Explore our expert nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more.

Sample Day of Meals for a 6-Year-Old Child

Print & Share
Sample Day of Meals for a 6-Year-Old Child

Looking for child-friendly, quick, and healthy kids’ meals and snacks? We’ve got a sample menu plan for you!

What’s for dinner? And breakfast, lunch, and snack…? Wondering what your school-aged child should be eating? Below is a sample day of meals, along with tips on feeding your healthy, happy, 6-year old. Your child probably has pretty established food preferences by now, but children’s tastes can continue to evolve—you never know when an avid broccoli hater may start demanding it for dinner!  The key is to offer a variety of healthy foods consistently and to help them learn how to eat mindfully.

Key things to focus on with your 6-year-old

You know that childhood obesity is a big problem in this country, but there’s also a lot of research on what works to curb obesity and overweight in children.  Eating fruits and vegetables every day and choosing milk or water over soda are the two biggest dietary habits linked to a lower risk of childhood obesity. They can also help to keep your child’s teeth healthy! Getting enough physical activity—at least 60 minutes a day for kids and parents—is another key to a healthy weight.  However, it’s important to keep the focus on enjoying fruits, vegetables, and physical activity for their general health, not to stay a healthy weight. The best thing you can do is model good attitudes toward food and fitness to lead by example!

Tips for feeding your 6-year old

  • Now that your child is running off to school in the morning, it’s especially important to make time for breakfast.  A good breakfast fuels their day and helps them focus at school and is linked to healthier body weight.
  • Turning off the television not only gets rid of distractions at family meals but also encourages your kids to play in a more physical way. Setting limits on TV time is also a good way to meet your kids half-way so that everyone is happy! Children this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day—playing tag, having a playroom dance party, and playing on a jungle gym are all fun ways to get moving.  Getting your kids active can be fun for the whole family!
  • Have children participate in making meals and get them in the kitchen! Have them set the table, peel carrots and potatoes, and measure liquids.  Try making easy recipes with your little chef.
  • At the age of 5 children become like adults in that they eat more when served more.  Serve smaller portions and give children second helpings when they ask for them.
  • Boys start having higher energy needs than girls around 4. You’ll see an extra serving each of vegetables, meat/beans, and grains for boys, but use your child’s appetite as a guide and, again, get them moving! Read more common-sense tips on parenting food at mealtime.

Children of this age can really get into the “eat the rainbow” idea.  Challenge them to eat some fruit or vegetable from every color each day—white, yellow, orange, red, purple, and green.  Here are fun activities with foods of different colors.

quote from super crew breakfast book

Sample Day of Meals for a 6-Year Old:

Meal Food

Servings from Food Groups

Healthy Kids Breakfast
  • 1 c. whole-grain cereal*
  • ½ c. skim or low-fat milk
  • ½ banana
  • 2 oz. whole grains
  • ½ c. dairy
  • ½ c. fruit
Healthy Kids Snack
  • 1 large celery stick with 1 T. light cream cheese or almond butter and 1 T. raisins
  • ¼ c. vegetables
  • ½ oz. meat/beans
  • ¼ c. fruit
Healthy Kids Lunch
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • Whole wheat pita with 1 thick slice (2 oz.) roasted chicken, ¼ avocado, 5 slices cucumber, and 1 leaf lettuce, and honey mustard
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 c. dairy
  • 2 oz. whole grains
  • 2 oz. roast chicken ¾ c. vegetables
  • ¾ c. fruit
Healthy Kids Snack
  • ½ c. sliced apple and ½ c. cinnamon-sprinkled plain yogurt
  • ½ c. fruit
  • ½ c. dairy
Healthy Kids Dinner
  • ½ baked sweet potato
  • ½ c. broccoli—raw with low-fat salad dressing or steamed with 1 T. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz. herb-marinated grilled lean steak** or tempeh
  • 1 whole-wheat roll
  • 1 c. vegetables
  • 2 oz. meat/beans
  • 1 oz. whole grains

* Always look for “100% whole grains” rather than “made with whole grains,” which can have mostly refined grains in them.
** When serving red meat or other sources of iron (leafy greens, tofu, beans), pair it with a food high in vitamin C, like sweet potatoes or tomatoes—it helps your body take in the iron.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Similar Articles You May Like...

About the Author

Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in adult, child and adolescent weight loss, and wellness counseling, and lives in Vermont. Kerri-Ann empowers people to make healthy changes that last. Through writing, teaching, and nutrition coaching, she helps individuals get healthier in a way that's fun, not forced. She likes pretty much all whole foods, but is partial to kale, coffee, black beans, pie and peanut butter (not necessarily all in the same meal).

Sign Up Today

Sign up for our newsletter and get realistic, easy & tasty ways to eat healthy. Plus get free fun kids' activities!​

Get our free guide Say “No” to Food Rewards when you join.