Food for kids

An overwhelming proportion of kids foods are far from healthy.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

01 .Introduction

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An overwhelming proportion of kids' foods are far from healthy, even though the marketing campaigns for many of these foods suggest that they are.

This article aims to:
  • Provide you with information about food products that will help you to make informed choices about food for your kids.
  • Empower parents who want to take further action to campaign for changes to kids food and the way they're marketed.
  • Put pressure on the food industry to improve the nutritional composition and advertising of kids' food.

CHOICE wants to ensure that the food supply and marketing of food encourages healthy eating and does not undermine efforts to reduce obesity. 

For more information on Children's food, see Kids food and health.

What are the criteria?

The criteria used when assessing products are based on nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally.

The criteria is designed to help you make healthy choices for your kids. They help you determine which foods are high in the nutrients we shouldn't have too much of – fats, sugars and sodium (or salt) – and which are low in those nutrients. It's a judgement about the food itself rather than the contribution it makes to a child's daily nutritional intake, so it's relevant to the whole family and all foods. It's okay for kids to occasionally eat foods that have too much fat, sugar or salt, but if they eat too many of these foods every day this can add up to an unhealthy diet.

What about milk drinks?

The 'drinks criteria' (below) sets lower limits for the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium that can be in a drink, compared to a food. Milk is naturally higher in total fat and saturated fat than other drinks but the protein and calcium and other nutrients in milk mean it is an important part of a healthy diet. The nutritional benefits of milk, compared with other drinks, means milk drinks deserve to be assessed against different nutrition criteria to other drinks. For this reason, CHOICE Food for Kids applies the 'food criteria' to milk drinks.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating considers milk to be one of the three most important foods in the dairy food group along with yoghurt and hard cheeses. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are good sources of calcium and protein as well as other important vitamins and minerals. We should eat between two and five serves of this food group each day.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating advises that water is the best drink for hydration. Soft drinks and fruit drinks are considered ‘extra foods’ and are not essential to provide nutrients that the body needs. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating considers that juices are part of the fruit group but acknowledges that they don’t have the same fibre content as fresh fruit.

Food criteria 
 
Criteria for drinks
 
Criteria for fibre
 

Daily intake for an eight-year-old

 

 Male    

Female   

Energy (A)

7900kJ

7400kJ 

Protein (B) 

20g

20g 

Fat (C) 

63g

59g 

Saturated fat (C)

21g

20g 

Sugars (D) 

95g

89g 

Fibre (E)

18g

18g

Sodium (F)

1400mg

1400mg

Calcium (B)

700mg

700mg

Iron (B)

10mg

10mg

(A) This is the estimated requirement, based on light to moderate activity levels.
(B) This is the recommended dietary intake.
(C) This amount of fat and saturated fat provides 30% and 10% respectively of the estimated energy requirement, which is acceptable according to government dietary guidelines.
(D) This amount of sugar provides 20% of the estimated energy requirement, which is acceptable according to government dietary guidelines.
(E) Regularly eating at least this amount of fibre is recommended.
(F) Regularly eating more than this amount can have adverse effects.

 
 

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CategoryEnergy (kJ per 100g)Fibre (per 100g)Total fat (per 100g)Saturated fat (per 100g)Sugars (per 100g)Sodium (mg/100g)Brand
         
