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Grains and cereal

2-minute read

Grains give your child the energy they need to grow, develop and learn. They include a variety of vitamins and nutrients as well as protein and fibre.

Healthy options include mostly wholegrain or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, oats, quinoa and barley.

Wholegrains have protein, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. Some of these nutrients are lost when grains are processed, so wholegrains are preferred. These include rolled oats, brown rice, wholemeal and wholegrain breads, cracked wheat, barley, buckwheat and breakfast cereals like muesli or bran cereal.

Tips for serving grains

Grains come in many different varieties, so kids would normally have some type of grain for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day.

  • Baked beans on toast or peanut butter on a muffin.
  • Small bowl of breakfast cereal with milk.
  • Any variety of fillings in a sandwich or wrap.
  • Including 1/2 cup of rice, pasta or noodles with dinner

How much grains should my child be eating?

From the age of 2, young children should be having 4 serves of grain a day. Energetic kids might have a bit more as it will give them the extra energy they need. From the age of 9, boys will need 5 serves and this will increase as they get older.

A serve is equal to:

  • 1 slice of bread or ½ medium roll or flatbread
  • 1 crumpet or English muffin
  • ½ cup cooked rice, oats, pasta or other grain
  • 3 rye crispbread
  • 2/3 cup (30g) of breakfast cereal flakes or ¼ cup muesli
  • ¼ cup of flour

Five food groups

Read more about the other 4 of the 5 food groups:

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Last reviewed: January 2020


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The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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