Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

Healthy eating made easy

Food is incredible! Not only is it enjoyable and great for bringing people together, it also provides us with the energy and nutrients that help keep us alive and healthy – and this is where balance becomes crucial.

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Enjoying a variety of nutritious foods every day helps to:

  • build healthy bones and body tissues
  • support a strong immune system
  • maintain energy levels, performance and mood
  • prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and Alzheimer’s.

What should I eat?

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While there’s no one way of eating that’s right for everybody, the Government’s Australian Dietary Guidelines provide general and flexible advice on how much we should eat from each food group for overall health and wellbeing.

As our Healthy Eating Pyramid article shows, there’s a variety of options within each food group, so you can apply the advice of the Guidelines to suit your personal tastes.

Download your own copy of the Healthy Eating Pyramid to keep for quick reference.

Scroll down to see how three very different people can meet their recommended intakes over the course of a normal day: a busy mum, a hardworking vegetarian, and our very own Nutrition Australia dietitian and athlete, Sophie Robson!

Where should I start?

If you’d like to make some healthy changes to your diet during Active April, why not try our food group tracker to see how much you currently eat from each food group, and find ways to achieve more balance in your day.

Choose and download your personal tracker:

Healthy eating examples

Busy Beth

Beth is a 40-something year old mum who lives with her husband and two young children. She works 9-5pm three days a week, so she’ll either make lunches at home for herself, or she makes them for work while packing the kids’ lunchboxes.

Beth’s day Food groups
BREAKFAST Overnight oats in a jar
½ cup of oats
½ cup milk
Dollop of natural yoghurt
Cinnamon
Sliced pear
Small latte
1 serve grains
1 serve milk, yoghurt cheese
0.5 serve fruit
0.5 serve milk yoghurt, cheese
LUNCH Quinoa salad
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup chickpeas
Spinach
Baby tomatoes
Mushrooms
Avocado
Capsicum
Olive oil + vinegar dressing
2 serves grains
0.5 serve meat/alternative
2 serves vegetables
1 serve healthy fats
DINNER Grilled fish
½ cup cous cous
Steamed greens (bok choy, broccolini, brussel sprouts, asparagus)
(+ ginger, garlic and chilli, and low salt soy sauce)
1 serve meat/alternative
1 serve grains
2 serves vegetables
SNACKS Tub of natural yoghurt
15g crushed nuts
Cinnamon
Apple
1 serve milk, yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serve meat/alternative
1 serve fruit
1 slice of fruit toast with ricotta and sliced pear
Small piece of birthday cake
1 serve grains
0.5 serves milk, yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serve fruit
1 serve discretionary food
Cut up vegies (carrots, capsicum and celery)
Hummus
1 serve vegetables
0.5 serve meat/alternative

Vegetarian Victor

Victor is a guy in his late 20s who lives alone and works long days at an IT company. He needs filling meals and easy snacks to get him through his long hours but he doesn’t eat meat or fish.

  Victor’s day Food group serves
BREAKFAST 2 poached eggs
2 slices of grainy toast
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Spinach
Small latte
1 serve meat/alternative
2 serves grains
2 serves vegetables
0.5 serves milk, yoghurt, cheese
LUNCH Cheese and salad sandwich
Multigrain bread
Cheese
Tomato
Lettuce
Carrot
Avocado
2 serves grains
1 serve milk, yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serve vegetables
DINNER Leftover stir fry
Tofu
Steamed rice
Snow peas
Capsicum
Broccoli
Mushrooms
(+ a low salt stir fry sauce)
1 serve meat/alternative
1.5 serve grains
2 serves vegetables
SNACKS Café strawberry smoothie (strawberries, milk, yoghurt)
Hot cross bun
0.5 serve fruit
1 serve milk, yoghurt, cheese
1 serve discretionary food
Oat and nut muesli bar
Banana
0.5 serve meat/alternative
0.5 serve grains
1 serve fruit
Cheese cubes
Vegetable sticks
Handful dried fruit and nut mix
0.5 serve milk yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serve vegetables
0.5 serve meat/alternative
0.5 serve fruit

Sporty Sophie

Sophie is a 30 year old dietitian and a competitive rower. She gets up at 4 or 5am for training most days and then works 9-5. Sophie needs extra kilojoules to fuel her training and keep up her energy levels and she can’t resist a hot cross bun and a dinner out with friends.

  Sophie’s day Food group serves
PRE-TRAINING Grainy toast with honey 1 serve grains
BREAKFAST Muesli
¾ cup oats
3 spoonful’s Greek yoghurt
Splash of milk
Handful cranberries
Crushed walnuts
Cinnamon
1.5 serves grains
0.5 serves milk, yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serves fruit
0.5 serves meat/alternatives
MORNING TEA Kiwi fruit
Hot cross bun
Small cappuccino
0.5 serves fruit
1 discretionary food
0.5 serves milk, yoghurt, cheese
LUNCH Tuna salad
Can of tuna
Spinach
Tomato
Mushrooms
Capsicum
Cucumber
4x Vita-Weats crackers
Basil infused olive oil
1 serve meat/alternatives
2 serves vegetables
1 serve grains
1 serve healthy fats
AFTERNOON TEA Apple
Nut-based muesli bar
1 serve fruit
0.5 serve meat/alternative
POST-TRAINING Chocolate milk
Carrot
2 slices of cheese
2 grainy crackers
1 serve milk, yoghurt, cheese
1 serve vegetables
1 serve milk yoghurt, cheese
0.5 serve grains
DINNER Chicken vermicelli (dining out)
Chicken breast
Vermicelli noodles
Mixed vegetables
( + coriander, ginger, lemongrass and chilli)
Glass of wine
1 serve meat/alternatives
2 serve grains
2 serves vegetables
1 serve discretionary food

 

nutrition-australiaContent thanks to Nutrition Australia Victorian Division. For more healthy tips visit the Nutrition Australia website.

Last updated: November 28, 2016 at: 12:04 pm

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