Bread, Hi-Fibre Lo-GI LoafBreads and spreads928n/a1.40.31.1561Bakers Delight
HoneyBreads and spreads1416n/a0082.515Capilano
Snap'n Squeeze Honey & Omega 3 DHABreads and spreads1410n/a1.10.474.914.5Capilano
NutellaBreads and spreads2175n/a30.31054.433Ferrero
CrumpetsBreads and spreads6951.80.90.11600Golden
Raspberry ConserveBreads and spreads1116n/a0.20.16414IXL
Nuts Peanut Butter - SmoothBreads and spreads2671n/a52.111.48.1636Kraft
VegemiteBreads and spreads798n/a112.23450Kraft
Peanut Butter - SmoothBreads and spreads2580n/a58610600Sanitarium
Chocolate SpreadBreads and spreads2100n/a36.55.620.912.8Sweet William
Soft WhiteBreads and spreads10202.720.62.4400Tip Top Sunblest
Soft Wholemeal - ThickBreads and spreads10306.53.50.53400Tip Top Sunblest
White Lower GIBreads and spreads1040430.84400Tip Top Up
White Omega 3 DHA - SandwichBreads and spreads11205.52.60.53400Tip Top Up
Calcium Sandwich LoafBreads and spreads1020n/a2.512.4420Wonder White
Omega 3 Sandwich LoafBreads and spreads1000n/a2.60.52420Wonder White
Vitamins & Minerals - SandwichBreads and spreads100462.50.43.8500Wonder White
Coco Pops Coco RocksBreakfast cereals16101.20.40.236.5564Kellogg's
Corn FlakesBreakfast cereals1590n/a0.70.232630Kellogg's
Corn Flakes WholegrainBreakfast cereals15588.10.60.328.5340Kellogg's
Crunchy Nut Corn FlakesBreakfast cereals15803.30.20.17.9680Kellogg's
Nutri-GrainBreakfast cereals1570n/a0.60.132560Kellogg's
Nutri-Grain Bar - OriginalBreakfast cereals16602.53.30.531.7470Kellogg's
Rice BubblesBreakfast cereals16002.70.60.132600Kellogg's
Sultana BranBreakfast cereals17501.89.37.836.6255Kellogg's
LCMs Rice BubblesBreakfast cereals16001.10.40.19690Kellogg's
Nutri-Grain BarsBreakfast cereals141014.91.70.422.7270Kellogg's
Kids GrizzliesBreakfast cereals1650n/a4.81.422.8109Lowan
Kids Honey O'sBreakfast cereals16506.22.20.921.983Lowan
Milo Breakfast CerealBreakfast cereals16207.84.41.427.5120Nestle
NesquikBreakfast cereals16105.241.631.5240Nestle
Curios Breakfast Snack - Pancake flavourBreakfast cereals1510n/a4.50.520.3255Sanitarium
Curios Breakfast Snack - Wild BerryBreakfast cereals1510n/a4.40.520.2255Sanitarium
Weet-BixBreakfast cereals1490111.40.33.3290Sanitarium
Weet-Bix Crunchy Honey BitesBreakfast cereals15809.41.20.421.6380Sanitarium
Weet-Bix KidsBreakfast cereals1480111.40.32.9110Sanitarium
Weet-Bix Wild Berry BitesBreakfast cereals13909.21.10.222.2300Sanitarium
CheeriosBreakfast cereals1590103.60.617.8390Uncle Tobys
Fruit TwistsBreakfast cereals158010.13.6117.8390Uncle Tobys
Oats Quick Sachets - OriginalBreakfast cereals16107.36.51.22530Uncle Tobys
Vita BritsBreakfast cereals151011.92.21.11.1400Uncle Tobys
Chocolate Flavoured MilkMilk drinksn/an/a2.81.810.246Big M
Calci Yum Milk - ChocolateMilk drinks263n/a1.40.98.264Brownes
Kids Selection MilkMilk drinksn/an/a1.81.26.167Dairy Farmers
MiloMilk drinks385n/a2.41.710.165Nestle
Nesquik - strawberryMilk drinks312.5n/a1.4111.455Nestle
Kids milkMilk drinksn/an/a3.42.24.944Pura
Flavouring StrawsMilk drinks230n/a1.40.9648SIPAHH Milk
Apple Blueberry Flavoured Fruit DrinkDrinksn/an/a009.812Bratz
Concentrate Cordial - Orange CrushDrinksn/an/a00611Cottee's
No Added Sugar Cordial - Orange CrushDrinksn/an/a000.513Cottee's
J Suntime JuiceDrinksn/an/a0010.78Fruitopia
Cola with Apple BaseDrinksn/an/a10115Fuze
Active Under 13s - lemon limeDrinksn/an/a00645Gatorade
Orange JuiceDrinksn/an/a0.207.88Golden Circle
