Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Feeding children

We need to focus on nutritious foods in healthy quantities, for ourselves and our family.

Eating habits and food preferences are formed from a very young age. They are affected by race, religion, culture, ethics, economics, health and climate. They should also be influenced by a little knowledge of what is sound nutritional value and what the body requires.

Body requirements are pretty much covered by portion control. I covered recommended portion sizes and healthy nutrition when I discussed the different food groups. What I didn't cover was the number of portions and portion sizes for children.

So, for the under-5s, the number of daily portions required are:
Meat/fish/chickens/beans: 2-4 portions
Fruits:                              2-4 portions
Vegetables:                       3-5 portions
Grains/cereals/potatoes:    4-6 portions
Dairy:                               2-4 portions (excluding milk for drinking)
Food containing fat/sugar:  1-2 portions
Milk:                            500 - 750ml depending on age
but the portion size varies with age.

Sally Avridge has been asking me for some guidelines for feeding her two little ones, so tomorrow 1'll talk about portion sizes for the under-1s, the 2-3s and 3-5s.

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