Did you notice the foods that are not on the Guide?
Lollies, chocolates, soft drinks, cakes, chips and the like do not fit into the food groups. That’s because, as tempting as they are, children and teens (and adults as well!) don’t actually need them.
These ‘extra’ foods, sitting in the bottom corner of the Guide, should only be eaten sometimes and even then, only in small amounts.
How much of each food group?
Every child is different, and the amount of each of the food groups they’ll need will depend on age, body size and activity level, but there are recommendations for how many serves of each food group children and teens normally need.
Encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables
Getting kids to eat more fruit and vegetables every day can sometimes be a struggle. However, research shows that they’re more likely to tuck into these healthy foods if they’re available, ready to eat and their parents are enjoying them.
We can also involve our kids in growing, buying and preparing different foods. This can help them taste and enjoy a bigger range of foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Eating a rainbow of coloured fruits and vegetables
Eat a rainbow is a concept that aims to increase young children's fruit and vegetable intake. It includes a range of activities encouraging children to talk about and taste a variety of fruit and vegetables.
The life of a teenager is full of change. As well as physical changes, there are changes in fashion, attitude, interests, income and even tastes.
So it’s not surprising that their eating habits may change as well – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse – and may include dieting, skipping meals, filling up on take-away food or, if your lucky, taking up cooking as a serious hobby.
Eating habits of teenagers can be brought about by:
a focus on fitness and looks
media messages and body image
eating away from home.
Is their eating on track?
To see how your child or teen’s diet compares with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, try this quiz from the Dietitians Association of Australia with them.
“I want, I want, I want!” tips for resisting pester power
Children see huge amounts of advertising for unhealthy food and drinks, on television, the internet, social media and sometimes even through promotions at schools or sports. By encouraging unhealthy eating, this advertising can affect kids’ health – now and later in life.
Try these tips to resist pester power:
when you say ‘no’, mean it and explain to your child why they can’t have the item, for example, “It’s too expensive,” or “You bought something else recently”
acknowledge how much they want it: “Yes, that does look nice”, while preparing them for disappointment: “But you know you probably won’t be able to have that because…”
keep ‘treats’ for special occasions
give your kids extra attention while shopping, as this can cut down on them asking for things. For example, ask them to help you with spotting items that are on the shopping list
limit children’s small-screen time (including tv, internet and computer games) to less than two hours a day
tape their favourite shows and fast-forward through the ads
choose tv programs that advertise lower amounts of junk food advertising. Use the Cancer Council’s Fat Free TV guide to find out what your kids are seeing on TV and to help you make healthier viewing choices
avoiding eating junk food yourself
visit Junkbusters or Parents Jury and have your say, if you are worried about junk food advertising to children.
Many efforts are being made nationally and within South Australia to look at the issue of food advertising to children.
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.