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The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia provide general advice on eating for health. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating plate provides more specific advice on the proportions of the different food groups that need to be consumed daily for good health and to meet the recommended daily nutrient intakes. The Healthy Canteen Kit is also based on these principles. When planning what foods to provide on the canteen menu or through other school food services, it is important to take into consideration these nutrition models.

The five food groups

Food group Main nutrients provided
Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles Carbohydrate, fibre, iron, thiamine
Vegetables and legumes Vitamins and minerals, fibre, folate
Fruit Carbohydrate, vitamins,
especially vitamin C, fibre, folate
Milk, yoghurt, cheese Protein and calcium
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts
and legumes
Protein, iron, vitamin B12 and zinc

‘Extra’ foods

‘Extra’ foods are located in very small amounts at the side of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating plate. They are called ‘extra’ foods because they are not essential to provide the body with the nutrients it needs. These foods include items such as confectionery, cakes, soft drinks, chocolate, biscuits, high-fat snack foods, pastries and takeaway foods. ‘Extra’ foods are usually very high in added fats, salts and/or sugars and may provide excess kilojoules. Therefore, they are only recommended in small amounts to add variety without replacing the nutritious foods the body needs.

Cover reproduced with permission from Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.