Apple BlackcurrantDrinksn/an/a105.65Mini Pops
Pineapple, Lime and BananaDrinksn/an/a0.10164One fruit two fruit
Extra Juicy Cordial - Apple RaspberryDrinks94n/a105.46P&N
Sports Water - RaspberryDrinksn/an/a004.611Play
Apple Blackcurrant DrinkDrinksn/an/a1010.711Pop Tops
Hi-5 Orange JuiceDrinksn/an/a0.308.37Popper
Apple and Blackcurrant JuiceDrinksn/an/a0.1010.611Popper Juice
Apple JuiceDrinksn/an/a0010.511Popper Juice
Blackcurrant Fruit Drink - PopperDrinksn/an/a1110.25Ribena
Blackcurrant Fruit Drink - Tetra Pack SipperDrinksn/an/a0012.512Ribena
Apple Naturally Flavoured Soft DrinkDrinksn/an/a0011.65The Natural Beverage Co.
Radical Raspberry flavoured waterDrinksn/an/a0055Wacky Water
Tempura Chicken CracklesQuick meals and fast food849n/a12.73.61441Baiada
Fish Fillet FingersQuick meals and fast food855n/a8.911214Birds Eye
Fish FingersQuick meals and fast food869n/a8.70.91234Birds Eye
Simply Kids Chicken Fingers with VegetablesQuick meals and fast food890n/a9.30.93.7289Birds Eye
Golden Crunch Potato Gems OriginalQuick meals and fast food639n/a7.50.61360Birds Eye
Baked Beans in Tomato SauceQuick meals and fast food3605.20.50.14330Heinz
Big Red Tomato Soup for OneQuick meals and fast food150n/a0.105.3345Heinz
Little Kids Cheesy RavioliQuick meals and fast food330n/a2.21.33200Heinz
Little Kids Chicken & Pumpkin RisottoQuick meals and fast food2650.80.80.32.215Heinz
Little Kids Creamy Tuna with VegetablesQuick meals and fast food205n/a10.61.410Heinz
Little Kids Macaroni & MeatballsQuick meals and fast food3300.92.912105Heinz
Little Kids Pasta Chicken & VegetablesQuick meals and fast food3250.70.70.41.475Heinz
Little Kids Spaghetti BolognaiseQuick meals and fast food2750.61.70.81.550Heinz
Spaghetti and Calcium Extra CheesyQuick meals and fast food2400.80.50.23.3340Heinz
Spaghetti and FibreQuick meals and fast food270n/a0.50.23.2330Heinz
Spaghetti - Extra Cheese SauceQuick meals and fast food250n/a0.203.3320Heinz
Kid`s Kitchen Cheezy Mac `n BeefQuick meals and fast food488n/a2.81.43.8390Hormel
CheeseburgerQuick meals and fast food1140n/a13.76.45554Hungry Jacks
Chicken NuggetsQuick meals and fast food1090n/a15.56.40.4283KFC
Easy Mac - ChickenQuick meals and fast food601n/a31.52.6317Kraft
Pizza Subs - ham & pineappleQuick meals and fast food902n/a5.32.84645McCain
Pizza Subs - MeatloversQuick meals and fast food980n/a7.13.714.5700McCain
Potato SmilesQuick meals and fast food740n/a8.50.31450McCain
CheeseburgerQuick meals and fast food1080n/a11.55.14.4634McDonald's
Pasta ZooQuick meals and fast food774n/a52.60.4221McDonald's
CheeseburgerQuick meals and fast food1266n/a13.94.94.8600Red Rooster
Golden Sea CreaturesQuick meals and fast food826n/a9.91.12.6553Seaways
Spag-a-saurusQuick meals and fast food2770.80.50.14.7350SPC
Chicken Breast ChipsQuick meals and fast food850n/a8.52.30.4554Steggles
Chicken NuggetsQuick meals and fast food1020n/a13.73.70.8542Steggles
DinosnacksQuick meals and fast food857n/a10.42.80.2399Steggles
FairysnacksQuick meals and fast food857n/a10.42.80.2399Steggles
Vege Chips - NaturalSavoury snacks1950n/a20.1210.5560Ajitas
Milk ArrowrootSavoury snacks1690n/a2.50.74760Arnott's
Jatz LightSavoury snacks1920n/a15.972.21093Arnott's
Mini - OriginalSavoury snacks1310n/a2517.51720Babybel
Stringers - OriginalSavoury snacks1230n/a20.713.51700Bega
CheezelsSavoury snacks2220n/a31.115.24.31200Cheezels
Moo Zoo Cheese SnacksSavoury snacks1640n/a32.221.91520Devondale
