Using the Eatwell Guide


Eating well and having a healthy lifestyle can help us feel our best - and can also make a big difference to our long-term health. So why not make a change today?

The Eatwell Guide shows the proportions of the types of foods that you need to have a healthy, balanced diet. You don’t have to get the balance right at every meal, but aim to meet the proportions of the Eatwell Guide over a longer period of time like a day or a week.


This guide applies to most people regardless of their weight, dietary restrictions, preferences or ethnic origin.It doesn’t apply to children under 2 because they have different nutritional needs. Anyone who has special dietary requirements or medical needs should check with a registered dietitian to adapt the Eatwell Guide to their individual needs.

A Closer look at each of the food groups:

Fruit and Vegetables
Eat more fruit and vegetables - get at least 5 a day

You’ve probably heard that we all need to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. It’s easier than you might think; you just need to spread them across your day. Here’s an example:
• Have a 150 ml of unsweetened juice
• A piece of fruit as a mid-morning snack
• Include a bowl of salad on the side of your lunch
• Some sliced raw carrots/peppers/cucumbers as a mid-afternoon snack
• A portion of peas or other vegetables with your evening meal
Try to vary the fruit & vegetables you eat to make it interesting. With a little planning, it is easy to include your five a day. Choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced fruit and veg.

What is ‘a portion’ of fruit and vegetables?

Any of these counts as one portion:

• 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit
• 2 plums or similar sized fruit
• ½ a grapefruit or avocado
• 1 slice of large fruit, such as melon or pineapple
• 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or tinned)
• 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses (however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day)
• 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad (fresh or tinned in fruit juice) or stewed fruit
• 1 heaped tablespoon of dried fruit (such as raisins or apricots)
• 1 handful of grapes, cherries or berries
• A dessert bowl of salad
• A small glass (150ml) of fruit juice or smoothie

Remember though, that no matter how many portions of fruit juice, smoothie or dried fruit you have in a day, they only count once towards your five a day. Any more than that only contributes unnecessary extra sugar to your diet.
Potatoes are a starchy food, and although it’s good to eat starchy foods, they don’t count towards your five a day.

Starchy Carbohydrates

Eat plenty, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates