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Balanced Diet

A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health. It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all essential nutrients and an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are numerous diets that may be considered healthy. A healthy diet needs to have a balance of macro nutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), calories to support energy needs, and micro nutrients to meet the needs for human nutrition without inducing toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.

Balanced Diet Chart for Adults

Food Group
Number of Servings Each Day
Example of One Serving
Breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, bread, and noodles. Emphasize on whole grains.

1 ounce equivalent equals: 1 slice of bread or small muffin, 1 cup of dry cereal and ½ cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta
6-8 ounce equivalents (the lower number is the serving for a 2000 calorie diet, the higher number for 2400 calorie diet)
Tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green peas, squash, broccoli, spinach, green beans, sweet potatoes.

1 cup raw leafy vegetables = ½ cup
2.5 - 3.5 cups
Apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, orange juice, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, plums, berries
1.5 - 2 cups
Milk, yogurt, and cheese

The following count as 1 cup: 1½ ounces of natural cheese and 2 ounces of processed cheese
3 cups
Meat, eggs, nuts, and beans
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, and nuts.

1 ounce equivalent equals: 1 ounce of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish, 1 egg, ½ oz. of nuts or seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter, ¼ cup cooked dried beans or tofu
5.5 - 6.5 ounce equivalents
Soft margarine, low-fat mayonnaise, light salad dressing, vegetable oil (olive, canola, safflower, corn)
27 - 31 grams
Discretionary Calorie Allowance
After selecting nutrient dense foods from the above list, there is still room for a few more calories. Fat and added sugar are always counted as discretionary calories
267 - 362 calories

 Balanced Diet Chart for Children

Food Group
Number of Servings Each Day
Example of One Serving
Bread & Cereal Group
At least 4 servings for 2-5 year olds.

At least 5 servings for school children
1 medium sliced bread or 1 small bread roll or muffin or 2 large or 3 small crackers

½ cup cooked cereal or ¾ cup ready to eat breakfast cereal

½ cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles
Fruits & Vegetables
At least 2 vegetable & 2 servings of fruit for 2-5 year olds

At least 3 vegetable & 2 servings of fruit for school children
A serving is what fits into the palm of your child's hand. Could be raw or cooked.
Meat, fish, eggs, chicken, dried beans & lentils
At least 1 serving every day for 2-5 year olds & school children
2 slices cooked meat (approx 100 g)

¾ cup chopped beef or casserole 1 egg or 1 medium fillet of fish or 2 drumsticks or 1 chicken leg

¾ cup cooked or canned beans, peas or lentil
Dairy products or alternative (e.g. Soy milk fortified with calcium)
At least 2 - 3 servings each day for 2-5 year olds and school children
250 ml milk

1 pottle yogurt or buttermilk (150 g)

40 g (2 slices) hard cheese 200 g cottage cheese or ricotta cheese


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