Leg Ham and Cheese SticksSavoury snacks488n/a4.42.411400Hans
Rice Wheels - Cheese FlavourSavoury snacksn/an/a81.32.9690Healtheries
Little Kids Bread Sticks - CheesymiteSavoury snacks1755n/a11.73.24.1400Heinz
CheestikSavoury snacks1426n/a29.218.55.61600Kraft
Dairy Bites Fridge SticksSavoury snacks1147n/a20.512.85.31580Kraft
Dairy Bites SnackaboutsSavoury snacks1729n/a26.916.13.81250Kraft
Singles - LightSavoury snacks1032n/a15.810.54.11380Kraft
Singles - OriginalSavoury snacks1226n/a21.714.44.91472Kraft
2 Minute Noodles - ChickenSavoury snacks300n/a1.311320Maggi
Munchables - DIY Snack PackSavoury snacks1470n/a20.512.813.4790Mainland
Munchables Mexigos - Mini Corn Chips with SalsaSavoury snacks742n/a6.70.87.3321Mainland
Monster Noodle Snack - ChickenSavoury snacks2100n/a253.8less than 1750Mamee
Monster Noodle Snack - BBQSavoury snacks2190n/a29.34.31.7710Mamee
Monster Rice Sticks - cheese flavourSavoury snacks20009.620.28.58.6540Mamee
Monster Rice Sticks - vegetable flavourSavoury snacks185012.218.28.25.4610Mamee
Microwave Popcorn - Butter FlavourSavoury snacks1920n/a24.883.51300Poppin
Honey Leg HamSavoury snacks400n/a2.911.81500Primo
Rice Crackers - Classic BarbecueSavoury snacks1720n/a7.30.72.8533Sakata
Rice Crackers - PlainSavoury snacks16600.92.90.40.2387Sakata
Potato Chips – Salt and Vinegar flavourSavoury snacks2049n/a28.310.10.91204Smith's
Cheese SpreadSavoury snacks1110n/a23165760The Laughing Cow
Classic OriginalSavoury snacks2130n/a32.415.11.9562Thins
Party MixSweet snacks and desserts1460n/a1150110Allens
All Fruit BarsSweet snacks and desserts1010n/a005729Annie's
Shapes Crispy Puffs - Cheese and OnionSweet snacks and desserts1969n/a14.67.127.1242Arnott's
SportzSweet snacks and desserts1870n/a13.16.326.1335Arnott's
Tiny Teddy - ChocolateSweet snacks and desserts2240n/a29.110.140.8190Arnott's
Tiny Teddy Dippers - Strawberry with Choc Chip Tiny TeddySweet snacks and desserts1840n/a10.95.222.2272Arnott's
Fruit StringsSweet snacks and desserts1380n/a1.30.15740Bellis Fruit
Quelch Fruit SmoothiesSweet snacks and desserts335n/a1018.710Berri
Quelch Fruit SticksSweet snacks and desserts205n/a1110.620Berri
Bites Fruit Bites with coconut and yoghurtSweet snacks and desserts1318n/a5.224.0931.9616Boost
Brunch Bar RaisinSweet snacks and desserts1780n/a14.810.633.5265Cadbury
Kids Selection Custard TrioSweet snacks and desserts400n/a21.31252Dairy Farmers
Kids Selection Squeezie - strawberrySweet snacks and desserts425n/a1.81.214.660Dairy Farmers
Snak Pack - StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts469n/a3.32.114.347Foster Clark's
Berry FlakesSweet snacks and desserts1570n/a3.93.456.849Fruit Farm
Berry Pieces in YoghurtSweet snacks and desserts1820n/a18.718.258.149Go Natural
Popcorn & Fruit Bar Apple & CinnamonSweet snacks and desserts1399n/a2.321.4154.13148Go Natural
Apricot BitesSweet snacks and desserts1550n/a3.31.662.512Golden Days
Fruit Poles - apple, pear & strawberrySweet snacks and desserts1150n/a0.40.259.280Golden Days
Puree - Apple BlackcurrantSweet snacks and desserts243n/a0.1011.54Goulburn Valley
Two Fruits DicedSweet snacks and desserts227n/a0.10.19.18Goulburn Valley
Apple ChunksSweet snacks and desserts230n/a0.20121Heinz
Little Kids Bikkies Cocoa MaltSweet snacks and desserts1930n/a17.711.516.275Heinz
Little Kids Fruit & Bran Bars - StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts13704.96.40.942.1120Heinz
