Ministry of HealthMonday 06 August 2012, 2:21PM
Media release from Ministry of Health
The new Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Children and
Young People (Aged 2-18 years) were released today by the Ministry
These guidelines are a handbook for health practitioners who work
with and for children and young people.
They provide evidence-based recommendations about food, nutrition
and physical activity for this age group.
Two nutrition resources for the public have also been updated to
reflect these recommendations.
The Ministry of Health Chief Advisor on Child and Youth Health, Dr
Pat Tuohy, said today " A concerning finding from recent research
was that many children are eating treat foods most days.
These are empty calories which fill children up but don't nourish
"The guidelines provide advice about how to improve children's
nutrition and keep them healthy which includes keeping high fat,
sugar or salt food for occasional use only," Dr Tuohy said.
Children and young people (aged 2-18 years) represent a quarter of
our total population - that's just over a million
It is known that good nutrition and physical activity during
childhood and adolescence are essential for normal growth and
development and will contribute to good health and reduced levels
of chronic disease and disability in adulthood.
The dietary requirements of children and young people are different
to those of adults, and change as children and young people
The guidelines and advice to the public covers a very wide range of
· the dietary patterns
and nutrient intakes of New Zealand children and young people with
recommendations for practical interventions;
· physical activity
recommendations, as well as approaches to reduce sedentary
· topical issues related
to 2-18 year olds are discussed, for example energy drinks and
energy shots; and
· the many influences on
the diet of children and young people, with practical suggestions
to assist parents and caregivers to encourage healthy eating in the
A copy of the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Children
and Young People (Aged 2-18 years): A background paper is available
on the Ministry of Health website at: www.health.govt.nz
The health messages for the public can be found in the Ministry's
health education resources Eating for Healthy Children aged 2-12
years (HE1302) and Healthy Eating for Young People (13 - 18 years)
(HE1230), available at: www.healthed.govt.nz