Go for variety

for the one-to-fives

Food group

Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates

Examples 

Bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice, noodles, chapattis and yams

Quantity

At least one serving with each meal and as some snacks

Key nutrients 

Carbohydrate

B vitamins

Fibre

Tips

Small portions of these foods make great snacks

Give a mixture of white, brown and wholegrain varieties. Wholegrain includes wholemeal bread and bread products, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, oats and wholegrain breakfast cereals

Food group

Fruit and vegetables

Examples 

All fresh, frozen and tinned fruit (in natural juice) and vegetables (in unsalted water), and dried fruit

Quantity

Aim for 5 ‘child-sized’ portions a day. One portion is about the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand

Key nutrients 

Vitamins – especially vitamin C 

Dark green vegetables provide some iron

Fibre

Tips

Dried fruit should be kept to mealtimes only as it has higher concentrations of sugar that can contribute to the development of tooth decay

Vegetables can be easily added to soups and stews. Or some children prefer to eat their vegetables raw

Food group

Milk, cheese and yogurt

Examples 

Milk, hard cheese, yogurt, fromage frais

Quantity

3 portions of dairy a day: 100-120ml (small glass) milk, 125g (small pot) of yogurt, or 2-3 tablespoons (15g) of grated hard cheese

Key nutrients 

Calcium

Protein

Phosphorus

Iodine

Tips

Milk can be used in custard, milk puddings, sauces and soups

Try yogurts as a pudding or snack

Food group

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins

Examples 

Meat, poultry (e.g. chicken, turkey), fish (e.g. tuna, fish fingers), eggs, nuts*, seeds, pulses (e.g. peas, baked beans, chickpeas, lentils) and soya products such as tofu

Quantity

Try to provide 2 servings each day for young children eating meat and fish or 2 or 3 servings of a variety of alternative protein sources each day for vegetarian young children

Key nutrients 

Protein

Iron (especially red meat and liver**)   

Other important vitamins and minerals including zinc and vitamin B6

Tips

Even small amounts of meat or fish are useful to help keep iron levels topped up

Lean meat, tinned salmon, tuna, peanut butter*, houmous and eggs all make ideal sandwich fillings

*Nuts

Safety: children under five should not be given whole nuts because of the risk of inhaling and choking.

Peanut allergy: as long as there is no history of food or other allergies in your family, you can give your toddler peanuts, as long as they are crushed or ground into peanut butter. Otherwise if your child already has a known allergy or there is a history of allergy in your child’s immediate family (either parent or sibling) you should speak to your healthcare professional before you give peanuts or foods containing peanuts for the first time.

 

**Liver

If you give liver or liver products to your child, they should be given in very small amounts no more than once a week.