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Nutrition for Good Health

carrot and celery platter

Healthy eating helps keep your body strong, full of energy and working at its best. It means eating a variety of foods from the five foods group every day:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Bread and cereals
  • Meat and meat alternatives
  • Dairy foods

It is a good idea to learn about the five food groups, so you know which foods fit into which food group and how much of each you should be eating. See: Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (new window).

Snacks, drinks and other ‘extra’ foods are usually high in fat, salt or sugar. They’re unhealthy because they don’t give your body the nutrients it needs. You can have them occasionally but eating too many is not good for you.

Tips for healthy eating:

  • Eat 3 meals each day – breakfast, lunch and dinner – and have healthy snacks in between, like morning and afternoon tea.  This gives your body the fuel it needs to keep going throughout the day and stops you from feeling really hungry at your next meal.
  • Eat a variety of foods from the 5 food groups every day - fruit, vegetables, bread and cereals, meat or meat alternatives and dairy foods.  This will give you all the energy, vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  • Go slow on the sugary and fatty foods, like lollies, soft drink, chips and fried foods. Too many can be unhealthy for you and make you put on weight.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  To see how much water you need to drink click here: Drinks for Hydration

Avoid dieting

There is no such thing as ‘good’ foods or ‘bad’ foods, so you don’t need to cut certain foods from your diet completely.  All foods can be part of healthy eating –  you just need to eat them in the right amounts.  You should eat fruits, vegetables and dairy foods every day but put sugary and fatty foods in the ‘occasional’ basket.

What girls need – calcium and iron

Teenage girls need foods that are rich in calcium to build strong bones and teeth. You also need iron to help protect against iron-deficiency anaemia – a condition that can make you look pale and feel tired all the time.  It’s a good idea to find out which foods are rich in calcium and iron and whether you’re getting enough of the good stuff.