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Balanced diet

balanced; diet; bread; cereal; rice; pasta; noodles; vegetables; fruit; meat; poultry; fish; milk; yoghurt; cheese; nuts; legumes; beans; eggs; food; groups; serve; servings. ;


Balanced diet servings

girl on tightropeDoes a girl on a tightrope carrying a sandwich have a balanced diet?

Well it depends what's on the sandwich!

Eating a balanced diet just means that you choose foods in the right amounts from each of the food groups. Let me show you how it works.

food groups chart
Copyright with permission
This type of chart is called a "Pie Chart".

It gives some ideas of which foods are good for you and how much to eat.

The size of serves is a rough guide as this site is written for 6-13 year olds.

Breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles

Food examples

What is a serve?

Daily serve from this group
Bread 1-2 slices 5 - 9


each day

½ -1 roll

Cereal ½ -1 cup
Wheat biscuit one
Pasta ½ -1 cup
Rice 1 cup

Vegetables and legumes

Food examples What is a serve? Daily serve from this group
Cooked vegies Half a cup 4 or 5


each day
Medium potato Half a cup
Carrot [sliced] Half a cup
Broccoli Half a cup
Spinach Half a cup
Cauliflower Half a cup
Salad  One cup


Food examples What is a serve? Daily serve from this group
Any fruit, eg. apple, orange 1 piece 2 or 3


each day
Fruit juice Small glass
Raisins/sultanas 1-2 tablespoons
Dried fruit 4 pieces

Milk, yoghurt and cheese group

Food examples What is a serve? Daily serve from this group
Milk 250ml 2 - 4


Each day
Yoghurt 200g
Cheese 40g
Custard 250ml

Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and legumes

Food examples What is a serve? Daily serve from this group
Beef, chicken fish Small portion 1 - 2


Each day
Egg One
Peanut butter 1 tablespoon
Baked beans Half a cup
Fish fingers Two

Fats and oils

Even though you need fats and oils to grow and be healthy there isn't a place in the plate for fats and oils because you will get most of what you need from your other foods, such as meat, eggs, cheese, peanut butter and margarine on your bread.

It's a good idea to start the habit of eating mono-unsaturated fats (check out the label on cooking oils, margarines and spreads) light cheeses and low fat ice-cream.  Your heart will love you for it!

Sweets, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks

You may have one small serve of cake or chips, or 2 sweet biscuits .... but not all of them! Soft drinks usually have a lot of sugar in them which you do not need.

Try to make sweets a sometimes treat rather than every day.

Balancing your diet

Now see if you can use the tables above to see how your diet balanced out today.  Maybe you would like to plan a day's menu yourself then check if it fits with the idea of a balanced diet.

Be careful to keep an eye on the size of your serves.

A healthy diet 

Have a look at this fact sheet from the Cancer Council of South Australia about eating a healthy diet.

Dr Kate says

Dr Kate

Eating a balanced diet and exercising every day will help your body to stay healthy. Have a look at our topics on Exercise and Fitness to find out more.

 Some people have problems with some foods. Our topic on Special diets will tell you more abouth this. You don't need to go onto a special diet unless your doctor or a dietitian has told you to.

Check out Weight - how much should you weigh? if you are worrying about it. Remember that people come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

 Some people may decide to 'go on a diet' It is not a good idea to make changes to your diet without talking with your doctor or a dietitian. Some people get into big trouble if they cut out a lot of foods. Have a look at our topic Eating disorders to find out more.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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