The government has set some practical guidelines to help parents understand what food and movement kids need everyday to stay healthy. Every family and every child is different, but the guidelines are a great place to start. 

How much should my child be eating?

Grain and cereal foods Vegetables Fruit Dairy and alternatives Meat and alternatives Discretionary foods
4-7 years

3-4 serves

4 serves 2 serves 3 serves ½ - 1 serves 1-2 serves
8-11 years

4-6 serves

4-5 serves 1-2 serves 3 serves 1-1½ serves 1-2 serves

12-18 years

4-7 serves 5-9 serves 3-4 serves 3-5 serves 1-2 serves 1-3 serves

What is a serve? 

servings

View the Australian guide to healthy eating for children and adolescents.

How active should my child be?

Children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. 'Moderate' physical activity uses the major muscle groups and will increase their heart rate. 'Vigorous' activity will get them huffing and puffing. Limit screen time for kids. This includes activities  such as watching TV, playing video games or surfing the net. 

View the government's physical activity recommendations for children.

Tips for parents!

  • Children copy what they see around them. Be a positive role model and teach your children about healthy living through your own food and activity choices.
  • Be careful about giving food as a reward or as a display of love.
  • Limit 'screen-time' to less than two hours a day.
  • Include plenty of fruit and vegetables in meals and snacks.
  • Tap water is the best drink choice. 
  • Let your child help choose and prepare healthy meals and snacks.
  • Encourage your child to eat slowly and recognise when they are full. It's OK for them to leave food on their plate.
  • Eat For Health - the official Australian guide to healthy eating for adolescents and children from the Australian government.
  • Health.gov.au - the government's physical activity recommendations for children.
  • Food Balance - a game designed to help children aged between 4 and 13 years learn about healthy eating.
  • Nature Play WA - for great ideas to get your children involved in outdoor activities in WA.
  • Parents' Voice  - Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children
  • WASCA - the Western Australian School Canteen Association, an independent non-profit assisting schools and community groups to establish and maintain healthy, profitable food services.
  • Department of Sport and Recreation - use the 'find a club' tool to search for clubs for your children to join.
  • Healthy Schools Network ACT - a collaboration of local government and Not-For-Profit organisations that actively promote health and wellbeing in ACT primary schools, secondary schools and early childhood.
  • Physical Activity Foundation - Ride or Walk to School - One of the easiest ways for children to contribute to their 60 minutes of daily physical activity is to ride or walk to school.  There are more than 50 ACT schools committed to promoting and encouraging students to use active travel to get to school via the Ride or Walk to School Program.