Understanding Portion Sizes for children

September 14, 2015

Today, let’s take a look at the guidance on what is a portion size for different foods in each food group and how to achieve the right balance between the food groups.

The Eatwell Plate* helps to illustrate that proportionally carbohydrate foods are needed in the greatest amount, roughly 1/3 of total energy intake. This means that we should aim to include foods such as breads, cereals and grains with each main meal. Protein foods equate to approximately 15-20% of total energy intake, and we should aim to include a small portion with main meals, 1 – 2 per day. The remainder of energy intake should come from dairy foods, fruits and vegetables, which provide essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). The foods with greatest controversy are those that are classed as sometimes foods or treat foods, those that provide us with energy (calories) but minimal or no nutrients. We should limit the intake of treat foods in children’s diets to a few times a week.

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