Meeting nutritional needs of kids and teenagers

As your child grows and develops, you should provide him with a healthy diet. Here are some tips to guide you:

Use My Healthy Plate as a guide when planning your child's meals and snacks. No one food can provide all the nutrients he needs, so make sure that your child consumes a variety of food from the 4 food groups:

Related: Guilt-Free Treats to Meet Y​our Child's Nutritional Needs 

​Choose healthier oils and remember that food high in sugar and salt should only be eaten sparingly.

Since the energy and nutrient needs vary from birth to pre-school and school-going ages, there are specific recommended number of servings for each of the food group for different age groups. Having the right number of servings in the daily diet will help your child get all the nutrients he needs.

Food Groups

Recommended number of servings^ per day

6 months (181 days) - 12 months

1-2 years

3-6 years

7-12 years

13-18 years

Brown Rice and Wholemeal Bread








½ - 1










Meat and Others

Of which are dairy foods or calcium containing foods











For infants aged 6 months – 12 months, their dairy foods or calcium-rich foods servings should be provided in the form of 750ml breast milk or infant formula.

Develop Healthy Habits

Get your child to adopt healthy eating habits from a young age, and he will be more likely to continue having a preference for them as an adult. Helping your child make better food choices now will have a big impact on his health and quality of life in the future. Be a role model and

Make Healthier Choices too!

Choose Healthier Oils

Fat is an essential nutrient in your child's diet. It provides energy and helps absorb, transport and store vitamins in the body. However, too much fat, particularly saturated and trans fat can lead to excessive weight gain and health problems like heart disease and stroke. Learn more about fats here.

Note that if your child is under 2 years of age, fat restriction is not recommended as he is still growing rapidly and requires more energy to fuel his growth.

Related: Healthier Alternatives to Palm Oil

Get Enough Fruit and Veggies

Fruit and vegetables are bursting with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances) and fibre. Get your child into a routine of eating fruit and vegetables by offering him a variety of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables every day. If your child simply refuses to eat them, gently encourage him to try. If he still refuses, come up with creative ways to present the fruit or vegetables. For example, cut them into different shapes and sizes. It might take several attempts before he tries them. The key is not to give up!

Introduce wholegrains

Wholegrain food such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and oats are more nutritious than refined grains (e.g. white rice) because they contain more vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fibre. So, remember to include them as an essential component of your child's diet.

Related: Why are Wholegrains Good for You?

Bone Up On Calcium

Calcium is the key building block for strong, healthy bones and teeth. During childhood and teenage years, bones grow longer and stronger, which makes this the best years for your child to invest in his bone health. The best calcium sources are dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Other good sources include fortified food (e.g. soybean milk), dark green leafy vegetables and fish with edible bones (e.g. sardines).

Shake the Salt Habit

Reducing the salt intake in children and teens reduces the risk of high blood pressure in adulthood. Take action to influence your child's liking for less or non-salty food early in life. Limit the use of salt, sauces and salty processed food (e.g. luncheon meat, salted vegetables and chips).

Watch the Sugar

Added sugar only provides extra calories to your child's diet, with little other nutritional value. Consuming more calories than he can burn through physical activity can lead to undesirable weight gain. Sugary food and drinks also increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if dental hygiene is neglected. Most children have a sweet tooth, so encourage them to consume less food and drinks containing added sugar.

View the recommended dietary allowances for Singaporean children and teenagers

So Remember...

  • Use My Healthy Plate as a guide to plan a healthy diet for your child. Ensure that wholegrain foods, fruit, vegetables and calcium-rich food are included in the diet.
  • Be mindful of the fat, salt and sugar content of food provided for your child.
  • Cultivate healthy eating habits and empower your child to make wise food choices from a young age.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.

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