Little Kids Fruit Crush Apple & MangoSweet snacks and desserts355n/a0.10183Heinz
Little Kids Yoghurt Muesli Fingers - Sultana AppleSweet snacks and desserts14606.342.131.545Heinz
Splat Fruit Puree - Apple MangoSweet snacks and desserts250n/a0.2013.813Heinz
Hip Hop Fruit & Cereal Bar - choc fruit brownieSweet snacks and desserts1379n/a5.51.841.8142Hopper
Hip Hop Fruit & Cereal Bar - sultana & honeySweet snacks and desserts1391n/a5.11.743.6157Hopper
Fruit BarsSweet snacks and desserts1574n/a5.64.765.368IXL
Summer Fruit Frenzy Fruit JelliesSweet snacks and desserts1398n/a0.20.26540Katjes
Coco PopsSweet snacks and desserts1750n/a10.34.430370Kellogg's
Coco Pops ChexSweet snacks and dessertsn/an/a7.86.836.6255Kellogg's
Apple Snack BarsSweet snacks and desserts1470.2n/a3.80.91524.9Kid Start
Munchables Milk Protein Bar - Chocolate Milkshake FlavourSweet snacks and desserts1510n/a4.31.529.1300Mainland
Muffin Bars - Apple & CinnamonSweet snacks and desserts1560n/a13.73.634.6340Mills & Ware`s
Fruit Crumble Muesli Bars - apricotSweet snacks and desserts1570n/a9.46.730180Mother Earth
Milkybar Dairy SnackSweet snacks and desserts680n/a8.36.216.851Nestle
Yoghurt - StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts431n/a3.12.213.138Nestle
Orange, Mango & Pineapple Sorbet & Icy Juice SplitSweet snacks and desserts405n/a0.10.122.810Nudie Nice
Milk Chocolate Wafer SticksSweet snacks and desserts2134n/a26.414.945.4167Oreo
Outback Animals - Vanilla CookiesSweet snacks and desserts1750n/a13.35.723.9217Orgran
UgliesSweet snacks and desserts2020n/a20.31433300Paradise
Vanilla Custard with FruitSweet snacks and desserts480n/a21.317.680Pauls
Yoghurt with Real Fruit - strawberrySweet snacks and desserts369n/a2.51.611.175Pauls
FruBears AppleSweet snacks and desserts1160n/a0.6059.75Robern
Jelly Crushers - Crushed Peach in Passionfruit Flavoured JellySweet snacks and desserts289n/a0.10.113.625SPC
Raspberry Flavoured Jelly with PearsSweet snacks and desserts320n/a0.10.118.151SPC
Paddle Pop Mini Fruits - Passion PineSweet snacks and desserts290n/a00164Streets
Natural SnakesSweet snacks and desserts1420n/a0.20.250.817The Natural Confectionary Co.
ABC Letter Biscuits Honey with YoghurtSweet snacks and desserts1900n/a13.17.612.6230The Wiggles
Yoghurt Topps StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts1420n/a2.91.440.8165Uncle Tobys
Oats Smooth & Tasty - honeySweet snacks and desserts1500n/a3.11.430.540Uncle Tobys
Roll-Ups Fun Prints - Raspberry FlavourSweet snacks and desserts151011.92.21.11.1400Uncle Tobys
Roll-Ups - Fruit Salad Flavour, RainbowSweet snacks and desserts1560n/a3.21.429.950Uncle Tobys
VegeBuddies Gummi BearsSweet snacks and desserts1404n/a0.70.1949.460Vitarich
Organic SultanasSweet snacks and desserts1373n/a0.4073.236Whole Kids
Choc RockSweet snacks and desserts443n/a2.91.91375Yogo
Mix Choc YoGo & Choc ChipsSweet snacks and desserts732n/a7.44.419.980Yogo
Creamy Original - StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts426n/a3.32.213.552Yoplait
Go-Gurt Smooth Yogurt Tubes - Strawberry SpidersSweet snacks and desserts354n/a1.81.211.944Yoplait
Petit Miam - Vanilla StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts479n/a4.73.112.564Yoplait
Smackers Smooth Yogurt Tubes - StrawberrySweet snacks and desserts357n/a1.81.212.145Yoplait
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