Use the tables below to find out how many serves you or your family need from each food group. Think about how you will spread these serves over the day and what types of meals and snacks to plan around them.

Minimum recommended average daily number of serves from each of the five food groups

Often people find that to get enough serves from all the food groups:

  • Swap discretionary choices for foods from the five food groups.
  • Make breads or grains part of at least two meals most days.
  • Include vegetables at least twice a day, particularly important if you would like to lose weight.
  • Make vegetables at least one third of meals and half the meal if you are trying to lose weight. So it’s important to serve vegetables or salad as a side dish even when eating meals like pasta, lasagne or risotto. By eating more vegetables in your meals, serves of other foods will be smaller and the overall meal will have fewer kilojoules.
  • Include lean meat or meat alternative a part of at least one meal a day.
  • Add fruit to at least two meals or used as snacks or desserts.
  • Include a serve of low fat milk, yoghurt or cheese as a significant part of at least two meals or snacks.

Mixed meals

Traditionally meals often combine foods from a number of food groups but it is always useful to add more serves of the foods from the food groups that are harder to reach the recommended number of serves per day, such as vegetables or legumes.


  • wholegrain cereal, porridge or muesli with a serve of low fat milk or yogurt and some fruit; or
  • wholemeal toast topped with fruit or vegetables and a low fat milk based drink

Morning tea / afternoon tea

A piece of fruit, low fat yogurt or wholegrain toast/wholemeal crumpet/fruit bread

Lunch / light meal

  • Wholegrain bread, roll or wrap lightly spread with unsaturated margarine with a slice of lean meat, chicken or low fat cheese or tinned fish and plenty of salad vegetables; or
  • Vegetable and legume soup with wholegrain bread, toast or roll; or
  • Leftovers from dinner with salad or vegetables on the side; and
  • A piece of fruit, a low fat yogurt or a low fat milk based drink

Dinner / main meal

  • A serve of lean meat, skinless chicken or fish or a meat alternative
  • A serve of wholegrain bread/grain product or a starchy vegetable or legume side dish
  • A large serve of a variety of coloured vegetables or salad; and if desired
  • A dessert based on fruit and low fat milk or yogurt