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Healthy eating

Eat a wide variety of foods from the five food groups in the amounts recommended. The five food groups are:

  • breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
  • vegetables, legumes
  • fruit
  • milk, yoghurt, cheese
  • lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes

The Australian Guide for Healthy Eating provides information on ‘extra’ foods that are not in the five key food groups. These ‘extra’ foods include items like cakes, lollies and biscuits. You can choose these food types sometimes and in small amounts.

Serving sizes

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How much you eat each day depends on your age, gender, body size and activity levels. Use the information here as a guide for serving sizes. Please note that if you have special health needs, ask your health professional.

The easiest way to lose weight or stay at a healthy weight and stay healthy is to limit what you eat and eat 80% fresh, healthy foods. 20% can be the extras outlined below.

The ideal plate size is about 7 inches or about 17 cms across in the area where the food will be served. This should be filled with half vegetables, one quarter protein and one quarter starch like rice, potato or pasta etc.


 

Breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
One serve equals:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 medium bread roll
  • ½ cup of muesli
  • 1 cup of porridge
  • 1 cup of breakfast cereal flakes
  • 1 cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles

Vegetables
One serve equals:

  • 1 medium potato
  • ½ medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • ½ cup cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup lettuce or salad vegetables
  • ½ cup broad beans, lentils, peas, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, sweet corn, turnips, sprouts, celery, eggplant

Fruit
One serve equals:

  • 1 piece of medium size fruit e.g. apple, orange, banana, pear, peach, mandarin
  • 2 pieces of smaller fruit e.g. apricots, kiwi fruit, plums, figs
  • About 8 strawberries
  • ¼ medium melon e.g. rockmelon, honeydew melon
  • About 20 grapes or cherries
  • 1 cup diced piece or canned fruit
  • Dried fruit e.g. 4 dried apricot halves or 1 ½ tablespoons sultanas, raisins

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
One serve equals:

  • 250ml or one cup milk (can be fresh, long life or reconstituted milk)
  • ½ cup of evaporated milk
  • 40g (2 slices) of cheese
  • 250ml or one cup custard
  • 200g (1 small carton) of yoghurt, plain or fruit, or, as an alternative try:
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk
  • ½ cup pink salmon with bones

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts
One serve equals:

  • 65–100g cooked meat or chicken e.g. ½ cup mince, 2 small chops or 2 slices roast meat
  • 80–120g cooked fish fillet, or, as an alternative try:
  • 2 small eggs
  • ½ cup of cooked beans, lentils, chick peas, split peas or canned beans
  • ⅓ cup of peanuts or almonds

 Extras (Foods which we can occasionally include for variety. They are generally higher in fat and/or sugar, kilojoules, salt etc)
One serve equals:

  • 1 medium piece of plain cake or 1 bun
  • 3-4 sweet biscuits
  • Half a chocolate bar
  • 30g potato chips
  • 2 scoops icecream
  • 60g jam, honey (1 tablespoon)
  • Slice pizza = 2 extras
  • 1 meat pie = 3 extras
  • 1 can soft drink or 2 glasses of cordial

Suggested daily serves for children and teenagers

Cereals (e.g. bread, rice, pasta, noodles) Vegetables & legumes Fruit Milk, yoghurt, cheese Lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts & legumes Extra foods (e.g. cakes, soft drinks, lollies)
2-3 years 4 1 1 0-1
4-8 years 4 2 2(boys)1½ (girls) 1.5 0-2½
9-11 years 5 5 2½ (boys)3 (girls) 0-3
12-13 years 6 (boys)5 (girls) 5½ (boys)5 (girls) 0-3
14-18 years 7 5½ (boys)5 (girls) 0- 5

 

Suggested daily serves for women

Cereals (e.g. bread, rice, pasta, noodles) Vegetables & legumes Fruit Milk, yoghurt, cheese Lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts & legumes Extra foods (e.g. cakes, soft drinks, lollies)
19-50 years 6 5 2 0-2½
51-70 years 4 5 2 4 2 0-2½
70+ 3 5 2 4 2 0-2
Pregnant 5 2 0-2½
Breast feeding 9 2 0-2½

Suggested daily serves for men

Cereals (e.g. bread, rice, pasta, noodles) Vegetables & legumes Fruit Milk, yoghurt, cheese Lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts & legumes Extra foods (e.g. cakes, soft drinks, lollies)
19-50 years 6 6 2 3 0-3
51-70 years 6 2 0-2½
70+ years 5 2 0-2½

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