The Food Pyramid shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each shelf to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
Healthy eating is all about choosing the right amounts from each shelf.
Many of the foods you eat, such as pizzas, casseroles, pasta dishes, and sandwiches, are a combination of the food shelves. For these sorts of foods, you just need to work out the main ingredients and think about how these fit with shelves on the Food Pyramid.
Following the Food Pyramid doesn’t mean that you need to achieve this balance with every meal but aim to get the balance right over the day and over the week. Small changes can make a big difference.
This Food Pyramid guide is for children aged 5 and over, teenagers and all adults, both healthy weight and overweight. As two out of three Irish adults are overweight there is a list of top tips to help overweight adults.
Vegetables, salad, and fruit
This is the biggest shelf and is at the bottom of the Food Pyramid so you need to choose more of these.
Wholemeal cereals and bread, potatoes, pasta and rice
The foods on this shelf provide the best energy for your body to work. Energy needs are different throughout life and this shelf covers a wide choice of foods. Follow the Daily Servings Guide opposite carefully to make sure you’re getting the right amount for you depending on:
• your age
• if you’re male or female
• if you’re active or inactive
• if you’re a healthy weight or overweight.
You may be surprised by the number of servings you can have from this shelf. It may seem like a lot but these wholemeal foods are healthy choices and are recommended to give you energy instead of choosing unhealthy high-calorie foods and drinks from the
Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar, and salt
This is the smallest shelf and is at the top of the Food Pyramid so people need to choose very little of these – not every day, maximum once or twice a week only. They are not needed for
health and may promote overweight and obesity.
Drink at least 8 cups of fluid a day – water is best.