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The Eatwell Guide

Northern Ireland specific
In Northern Ireland, the Eatwell Guide makes healthy eating easier to understand by giving a visual representation of the types and proportions of foods needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.
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The Eatwell Guide is suitable for most people including people of all ethnic origins and people who are of a healthy weight or overweight. It is also suitable for vegetarians. It does not apply to children under two years of age because they have different nutritional needs. Anyone under medical supervision or with special dietary needs can check with their GP, or a registered dietitian, to be clear about whether or not they understand if the Eatwell Guide is suitable for them.

The Eatwell Guide is based on the main food groups that together provide a healthy diet.

These food groups include:

  • potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • fruit and vegetables
  • dairy and alternatives
  • beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • oils and spreads
  • drink 6-8 cups / glasses of fluid each day

If food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and salt are consumed, have these less often and in small amounts.


The size of the segments for each of the food groups is consistent with Government recommendations for a diet that would provide all the nutrients required for a healthy adult or child (over the age of two).

The Eatwell Guide is not meant to represent the balance required in any one specific meal, rather it represents the overall balance of a healthy diet over the day or week.

More information

Further information can be found in our Eatwell Guide booklet: