Government Guidelines for Healthy Eating in Children

Updated April 17, 2017

The government recommends that children should eat a range of foods, including grains, vegetables, fruit, milk, meat and beans. Parents should make sure that children eat low-fat dairy products and meat and restrict their sugar and solid fat intake.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Science spells out its recommendations in the "My Pyramid" program. Parents should try to make sure that children eat 170gr. of grains each day (preferably whole grain cereal and whole wheat bread); a range of vegetables (2 1/2 cups a day); 1 1/2 cups of fruit a day; three cups of milk (low fat or fat-free) a day (two cups for children ages 2 to 8) and 142gr. a day of lean meat or fish. Nuts and seeds are also good choices.


Parents should choose healthy cooking methods like baking, broiling or grilling and avoid fried food.


Eating well is a step in the right direction towards a healthy life, but the government also believes that children should exercise more. It suggests around 60 minutes of activity every day on most days, but this can include fun activities such as dance or rollerblading.

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About the Author

Based on the south coast of the U.K., Sally Nash has been writing since 1988. Her articles have appeared in everything from "Hairdressers Journal" to "Optician." She has also been published in national newspapers such as the "Financial Times." Nash holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from Manchester Metropolitan University.