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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


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.


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


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.

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Last reviewed: March 2019

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