Summary

  • Good food provides essential nutrients to help kids grow, stay healthy and avoid diseases like diabetes when they get older.
  • Kids should eat a diet containing a variety of food such as fruit and vegetables, grains, dairy products and lean meat, chicken and fish.
  • Foods high in fat, sugar and salt should only be eaten occasionally.
  • Being active is important for children’s health and development, and kids should be encouraged to exercise every day.
Good food provides essential nutrients for healthy, active Koori kids. A diet containing a variety of good food can help them feel more energetic and happy, stay healthy and avoid diseases like diabetes when they are older. Kids should be encouraged to exercise every day and to limit time spent watching TV or using the computer.

The importance of good nutrition


Good food provides essential nutrients to help kids:
  • Grow and develop
  • Learn at school
  • Feel energetic and happy
  • Have healthy eyes, skin, hair and teeth
  • Stay healthy and avoid getting sick
  • Avoid diseases like diabetes when they get older.

Foods that kids should eat


Kids should eat a diet containing a variety of good food, including:


Plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables

Lean meat, chicken, fish or meat alternatives like eggs or baked beans

Water or reduced-fat milk for healthy bodies and teeth (instead of sweet drinks like fruit juice, soft drink and cordial).

Milk, yoghurt or cheese (reduced-fat varieties are recommended for children over two years)


Plenty of wholegrain or wholemeal bread, cereal, rice and pasta

Foods high in fat, sugar and salt such as chips, chocolate and lollies should only be eaten on special occasions and not every day.

The importance of physical activity for kids


Being active is important for your child’s health and development. Be a role model for your kids by being active yourself. Try to do some activities together as a family.

Active kids have:
  • Higher fitness levels
  • Healthier body weight
  • Better coordination and motor skills
  • More confidence and self-esteem
  • A better chance of doing well at school.

Types of physical activity for kids


Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Some suggestions include:
  • Encourage kids to play actively inside and outside every day.
  • Try simple, fun activities such as dancing to music, playing games or visiting a playground or park.
  • Instead of driving your kids to and from school, try walking with them.
  • Encourage older kids to ride their bikes to school or on other short trips.
  • Encourage kids to do something active instead of watching TV, DVDs and playing computer games.
Time in front of the TV or computer should be limited to:
  • No more than two hours per day for kids aged five to 12 years
  • No more than one hour per day for kids under five years
  • None at all for kids under two years of age.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Services Tel. (03) 9419 3000 or 132 660 (after hours)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Tel. (03) 9411 9411
  • Dieticians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942

Things to remember

  • Good food provides essential nutrients to help kids grow, stay healthy and avoid diseases like diabetes when they get older.
  • Kids should eat a diet containing a variety of food such as fruit and vegetables, grains, dairy products and lean meat, chicken and fish.
  • Foods high in fat, sugar and salt should only be eaten occasionally.
  • Being active is important for children’s health and development, and kids should be encouraged to exercise every day.
References
  • Tucker talk tips – tucker for your ticker, 2010, Tucker talk tips: healthy eating and physical activity tip sheets, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. More information here.
  • Koolin Balit: strategic directions, Strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012–2022, Department of Health Victoria. More information here.

More information

Keeping active

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Keeping active basics

Getting started

Staying fit and motivated

Exercise safety and injury prevention

Keeping active throughout life

Health conditions and exercise

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services - Aboriginal health

Last updated: April 2015

Page content currently being reviewed.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.