Healthy Eating for Children


Healthy eating is a vital part of normal growth and development for children. In Canada, rates of obesity among children and youth ages 2 to 17 are on the rise. No single factor can reverse the obesity trend – social, environmental economic, cultural and biological factors all play a role. Dietitians work in many settings with families, communities and other professionals to promote children’s health and develop supportive environments that make healthy choices the easier choice.

Recommendations for children include:

  • Enjoy healthy eating as a normal part of childhood
  • Eat foods with the nutrients and energy needed to support healthy growth and development
  • Develop a positive body image and high self esteem
  • Develop healthy food behaviours, including cooking and shopping skills
  • Enjoy at least 60 minutes of moderate-to -vigorous intensity physical activity daily
  • Limit sedentary behaviours and screen time.

Positions and Actions

Dietitians of Canada supports Curbing Childhood Obesity – a Framework for Action released in 2010 by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We continue to call for more action and resources to support the healthy growth and development of Canadian children, such as

In September 2017, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) released a Position Statement, endorsed by Dietitians of Canada, on Energy and Sports Drinks in Children and Adolescents: What's a Paediatrician to do? Dietitian co-author and member of Dietitians of Canada, Becky Blair, summarizes the position saying, “Sports and caffeinated energy drinks may contribute to obesity and dental cavities in children and adolescents. When it comes to staying hydrated, water is the best choice for kids.”

See Related Dietitians’ Views:


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Growth standards and growth references for boys and girls in Canada.

WHO Growth Charts

School Age

Healthy Beverages- Choose Water

Make Meals Happen

Involve Family Members in Meal Planning