Healthy Growth

Food for Essential Nutrients

Key points:

  • We can’t make our children eat anything but we can support them in developing healthy habits.
  • The way we feed our children is as important as what we feed them
  • Be clear on the roles of the parent or carer and child in the feeding relationship.
  • Rules help create calmer mealtimes.
  • Offer foods from each of the Five Food Groups every day.
  • Use language that helps support healthy eating behaviours.

Which foods will give my child the nutrients they need?

When we think about our child’s nutrition, it’s easy to think about all the foods they don’t eat. However, take a minute to list the foods they do eat, even those foods they eat occasionally. Are there any food groups missing? Children can manage remarkably well on a very limited variety of foods. However, when there are whole food groups missing, it’s more likely they will be missing out on important nutrients. By offering them foods from each food group every day, you will be providing exposure to nutritious foods and increasing the likelihood of them including all the food groups.

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Fruit

Vegetables/salad

Grains (cereal, bread, crackers)

Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts or legumes

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives

A child with a small appetite is more likely to be able to meet their nutrient needs if you avoid offering non-nutritious foods and ensure they are not having too much from one particular food group.

Click here for the Dietary Guidelines for children: ‘Healthy eating for children: Teach your child healthy habits for a healthy life.’

Would you like more support?

Click Get Support to provide your details to our Care Support Team who will match your needs with the appropriate level of support.

Further support

If you are concerned about your child’s food intake, eating behaviours, growth or nutrition-related health, contact a GP, paediatrician or Accredited Practising Dietitian who can provide a comprehensive assessment that considers your child’s medical history, eating patterns including mealtime experiences, physical activity and genetic factors.

Find an Accredited Practising Dietitian with experience in infant and child growth - https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/find-an-apd/