Balance is important when it comes to healthy eating. A healthy balance is a range of foods from the five food groups, but how much food from each group do you need daily for good health?

Enter a gender and age range to find out the recommended minimum serves.

 

Grain (cereal) foods

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Grain (cereal) foods


Breads and breakfast cereals form this group. Wholegrain breads are the best choice, but why not try naan and rye breads too. Pasta and grains such as barley, polenta and quinoa are also included in this food group.    
 
 

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds

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LEAN Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds


Lean meats include beef, lamb and poultry. Try seafood like fish and canned salmon for a good source of omega-3. If you don't eat meat, try eggs, tofu and nuts, and mix beans and legumes such as lentils into your daily meal.                              

 
 

Vegetables and legumes/beans

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Vegetables and legumes/beans


Green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and root vegetables such as carrot and sweet potato are readily available for everyday meals. Think outside the box and include kale, mushrooms and celery in your next salad.                              

 

Fresh fruits

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Fresh fruits


Enjoy a mix of apples and citrus fruits including mandarins. Tropical fruits like pineapple and mangoes are great for something different. Stone fruits, including apricots and nectarines as well as berries and grapes, are also delicious.                             

 

Milk, yoghurt, cheese

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Milk, yoghurt, cheese


Stick to reduced fat foods, including light dairy milk and low fat yoghurt. Cheese also falls into this group, but can be high in saturated fat, so try limit eating it to three times a week. Opt for naturally lower fat cheese like ricotta.                             

Healthy oils and spreads: You can add small amounts of healthy oils and spreads to these foods for extra flavour and enjoyment. For example, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated spreads on your bread or toast, olive and canola oils for cooking, plus nut oils and pastes.

Choose from a variety of vegetable and seed oils when you are preparing food. Healthier choices include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils.

Think positive: When thinking about eating better, it helps to keep a positive mindset. Think about what foods to eat to nourish your body rather than focussing on what foods to go without. When you’re eating enough healthy stuff, there’s little room left for treats.

How many treats? Nutritionally speaking there’s not much room for treats in our diets as they carry too many kilojoules and not enough nutrients. Treats are important for social reasons as well as enjoyment, such as birthday cake. Make treats something you eat in small amounts, but not every day. To find out more about kilojoules and ideal intake, visit www.8700.com.au. 

What is a standard serve?

  • Vegetables/Legumes

    ½ cup cooked broccoli, pumpkin or carrot
    ½ cup beans, peas or lentils
    1 cup of salad
    ½ cup eggplant
    ½ cup of choy

  • Fruits

    1 medium apple, banana or orange
    2 small apricots, kiwifruits or plums
    2 medium (80g) figs

  • Grain foods

    1 slice bread or ½ medium bread roll
    ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles or quinoa
    ¼ (40g) flatbread
    1 handful (30g) nuts

  • Lean meat, poultry and fish

    65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, or pork
    80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey
    100g cooked fish fillet or one small can of fish
    170g tofu

  • Dairy

    1 cup fresh milk
    ¾ cup yoghurt
    ½ cup ricotta cheese