Published on 30 September 2020
Last updated on 21 October 2020
The Department of Health, together with a team of nutrition experts has created the first ever collection of National Healthy Eating Guidelines for 1 to 4 year olds.
The Children’s Food Pyramid was designed to help parents, healthcare professionals and crèche managers teach good eating habits to children.
It lays out clearly what foods children should be eating, recommends portion sizes and outlines how often children should be given treats.
To give your child the best possible start in life download: A Visual Guide to the Children's Food Pyramid
Parents should eat a variety of healthy foods at home to lead by example and instill healthy eating habits from an early age.
Children aged 1 – 4 years old should be given 3 small meals and 2 to 3 healthy snacks a day. Download the food pyramid to see what child-friendly portion sizes look like.
Offer your child 3 servings of milk, yogurt or cheese every day.
To avoid childhood obesity, you should only allow your child tiny amounts of foods high in fat, sugar or salt just once a week.
Fizzy drinks and some cordials can damage your child’s teeth. Offer them water or milk instead.
Start every day with a healthy breakfast and stick to regular times for meals and snacks.
Young children should be given 5 micrograms of vitamin D every day from Halloween (31 October) to St Patrick’s Day (17 March).
Offer your child red meat three times per week and choose breakfast cereals with added iron. 1 – 3 year olds who are small for their age could need more iron. Ask your GP.
Further resources are available on Healthy Ireland
and on the HSE's My Child guide
This is a prototype - your feedback will help us to improve it.
Do not include any personal details in the box below.
The information you submit will be analysed to improve the
site and will not be responded to individually.