Recommended number of serves for children, adolescents and toddlers

The dietary patterns in the table below provide the nutrients and energy needed for all children and adolescents of average height with sedentary to moderate activity levels.

Additional serves of the Five Food Groups or unsaturated spreads and oils or discretionary choices are needed only by children and adolescents who are taller, more active or in the higher end of a particular age band, to meet additional energy requirements.

Recommended average daily number of serves from each of the five food groups* Additional serves for more active, taller or older children and adolescents

Vegetables & legumes/beans Fruit Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced fat) Approx. number of additional serves from the five food groups or discretionary choices
Toddlers **





1-2 2-3 ½ 4 1 1-1½
Boys





2-3 2 ½ 1 4 1 1 ½ 0-1
4-8 4 ½ 1 ½ 4 1 ½ 2 0-2 ½
9-11 5 2 5 2 ½ 2 ½ 0-3
12-13 5 ½ 2 6 2 ½ 3 ½ 0-3
14-18 5 ½ 2 7 2 ½ 3 ½ 0-5
Girls





2-3 2 ½ 1 4 1 1 ½ 0-1
4-8 4 ½ 1 ½ 4 1 ½ 1 ½ 0-1
9-11 5 2 4 2 ½ 3 0-3
12-13 5 2 5 2 ½ 3 ½ 0-2 ½
14-18 5 2 7 2 ½ 3 ½ 0-2 ½
Pregnant 5 2 8 3 ½ 3 ½ 0-3
Breastfeeding 5 ½ 2 9 2 ½ 4 0-3

*Includes an allowance for unsaturated spreads or oils, nuts or seeds (½ serve [4.5g] per day for children 2-3 years of age, 1 serve [7-10g] per day for children 3-12 years of age; 1 ½ serves [11-15g] per day for children 12-13 years, and 2 serves [14-20g] per day for adolescents 14-18 years of age and for pregnant and breastfeeding girls).

** An allowance for unsaturated spreads or oils or nut/seed paste of 1 serve (7–10g) per day is included. Whole nuts and seeds are not recommended for children of this age because of the potential choking risk.

Do you need more information?

See sample daily food patterns for infants aged 7-12 months - Table 16 (page 44) of the Eat for Health Educator Guide - Information for nutrition educators.