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Food Groups

Traditionally, Kiwi meals have centred around ‘meat and three veg’. Roast lamb, potatoes, and vegetables have been a favourite for generations. Nowadays, this has been joined by influences from overseas, such as chilli con carne, burritos or butter chicken. But what they all have in common is they contain a variety of food groups.

Using food groups is a way of classifying foods according to the nutrients they provide. Here in New Zealand, the four food groups and the recommended number of serves per day are:

Food Groups and Recommended Number of Serves

Food Group

Recommended Number of Serves

Vegetables and Fruits

At least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day

Grains (bread, rice, pasta, cereals)

At least 6 servings every day – choose mostly whole grain and those naturally high in fibre

Milk and milk products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)

At least 2 servings every day - choose low-fat or reduced-fat milk and milk products

Lean meat and alternatives (lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts & seeds, beans and lentils)

At least 2 servings every day

We also have an ‘extras’ group for foods that don’t fit in the categories above. These foods include biscuits, cakes, pastry, lollies, chocolate, chips and fats and oils – all foods typically high in fat and/or sugar.

We need to eat a mixture of foods from the four food groups each day. Below are some examples of how we can include foods from each food group in everyday meals

Breakfast: wholegrain cereal topped with seasonal fruit and either milk or yoghurt.
Lunch: tuna salad or sandwich, and chopped fruit on the side.
Dinner: beef burritos made up of tortillas, mince, beans, salad and cheese topping.

For more information on each of the food groups, click on the links below:
Vegetables and Fruits
Milk and milk products
Lean meat and alternatives

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