We really are what we eat. The food we eat can give our body the nutrients it needs, make us feel good and protect our long term health and wellbeing. The foods we choose are important, but so is the amount we eat. The number of kilojoules (calories) we eat versus how many we burn by being physically active is the key to keeping weight in check.  You can sum up the basics of healthy eating in three words: balance, variety and moderation. While you might think things are always changing, these principles have stood the test of time.


  • Balance

    Balance is key when it comes to food and health. Eating well and staying healthy is a balancing act that takes effort and practice.

    Balance your weight by matching the food you eat with the physical activity you do. Energy we take in from what we eat and drink is measured in kilojoules (KJ) and the number of kilojoules needed is different for everyone. Find your ideal figure here.

    Balance the food you eat by eating mostly healthy foods your body needs and only a little of the foods that you eat for fun and pleasure. A healthy balance is mostly fresh whole foods and some processed foods for convenience.

  • Variety

    Variety is the spice of life, and it's certainly an important goal when it comes to eating well. Enjoy foods from all five food groups every day to give your body the nutrients it needs. It's also good to enjoy a variety of different foods from within the food groups themselves to keep meals interesting and to give you a broad range of nutritional benefits. Check out the five food groups below. Did you know the amount of food needed daily changes depending on age and gender? Find out just how much you need.

  • Moderation

    Moderation means not going overboard with treats, restaurant or take-away meals, alcohol, or the amount of food you eat. Enjoy the treats you love in moderation because they tend to be high in kilojoules and low in nutrients. This can be a challenge because less-healthy foods are a quick and easy option. Make an effort to choose healthier foods more often to get the balance right. Discover numbers of kilojoules found in different foods here.

    Moderation also applies to being sedentary, such as sitting for too long: enjoy sitting in moderation and take regular movement breaks if you have a sedentary job. Find out more about how you can sit less and move more every day!

  • Think About Drinks

    Drinks count: choose those which can add nutrients (such as calcium from milk) and avoid or reduce those that just add kilojoules we don't need (such as sugar-sweetened drinks). Water is best, and drinking water is a healthy habit for the whole family. If you drink alcohol, moderation is best for your waistline and general health. Limit yourself to one or two standard drinks, and avoid drinking every day.

    If you’re worried about how much alcohol you drink, check the Your Room Risk Assessment Tool.

Remember the Five Food Groups!

The five food groups:

  • 1. Vegetables and legumes/beans - enjoy a variety of colours and types: eat the rainbow

  • 2. Grain (cereal) foods - mostly wholegrain and high-fibre, such as wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice

  • 3. Fruit - enjoy a variety of colours and types, mostly fresh (a bit of canned or frozen is OK, and juice in small amounts)

  • 4. Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds

  • 5. Milk, yoghurt, cheese - mostly reduced fat