A balanced diet is a complete diet that gives adequate energy and all the nutrients required in the right proportions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Not one food, on its own, provides all the nutrients we eat, so it is critical to eat and drink a wide variety for a balanced diet.
A balanced diet should have adequate amounts of all nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.
To achieve a balanced diet you must eat a variety of food from each food group in the right quantities.
How many food groups do you know?
There are five food groups:
- Dairy products
- Animal and plant proteins
- Carbohydrates, especially whole grain
Each day we should aim to get a set number of servings from the food pyramid.
For example for vegetables it is recommend to have 5 serves per day. The number of servings depends on your age, children will require less servings per day than adults.
To help you have a balanced meal, particularly at lunch and dinner the food plate model can be used. This shows you how much of each of the food groups you should have on your plate in the one meal.
For an adult ½ of the plate being vegetables , ¼ being protein and the other ¼ being carbohydrates . Water should be not be forgotten with each meal. And nutritious snacks in between meals such as fruit and dairy.
Children should fill 1/3 of their plate with vegetables, protein and carbohydrates