Healthy eating habits have a big impact on how you feel and help you live a longer healthier life.  With a lot of information out there about what food to eat, it can be difficult to figure out the basics. Here is what you need to know.

What kind of food should I be eating and how much?

Find out more about eating well using the five food groups.

  • Vegetables and legumes/beans

    Enjoy a variety of colours and types (eat the rainbow).

  • Fruit

    Eat mostly fresh fruit and enjoy a variety of colours and types. Frozen and canned fruit in juice (with no added sugar) are also great options. Try to limit fruit juice (no added sugar) to small amounts or only occasionally.

  • Grain (cereal) foods

    Mostly wholegrain and high-fibre, such as wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta and brown rice.

  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, legumes/beans, nuts and seeds

    Dairy alternatives include calcium fortified plant milks, such as almond, rice and soy.

  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or dairy alternatives

    Mostly reduced fat. Dairy alternatives include calcium fortified plant milks, such as almond, rice and soy.

How much you need of each of these foods in a day depends on your age and gender. You can use our food calculator to find out what is best for you.

Sometimes foods

Other types of food – like take-away meals, biscuits, soft drinks and alcohol – can be high in salt, saturated fat and sugar and should be eaten only sometimes (not every day) and in small portions. An example of a small portion would be one or two  sweet biscuits, not a packet, or a can of soft drink, not a large bottle.

What should I be drinking?

  • Water is best, and plenty of it

    It is free from the tap, it doesn’t damage your teeth, and it doesn’t contain any sugars like fruit juices, energy drinks and soft drinks do.

  • If you drink alcohol, moderation is best

    Limit yourself to one or two standard drinks per day, and avoid drinking every day. If you’re worried about how much alcohol you drink, check the Your Room Risk Assessment Tool.

How healthy are your habits?

Take our quiz to find out

  • Balance

    Healthy eating is about getting the right balance between different food groups. We can improve this balance by changing one habit each day, like cutting out the sweet biscuit we usually have with our tea. See our quick tips and life hacks for adding more healthy foods to your day.

  • Variety

    Trying new and varied flavours is part of the joy of food. Luckily, adding colour and variety to your plate is also a key part of healthy eating. It helps us to eat all the food groups and nutrients we need each day. Take a look at our healthy recipes to get some ideas for filling your plate with colour.

  • Moderation

    Foods like take-away meals, sweet biscuits, soft drinks and alcohol are high in salt, sugar and/or saturated fat. Eating too much of them can increase our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.

Here are some tips to help you moderate how much you eat without completely changing your life:

  • Swap for a healthier option. Instead of a packet of chips or a sweet snack, have some plain popcorn or your favourite fruit.
  • Select the portion you want rather than eating straight from the packet and losing count.
  • Fill the pantry with healthy options, so they are in reach when we’re hungry. Read our tips for how to shop smart, shop healthily