The Healthy Eating Pyramid

This week Nutrition Australia released a new Healthy Eating Pyramid designed as a visual representation of the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Released in 2013 the Australian Dietary Guidelines were designed to provide information and recommendations about the type and amount of foods we need to eat for good health.

We are all regularly bombarded with new facts and figures around what we should be eating. The new Healthy Eating Pyramid, released this week, uses a simple more to less approach to demonstrate how much food from each of the 5 core food groups contributes to a healthy balanced diet (based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines).

The rise in exclusion and fad eating has seen many of our diets change and alter over the years. This new pyramid demonstrates, that for most of us eating from across the five food groups will provide all the nutrients we need for health.

For young children this is especially important, as the eating habits they adopt in early life can have lasting impacts on their approach to food later in life too. It is also vital that children receive all the nutrients and energy they need to aid their physical and mental development.

Healthy Eeating Pyramid
  • Enjoy a variety of foods from the five core food groups
  • Choose mostly plant-based foods
  • Limit foods high in saturated fats, salt and added sugar
  • Choose water as your main drink

The message the new pyramid sends us is simple; that the best way to have a healthy balanced diet is to limit saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and eat a range of foods from across the core 5 food groups. To be structurally sound the pyramid needs all its layers and bricks, we should see our diets the same way, and we need all the building blocks to have a healthy, balanced diet.

But what does this all mean for parents? Well it means if you are providing your child with a variety of foods from across the 5 food groups, encouraging and modelling drinking water over sugary drinks, encouraging and modelling physical activity, limiting the amount of foods high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt then you are on the right track to helping your children develop healthy eating habits.

For the last 35 years Life Education has been teaching children about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet always guided by nutrition guidelines such as the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Through activities in our mobile classroom and post visit activities, we encourage children to identify the foods and drink that will contribute to a healthy balanced diet, understand why we need to eat a variety of foods, how these food can affect our bodies and the importance of physical activity.