Five Important Food Groups for Kids

Getting proper nutrition is what will help a child grow and healthily develop to enjoy life. WHen it comes to nutrients, there are three kinds. One of them is macronutrients, which are proteins, fats and carbohydrates or the nutrients that provide energy. The next is Micronutrients, which are the essential vitamins and minerals calcium, iron, vitamin C, D and B. They are for long-term general health maintenance and a healthy immune system. Dietary fibres, Soluble and Insoluble, are crucial for digestive health. To make sure that a child gets all the nutrition they need, focus on providing them with food from these five top food groups.1


Grains and Rice

Food from this group can be considered the “bulk” of the meal as it is where it will contain the most fiber. This food group must be kept whole as possible as the typical Asian white rice and refined flours tend to be stripped of its fibers. Preferably consider including this food group in the morning meals because since your child will be fuller during the day, they will not ask for heavier dinners. You can either give your child oats at breakfast and wheat or rice or whatever grain is best locally for lunch.2, 3



The more variety of vegetables included in your child’s diet, the more variety of nutrients they will receive. Vegetables are a good source of Potassium, Vitamin A, E, C, and also fiber, not only are they nutrient rich, they also add to keeping your child fuller longer. Dark green (bok choy, gai lan, broccoli), orange (squashes, carrots, bell peppers), beans, and starchy (potatoes, arrowroot, yams) are all vegetable options.2, 3  



Fruits come in many shapes, sizes, and colors children tend to love so it is not difficult to get them to eat enough. This food is seen as the classic source of Vitamin C, including many other nutrients, and if eaten whole compared to juice, is also a good source of fiber. Fruits should be considered where your child gets most of their sugar content as candies and packaged snacks have calories but no nutrition.2, 3


Red Meats and Seafood

Protein, Iron, Vitamin B and E can come from vegetable and nut sources, but meats and seafood provide a higher quality of them. Higher quality source is the choice to make as protein is the building block for the body. If your child does not like eating fish curries, try barbequing or pan frying. For red meats, serve them in small bite sized pieces as large portions can be intimidating to children.2, 3 



This is the classic source for calcium and B12 and with today’s improved technology on fortifying products, soy and nut milks are options for children with lactose intolerance. This food group does not have to be provided in its purest form, but can be occasionally received through cheese, ice cream, pudding, and milk drinks.2, 3