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 are:

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 these groups each day. Let’s look at how they fit into some typical meals.

Breads & Cereals

Fruit & Vegetables

Milk & milk products

Lean meat & alternatives

Breakfast: cereal topped with peaches, with milk and yoghurt and a glass of fruit juice


Peaches, juice

Milk, yoghurt


Lunch: tuna salad sandwich and an apple


Salad, apple



Dinner: burritos – tortilla wraps, mince, cheese and salad

Tortilla wrap




Dinner: vegetable & lentil curry with steamed rice

Rice Peas, potato, cauliflower  


Page reviewed March 2013