For kids & teens
Eat a rainbow - resources to help young children eat more fruit and vegetables - eating different colours of fruit and vegetables
We all know how important it is for children and teens to make healthy food and activity choices. But, while it may be easy to say, it’s not always so easy to do!
However, the benefits of setting some time aside to plan key steps towards getting the kids and whole family eating better and doing more activity make it all worthwhile.
Healthy eating means enjoying a variety of foods from each of the five food groups every day.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating gives us a good idea about which foods children and teens need each day. These include:
And remember, water is the best drink for kids and teens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Resources for parents and teachers have been developed, including games to educate and encourage kids.
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.
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.
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.
Many efforts are being made nationally and within South Australia to look at the issue of food advertising to children.