Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

How much food at 4 to 5 years? - text version

2-minute read

As your child grows, so will their appetite. Not all kids will eat the same amount of food and it will also depend on how active your child is.

Exercise - 3 hours a day

Active kids burn energy. Your child should be getting at least 3 hours of physical activity each day. Spent energy needs replacing and the best way to do that is healthy food, plenty of water and a good night’s sleep.

Daily needs

Breakfast

Baked beans on toast is often a favourite for kids. An alternative to beans is a boiled egg. Both are a good source of protein.

Lunch

Sandwiches are great lunches for active kids. Add a slice of cheese with 2 of their favourite raw veggies for lunch on the go.

Dinner

Stir-fries and pasta dishes with meat and veggies are an excellent way of including 3 of the 5 food groups. Beef can be swapped for chicken, fish, pork or turkey. You can choose noodles, pasta or rice and add a selection of your child's favourite veggies.

How many serves a day?

  • Fruit - 11/2 serves
  • Vegetables - 41/2 serves
  • Grains - 4 serves
  • Protein - 11/2 serves
  • Dairy - 2 serves

What is a serve?

The size of a serve will depend on the type of food. Here are some examples:

  • Fruit - 1 cup diced fruit or 1 medium apple or banana
  • Vegetables - 1/2 cup cooked veggies or 1 cup salad greens
  • Grains - 1/2 cup cooked rice or 1 slice bread
  • Protein - 80g cooked chicken or 2 eggs
  • Dairy - 1 cup milk or 2 slices cheese

Kids will get hungry throughout the day, so have a selection of healthy snacks for them to enjoy. Remember not to let them fill up on snacks before meals.

See this list as an infographic.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: March 2019


Back To Top

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

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.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.