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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 are:
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Grains (bread, rice, pasta, cereals)
- Milk and milk products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
- Lean meat and alternatives (lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts & seeds, beans and lentils)
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 food groups each day. Below are some examples of how we can include foods from each food groups 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.