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Meal Plan to Ensure a Balanced Diet for Kid

Getting children to eat nutritious and healthy foods is not only a tricky process for most parents, but mealtimes can also quickly escalate to warzones if you don’t know how to go about it. The fact that young children tend to be picky eaters, which could sometimes lead to low weight and nutritional deficiencies, only worsens the struggle. But relax. You are not alone. If you are parent who is constantly looking up healthy food charts for kids online and worrying about your baby’s food habits, AskNestlé is here to help.

Our nutrition experts have created a meal plan or a food chart for kids that will make it easier for you to prepare dishes that are not just tasty, but also contain the right nutrients.

Here is a food chart for kids aged 2-4 years as well as diet chart for children aged 5-12 years that you can follow to whip up meals that your child will actually eat.

Healthy and Balanced Diet Chart for Kids aged 2-4

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Early-

Morning

(7- 8 AM)

1 cup milk with dried fruits and 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup banana milk shake with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with dried fruits and 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with almonds and 1 tsp. Jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup chikoo milkshake with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with dried fruits and 1 tsp. jaggery

Breakfast

(8:30-

9:30 AM)

Dosa: 1, groundnut chutney: ½ cup

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Bread omelette: 1

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Vegetable vermicelli upma: ½ cup

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Onion Uthappam: 1, coconut chutney: ½ cup

Mid-

Morning

(11

-11:30 AM)

Beetroot Carrot soup: 1 cup

Fruit salad: 1 bowl

Chicken soup: ½ cup

Orange: 1

Papaya: 1 cup

Lentil soup: 1 cup

Grapes: 1 cup

Lunch

(1-2 PM)

Rice with green peas: ½ cup, chicken curry: ½ cup

Chapatti: 1, scrambled egg with veggies: ½ cup

Rice: ½ cup, tomato dal: 1 cup, chicken fry: 1 piece

Egg paratha: 1

Chapatti: 1, chicken with capsicum gravy: ½ cup

Paratha: 1, egg curry: ½ cup

Egg fried rice: ½ cup

Evening Snack (4:30-5:30 PM)

Banana: 1

Chicken cutlet: 1

Banana & mango smoothie: ½ cup

Paneer cutlet: 1

Vegetable sandwich: 1

Banana: 1

Carrot kheer: ½ cup

Dinner (7:30-8:15)

Methi Paratha: 1, curd: ½ cup

Vegetable fried rice: 1/2 cup

Chapatti: 1, palak paneer: ½ cup

Chicken fried rice: ½ cup

Jeera and peas pulav: ½ cup Raita & dal: ½ cup each

Mixed vegetable rice: ½ cup, dal: 1/2 cup

Potato paratha: 1, curd: ½ cup

Post-dinner (9 Pm)

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery / honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/ honey

Food chart for kids aged 5-12

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Early-

Morning

(7- 8 AM)

1 cup milk with dates and 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup apple-banana smoothie with 1 tsp jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with dates and 1 tsp. jaggery

1 cup strawberry - walnut milk shake with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup papaya milkshake with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup apple milkshake with 1 tsp jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

Breakfast

(8:30-

9:30 AM)

Egg vegetable sandwich: 1

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Masala dosa stuffed with potato filling: 1

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Multi grain dosa: 1 mint chutney: 2 tbsp

NESTLÉ CEREGROW™- 1 bowl

Vegetable poha: 1 cup

Mid-

Morning

(11

-11:30 AM)

Fruit salad: 1 cup

Orange: 1

Mango lassi: 1 cup

Banana: 1

Grapes : 1 cup

Sweet corn vegetable soup: 1 cup

Pomegranate: 1 cup

Lunch

(1-2 PM)

Vegetable rice: 1 cup, dal: ½ cup, corn salad: 1/2 cup

Mixed Vegetable pulav: 1 cup, dal makhani: 1 cup

Lemon rice: 1 cup, dal palak: 1 cup

Rice: 1 cup, Dal with beans - 1 cup, fish fry: 1

Vegetable Khichdi: 1 cup, curd: 1 cup

Tomato rice: 1 cup, Cucumber raitha: 1 cup

Vegetable fried rice: 1 cup

Evening Snack (4:30-5:30 PM)

Grape fruits: 1 cup

Ragi cookies: 2

Chicken roll: 1

Dry fruits Suji porridge: 1 cup

Chicken and vegetable patties: 1

Fruit salad : 1 cup

Beetroot halwa: ½ cup

Dinner (7:30-8:15)

Chapattis - 1, Mutton curry:1 cup, Cucumber salad - 1 cup

Rice: 1 cup, Masoor dal: 1 cup, Cucumber: 3-4 slices

Potato paratha: 1, curd: ½ cup

Chicken fried rice with vegetables: 1 cup, cucumber salad: 1/2 cup

Palak and corn Paratha: 1, curd: ½ cup

Chicken noodles: 1 cup

Chapatti : 1, egg curry: 1 cup

Post-dinner (9 Pm)

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

1 cup milk with 1 tsp. jaggery/honey

Food groups that ensure a balanced diet for kids

Fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein are the four major food groups. The food chart for kids showcased above features foods from each of these groups. Let’s look at the nutrition quotient of each.

Fruit and Vegetables

Rich in vitamins, fibre, antioxidants and water, fruits and vegetables boost your child's energy levels. They are also known to protect kids from harmful diseases in the future.

Grains

Wholegrains and grains like rice, oats, pasta, noodles, and bread are some of the foods that fall under this category and must always be included in a balanced diet chart for kids.

Dairy

Dairy is well known for its excellent nutrient profile, which helps in growth & development of kids. Milk, cheese, paneer, curd and ghee belong to this category. All dairy products are rich in calcium and protein.

Protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrients to include in your child nutrition chart. It helps in the development of healthy bones and muscles in young children. Chicken, fish, mutton, eggs, nuts, lentils, etc. are rich sources of protein.

So, whether you are a parent looking for a baby food chart or a 4 to 5 year child food chart online, the above plans will help.

Importance of Following Meal Plan for Kids

  • It ensures that they get to eat a variety of foods.
  • It saves you time in planning what to feed your child.
  • It reduces food waste.
  • It avoids feeding your kids unhealthy food.
  • It helps children develop a habit of eating at regular intervals.

Meal Plans for Kids: Tips to Remember

You can either make your own meal plan with the points mentioned below or follow the balanced diet chart for kids mentioned above.

  • Include a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients.
  • Make sure to include all the food groups.  
  • Take your child's hunger level into consideration.
  • Set a schedule and ensure your child follows it.
  • Consider your child's preferences.

Finally, remember that it is completely normal for kids to refuse to eat sometimes or reject certain items while they are growing up. It could be because they do not like eating the same food, or they are simply not as hungry. The idea is to create and follow a meal plan that features different kinds of foods and nutrients that promote healthy growth in your child. In case your child has any special requirements, do consult a paediatrician or nutritionist.

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Select your child’s food preference

With this you can get daily-customized meal plans for your child. These healthy diet plans can easily take care of child's nutrition as per their age and food preferences.