kids about the difference between everyday and sometimes foods
- Never use food to reward or punish a child – this can lead to unhealthy food habits
- Water is the best drink for our kids
- Kids don’t need sweet drinks
- Make sure kids have plenty of clean water and give kids water with meals and snacks
Regular mealtimes give kids energy
- Kids have small stomachs – they need small meals and healthy snacks
- Kids need 3 meals and 3 healthy snacks a day
- Kids who eat all the time never learn how it feels to be hungry
All kids need breakfast
Breakfast gives kids energy for the day ahead. Missing breakfast can start unhealthy eating habits. Kids who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be overweight.
Good breakfast food
- Healthy wholegrain cereals such as wheat biscuits and porridge
- Yoghurt and fruit
- Baked beans on wholegrain toast
- Toast with cheese
- Boiled or scrambled eggs
- Pikelets with yoghurt and fruit
- Fresh fruit
- Boiled eggs
- Wholemeal sandwiches, pita wrap or bread roll with: mashed egg and lettuce
- Chicken with cheese and grated carrot
- Lean cold meat, lettuce, tomato, mashed banana, tuna and corn
Ideas for lunch
- Soup and a bread roll
- Pasta with sauce and cheese (leftovers from the night before)
- Toasted sandwich
- Fruit and cheese or yoghurt
Quick and health dinner ideas
- Soup – chicken, pea and ham, pumpkin and lentil
- Eggs – scrambled, boiled or omelettes
- Baked potatoes with tuna, baked beans or cheese toppings
- Pasta with vegetables or tuna
- Sweet potato and chickpea patties, tuna and corn patties
- Stir fry beef and vegetables
- Curries or stew with rice
- ‘No added salt’ baked beans
- Cheese on toast
Kids can be fussy eaters when they are sick or tired.
Kids may refuse to eat if they have too much food on their plate or if they have filled up on drinks or snacks before meals.
Limit drinks or snacks between meals.
Set a limit of 30 minutes for a meal.
Take away the uneaten food and never force a child to eat.
Re-offer foods that have been refused – it may take up to 10 times before it is accepted.
Serving food safely
- Store all high-risk food in the fridge and make sure it is covered
- Make sure all kids and adults wash their hands before making or eating food
- Keep kitchen areas clean
- Do not re-heat cooked food more than once
- Throw away any food that has been out of the fridge for more than 2 hours
- Wash knives and boards used to cut uncooked meat and fish very well before using with other foods