1. Resources
  2. Parenting in Pictures
  3. Food & nutrition

Dietary guidelines in pictures: 14-18 years

14-18 years

Daily dietary guidelines for children 14-18 years

Teenagers need a wide variety of healthy foods from the five food groups. How much food teenagers need depends on body size and activity levels.

Teenagers aged 14-18 years should aim for 2 serves of fruit; 5-5½ serves of vegies; 3½ serves of dairy; 7 serves of grains; and 2½ serves of lean meats, nuts and legumes. 

Teens need lots of water – the cheapest, healthiest and most thirst-quenching drink. They need more water on hot or humid days and if they sweat a lot. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, flavoured milk and water, sports drinks, energy drinks, tea and coffee.

Food groups: daily serves of fruit, vegetables, cereals and grains

Fruit: 1 serve = 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear; or 2 small plums, kiwi fruits or apricots; or 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar). Offer 2 serves a day.

Vegetables: 1 serve = ½ a medium potato (or sweet potato or corn); or ½ cup cooked vegies (broccoli, spinach, carrots, pumpkin); or 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegies; or ½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans, legumes or lentils. Offer 5-5½ serves a day.

Cereal and grains: 1 serve = 1 slice of bread; or ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa or polenta; or ½ cup porridge; or ⅔ cup wheat cereal flakes; or ¼ cup muesli; or 1 crumpet or small English muffin. Offer 7 serves a day. Wholegrain is best.

Food groups: daily serves of dairy, protein and ‘sometimes’ foods

Dairy: 1 serve = 1 cup (250 ml) milk (reduced fat or calcium-fortified soy); or 2 slices cheese; or ¾ cup (200 gm) yoghurt; or ½ cup ricotta cheese. Offer 3½ serves a day.

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes: 1 serve = 65 gm cooked lean beef, lamb, veal or pork (weekly max. 455 gm); 80 gm cooked lean chicken or turkey; or 100 gm cooked fish fillet; or 170 gm cooked tofu; or 2 large eggs; or 1 cup cooked lentils, chickpeas or canned beans; or 30 gm (1½ tablespoons) peanuts, almonds or sunflower seeds. Offer 2½ serves a day.

‘Sometimes’ foods: avoid foods with high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt (cakes, biscuits, chips and fried foods). You can include a small amount (14-20 gm) of unsaturated fats – for example, 1 tablespoon of nut butter and ¼ of an avocado. Children under 18 years should not drink alcohol.

 

Rate this article (28 ratings)

Tap the stars to rate this article.

Thanks for rating this article.

Last updated or reviewed
12-12-2016

  • Tell us what you think
  • References
 
 

Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

Follow us

© 2006-2017 Raising Children Network (Australia) Ltd