Consumption of beef/veal/lamb in Australian children: Intake, nutrient contribution and comparison with other meat, poultry and fish categories


Correspondence: J Bowen PO Box 10041 Adelaide BC SA 5000. Email:



To describe reported consumption of meat for children using the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.


One-day, weighted data are described for consumption of meat, poultry and fish consumed as ‘cuts’ and from mixed dishes. Data are presented for all children by age groups (2–3 years, 4–8 years, 9–13years, 14–16 years) and gender. Trimming practices, time and place of consumption, and nutrient contributions are described.


Ninety per cent of children reported consuming meat, poultry or fish on the day surveyed. Reported mean consumption of all beef/veal/lamb, pork/ham/bacon, poultry and fish ranged from 52 g in 2 to 3-year-old boys to 161 g in 14 to 16-year-old boys; and was lower in 9 to 16-year-olds girls; 98 g.

Mean reported consumption of beef/veal/lamb was 21–64 g for boys and 23–36 g for girls, depending on age group.

For meals where the meat, poultry or fish were identified individually, meals with beef/veal/lamb contained more vegetables (159 g) than pork/ham/bacon (50 g) and poultry (110 g). The beef/veal/lamb was fully (20%) or semi-trimmed (58%), and 49% of minced beef/veal/lamb was lean. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents reported eating poultry with the skin removed.

Across all age groups, beef/veal/lamb in cuts and mixed dishes contributed 4% of total energy, 6% of total fat, 5% of saturated fat, 46% of haem iron, 18% of zinc and 21% of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake.


These findings help to inform evidence-based individual or population-level recommendations.