Why should children eat healthy meals?
Children, just like adults, should aim to eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables everyday. They’re a great source of fibre and vitamins and minerals.
Getting 5 A DAY shouldn’t be too difficult. Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards your child’s 5 A DAY, including fresh, tinned, frozen and dried. Juices, smoothies, beans and pulses also count.
Be aware that unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of their 5 A DAY.
For example, if they have two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in one day, that still only counts as one portion.
Their combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.
For example, if they have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, they’ll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.
When fruit is blended or juiced, it releases the sugars which increases the risk of tooth decay so it’s best to drink fruit juice or smoothies at mealtimes.
Discourage your child from having sugary or high-fat foods like sweets, cakes, biscuits, some sugary cereals, and sugar-sweetened soft and fizzy drinks. These foods and drinks tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients.
Aim for your child to get most of their calories from healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables, and starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, pasta and rice (preferably wholemeal). And switch sweetened soft drinks for water.