In Northern Ireland the new Eatwell Guide makes healthy eating easier to understand by giving a visual representation of the types and proportions of foods needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.
The Eatwell Guide is based on the main food groups that together provide a healthy, balanced diet:
Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
Fruit and vegetables
Dairy and alternatives
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
Oils and spreads
Drink 6-8 cups / glasses of fluid each day
If food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and salt are eaten, have these less often and in small amounts.
Who is the Eatwell Guide for?
The Eatwell Guide is suitable for most people including people of all ethnic origins and people who are of a healthy weight or overweight. It is also suitable for vegetarians.
However, it does not apply to children under two years of age because they have different nutritional needs.
Anyone under medical supervision or with special dietary needs might want to check with their GP, or a registered dietitian, to be clear about whether or not the Eatwell Guide is suitable for them.
Why use the Eatwell Guide as the model for healthy eating?
The Eatwell Guide is a visual representation of how different foods contribute towards a healthy balanced diet. This model has been tested extensively with Northern Ireland consumers and health professionals.
The size of the segments for each of the food groups is consistent with Government recommendations for a diet that would provide all the nutrients required for a healthy adult or child (over the age of two).
The Eatwell Guide is not meant to represent the balance required in any one specific meal– rather it represents the overall balance of a healthy diet over the day, or week.