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What is a Balanced Diet?

We can get a balanced diet by eating some foods from each food group every day.

 

The food groups we need to eat from are:

Why do we need a Balanced Diet?

Eating from a wide range of foods allows us to obtain all the nutrients and vitamins that we need every day to grow, learn, and play. Each food group provides different types of nutrients, so it is important that our diet includes them all.

How many servings should we eat?

The recommended number of servings we should eat from each food group are:

What about Fluids?

We need plenty of fluid to keep our bodies and brains working well. Water and low-fat milk are the best drinks to have.

Meal Patterns and Me

Eating a range of foods at regular times of the day will ensure that our bodies can perform at their best.

Three meals and two or three small snacks will keep us full of energy and ready to learn. 

Breakfast:

Breakfast will help us arrive at school ready to concentrate and learn. If we don’t have time at home, we can eat some food on the way - for example, a banana, or a peanut butter sandwich.

Lunch:

Lunch will give us energy to keep going during a busy afternoon. If we don’t bring food from home, we can remember how to choose healthy and nutritious foods from the school canteen. The best options will include vegetables or salads, and not fried foods or sugary drinks.

Dinner:

Eating meals together with family/whanau is a great way for us to connect and find out how everyone is doing!

Snacks:

If having a snack between meals, we can try to eat healthy foods.

Great ideas are: fruit, yoghurt, vegetable sticks with hummus, mini homemade pizza, nuts, or milk.

Foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt, and sugar are best eaten only occasionally. These include chippies, corn chips, lollies, fizzy drinks, hot chips, chocolate, pies, and takeaways such as burgers. These foods are high in calories, but contain few nutrients or vitamins.

Healthier choices for takeaways are kebabs, wraps, pizza with more vegetables than cheese, sushi, non-fried rice or noodle dishes, or baked potatoes with meat, beans, or salad.