When planning meals for young children it is best to meet their nutritional needs. Each meal should be the right consistency for the child and include all of the major food groups.
There are five food groups, bread, cereals and potatoes (starchy food), fruit and vegetables, milk cheese and yoghurt, meat, fish eggs, beans, lentils (protein) and foods high in fat and sugar.
When planning a meal the fruit and vegetables should be served at each meal and should try and have five servings of either each day. Milk cheese and yoghurts should be served three times a day and bread and cereals either as a snack such as bread sticks or as an accompaniment to a meal. Meat, fish or a vegetarian option should be served three times a day.
Foods which are high in fat and sugar can be included every day in addition to the other food groups but one a child is 2 years old you can gradually lower the fat in their diet.
All of the five food groups combined will give the nutrients required for a healthy balanced diet.
Young children should eat according to the appetites and not portion sizes.
It is good to introduce new foods to children and encourage them to try these and let the parents know what meals the children have tried to encourage a large choice of different foods.
You also need to be aware of any cultural diets that may need extra consideration.
CYPOP 2: Care for the physical and nutritional needs of babies and young children
Some children may suffer some allergies or intolerance to foods.
A child with a server allergy to nuts may react even if someone else in the room has a bar with nuts in depending on the severity of the allergy. The child may react in various ways such as swelling of the skin or a rash or start to be unable to breath easily.
All instructions received from carers regarding their