Healthy eating

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What does the dietary guidelines do?

Dietary guidelines are designed to:

  • Tell people how to choose a variety of foods to get a healthy, balanced diet
  • Encourage people to stay active to be fit and well
  • Help people understand the importance of being a healthy weight
  • Advise people to drink plenty of water so they don’t get thirsty
  • Recommend that people eat regular meals to keep them healthy
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What are the dietary guidelines?

There are 8 guidelines:

  • Base your meals on starchy foods.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Eat more fish – including a portion of oily fish each week.
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.
  • Eat less salt – no more than 6g (1 level teaspoon) a day for adults.
  • Get active and be a healthy weight.
  • Don’t get thirsty – drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t skip breakfast.
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What does diet mean?

  • Diet means the food that you eat every day.
  • There are also special diets (e.g. a low-fat diet, a calorie-controlled diet).
  • Healthy, balanced diet contains the correct amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water that people need for good health, to grow properly, be active and maintain a healthy body.
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What does the Eatwell guide mean?

  • It is based on the five food groups.
  • The segments match the Government’s recommendations for a diet that would provide all the nutrients needed by a healthy adult or child (over the age of 5 years).
  • From 2–5 years, children should gradually start eating a greater variety of foods as shown in the Eatwell Guide.
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Considerations for planning meals

  • Likes/dislikes
  • Type of meal
  • Food allergies/intolerances
  • Religious/cultural dietary restrictions
  • Health condition – may restrict what can be eaten
  • Nutritional profile of the meal
  • Lifestyle
  • Time available to buy, prepare and cook food
  • Cost of food
  • What is available to buy
  • Seasonal/local foods
  • Portion sizes
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