A child’s diet should be made up of approximately 50% carbohydrate, 30% of good fats and around 20% protein.
A child’s needs will of course vary according to their age and activity levels. As a general guide, aim to give your child 3-5 portions of good quality protein each day, a portion at each meal, and this can be a combination of lean meat and fish dishes as well as grain and pulse-based dishes, depending on their needs and tolerance.
Aim to offer your child around 4-6 daily servings of unrefined, complex carbohydrates (such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potato, wild or camargue rice, jumbo oats, etc). One recommended serving of slow releasing carbohydrate would be 1/4 cup of rice, pasta or quinoa.
Your child should ideally be eating 3-4 servings of vegetables each day (a serving would be the around 1/2 cup) and 2-3 servings of fresh fruit (a serving is 1/2 to 1 cup).
Try to include oily fish in your child’s diet at least twice a week to ensure optimal intake of beneficial polyunsaturated fats, important for brain, skin and immune health. Only cook with butter, ghee or coconut oil, as these are heat stable.
The RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamins and minerals that you see on packets of food are indicative of the minimum requirements needed in order to prevent deficiency symptoms, rather than focusing on healthy and vitality boosting optimal intake. Aim for your child to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to help ensure they are getting a plentiful variety of nutrients.