The main etiologic factor of various diseases, syndromes and pathologic conditions is an excess, deficiency or imbalance of trace element intake into the human body. Children seem to be the most sensitive to each change of trace element homeostasis. An inadequate essential trace element intake may result in an undesirable consequence that can apparently multiply against a background of additional unfavourable environmental influence such as high levels of radiation, organic and inorganic toxins, etc. Thus, the quality control of children's diets assumes urgent importance within the regions covered by the Chernobyl disaster. Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used to estimate contents of Ag, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, Sr, and Zn in the diets of children and adolescents. Diets were chosen from day care centre, boarding school and technical college cafeterias situated within the south and south west territories of the Kaluga Region, where radionuclide contamination ranges up to 15 Ci/km2. Ca and Zn deficiencies were found in the diets of children and adolescents aged 7-18. The Ca intake is only 212 mg/day, 5 times lower than that in developed countries. The Zn intake is 6.8 mg/day, 2 times lower than the level recommended by the WHO.