Food and nutrition guidelines

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Dietary guidelines provide direction for your work in food and nutrition education and promotion.

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point.gif (93 bytes) Get 'The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating' from the local Nutrition Team

Dietary guidelines for Australians

"The Dietary guidelines for Australians provide advice to the general population about healthy food choices, so that their usual diet contributes to a healthy lifestyle and is consistent with minimal risk for the development of diet-related diseases.... The guidelines are based upon current scientific knowledge about the relationships between diet and disease, nutrients available in the Australian food supply, and the profile of morbidity and mortality in Australia. (National Health and Medical Research Council 1992:ix)"

The guidelines for Australians
  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods.
  • Eat plenty of bread and cereals, (preferably wholegrain), vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
  • Eat a diet low in fat and, in particular, low in saturated fat.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight by balancing physical activity and food intake.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit your intake.
  • Eat only a moderate amount of sugars and foods containing added sugars.
  • Choose low salt foods and use salt sparingly.
  • Encourage and support breastfeeding.

Guidelines on specific nutrients

  • Eat foods containing calcium. This is particularly important for girls and women.
  • Eat foods containing iron. This applies particularly to girls, vegetarians and athletes.

National Health and Medical Research Council 1992:xiv

Dietary guidelines for children and adolescents

The Guidelines for Children and Adolescents discuss how the 'Dietary Guidelines for Australians' apply to children from birth to 18 years of age.

The guidelines apply to the total diet. It is not appropriate to use them to assess the 'healthiness' of individual food items. Also, the guidelines are designed as a complete set of advice or information; individual guidelines cannot be considered in isolation. They are arranged in order of priority to reflect the relative importance of each guideline to the population.

The guidelines for children and adolescents
  • Encourage and support breastfeeding.
  • Children need appropriate food and physical activity to grow and develop normally. Growth should be checked regularly.
  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods.
  • Eat plenty of breads, cereals, vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
  • Low fat diets are not suitable for young children. For older children, a diet low in fat and in particular, low in saturated fat, is appropriate.
  • Encourage water as a drink. Alcohol is not recommended for children.
  • Eat only a moderate amount of sugars and foods containing added sugars; and
  • Choose low salt foods.

Guidelines on specific nutrients

  • Eat foods containing calcium; and
  • Eat foods containing iron.

National Health and Medical Research Council 1995:1

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is a newly developed national and contemporary food guide for Australia which reflects the multicultural nature of the population and which is relevant for all sectors of the food system to use as a nutrition education and information tool.

The Guide is based on widely accepted scientific principles and has been informed by the Dietary Guidelines for Australians and the recommended dietary intakes for use in Australia.

The THS Nutrition Team has been consulting with people to develop a new guide more appropriate for Aboriginal people which includes traditional foods.

Food guidelines for remote stores

These guidelines are based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines. They have been adapted to apply to food supply issues in remote areas of the Northern Territory.

The Guidelines are used to guide the range and quality of food which should be consistently available in the store. They include:

Based on The Store Book by Stronach et al 1998

point.gif (93 bytes)   The Guidelines are set out in 'The Store Book'. See 'Useful Resources' at the end of this chapter


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