Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2012

Child 4 - 8 years

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Paediatric Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a balanced diet with a variety of foods for children 4-8 years of age who are able to eat at an age appropriate level.


Diet contains adequate and varied nutrition for optimal growth and development in children aged 4-8 years from developmentally appropriate foods. A wide range of foods from all food groups is included. Meets the Nutrition standards for paediatric inpatients in NSW hospitals. Reduced fat dairy is recommended.

A wide range of textures is provided.

Snacks contribute significantly to nutrient intake because of the wide variation in the amount of food eaten at different meal times.


Suitable for children 4-8 years of age who are nutritionally well and nutritionally at-risk. May be combined with other therapeutic diet orders for children who have special or high nutritional needs. This diet may be combined with thickened fluids/texture modifications.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.

Note ½ serve sizes is appropriate to ensure sufficient food variety and manageable serve size.

Refer to the Paediatric Nutrition Standards for Minimum Menu Choice for serve size requirements for varying ages.


At all ages children’s individual growth and development will result in a wide range of appetite.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes All ½ serve size -
Sauces, gravies All -
Starchy vegetables/pasta/rice All ½ serve size -
Vegetables All ½ serve size -
Soups None All
Sandwiches All -
Salads, dressings All -
Breads, cereals All -
Spreads All -
Hot breakfast choices All -
Fruit All -
Yoghurt Reduced fat yoghurt preferable -
Desserts All -
Milk and cheese Reduced fat milk preferable  
Beverages All others Tea, coffee
Biscuits All -
Miscellaneous  Alcohol


  1. Agency for Clinical Innovation. Nutrition standards for paediatric inpatients in NSW hospitals. Sydney 2011.
  2. Agency for Clinical Innovation. Nutrition standards for adult inpatients in NSW hospitals. Sydney 2011.
  3. American Dietetic Association. Paediatric Nutrition Care Manual. Chicago: ADA.
  4. Dietitians Association of Australia. 2009. Nutrition Manual 8th ed. Canberra: DAA.
  5. Shaw V and Lawson M. Clinical Paediatric Dietetics. 3rd Edition. 2007. Blackwell Publishing.
  6. NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents 2012.
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