Achieve a balanced diet


To achieve a well-balanced diet you just need to follow some basic guidelines.

Once you get into the habit of eating well, you will find that you can re-train your taste buds to prefer healthy foods. Do not completely deny yourself the things you really enjoy - if you love a meat pie, then have one every now and then - the important thing is moderation!

Don't fall into the trap of feeling that eating well is a punishment - believe it or not, the purpose behind a balanced diet is actually to make you feel good. In fact if you have a history of poor dietary habits, you may well be surprised at how much better you look and feel once you start eating well and taking care of yourself!


Using the healthy diet pyramid is a great way to ensure that your overall dietary intake is adequate.

Eat most:
Fruits, vegetables, seafood, legumes, grains, breads, cereals, rice and pasta which are all low in fat and provide energy-giving carbohydrate and a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

All of the above except fruits and vegetables are important sources of protein and and all except seafood contain dietary fibre. Grains, breads, cereals, rice, pasta, legumes, vegetables and fruits are important sources of carbohydrate and energy.

Approximately 55-60% of the total kilojoules we eat should come from carbohydrates, with complex carbohydrates supplying the most (40-45%).

Eat moderately:
Chicken, turkey, lean red meat, seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, yoghurt and nuts and seeds which are valuable for their protein, minerals and vitamins.

All except dairy products are good sources of iron and zinc, while dairy products are an excellent provider of calcium. Each of these foods also supply varying amounts of fats, however their fats accompany other important dietary nutrients.

Eat least:
Apart from some fats, such as olive oil, most fats, sugars salt and alcohol have little nutritional worth.

Many processed and pre-prepared foods have a high fat and sugar content, as these are cheap filler ingredients. In small quantities these are not harmful, but in large quantities they can cause health problems.

Chat to other Essential Baby members about different food groups.