30 easy ways to give kids 5-a-day

Helping your young child hit their 5 a day is easier than you think with our pick and mix chart – why not ask your kids to choose their favourites too.

A healthy diet for children

The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits later in life, so it’s important to install good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age.

Ensure your child’s nutritional requirements are met by aiming for three balanced meals a day with up to two healthy snacks. Get into the habit of trying different types of protein such as egg, fish, lean meat or legumes with meals and a couple of different vegetables.


Baked beans – 1/2 – 2 tbsp baked beans on toast

Sultanas – ½ – 2 tbsp in porridge

More like this

Spinach- ½ – 2 tbsp spinach

Juice – 1 small glass (150ml) 100% unsweetened juice

Mushrooms – 1-4 button mushrooms (grilled) with ham

Ingredients to cook with

Lentils – ½ – 2 tbsp cooked lentils

Children should also be encouraged to:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit – as many different colours as possible
  • Eat starchy carbs (such as low-sugar cereals, bread, rice, pasta and noodles)
  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives for example nuts or legumes
  • Include milk, yogurts, cheeses or fortified alternatives
  • Choose water as their main drink and to drink regularly throughout the day

Care should be taken to:

  • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
  • Choose foods low in salt
  • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and keep to guidelines on foods containing added or ‘free’ sugars

What are your favourite ways to get your child to eat their five-a-day? Share your experience in the comments below….

Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a Registered Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food. Find her on Instagram at @kerry_torrens_nutrition

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

See our guides for more advice on giving your child a healthy diet

Healthy foods kids will love
Top 5 healthy family meals
A balanced diet for toddlers
A balanced diet for school children
How much sugar should children have?
Healthy eating: What young children need

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