Healthy food guidelines and serving sizes

To ensure you are getting a balanced diet with the adequate amount of nutrition daily means taking a look at the food diversity and serving size on your plate.

Use the following guidelines as a checklist to review your current eating habits;

  • Choose a medium size plate or bowl to begin with (rather than a small or large one) so that you can get a gauge of portions.
  • Start by filling half of your plate with vegetables (non-starchy) or salad including green leaf varieties. Two open handfuls is a serve of vegetables or salad.
  • Add 1x portion size of protein, which is about the size of your palm (see options below)
  • Add 1x portion size of complex carbohydrates, which is about the size of your fist (see options below)
  • Add healthy fat, which a serve is about the size of the top joint tip of your thumb.

Fruit = Aim for at least 2-4 servings per day of fresh, whole fruit (rather than juices);

  • Try to have fruit 5-10mins before all other food, the  exception to this is other raw foods like salads, which are fine to have at the same time as fruit.
  • If you can’t make 4 servings per day then eat at least 2 pieces per day and have more veggies instead.

Vegetables = Aim for at least 5 servings per day;

  • Eat seasonally where possible and
  • Go for a wide variety of colours and types of veggies.
  • Always include some form of green leafy vegetables.

Protein = Portion size matters;

  • When it comes to complex protein like animal meat (chicken, fish, beef etc.). It’s important to keep each serving of animal protein to 1x fistful or palm length in size.
  • Your animal protein intake may vary from day to day depending on how much physical activity you are doing.
  • If you are vegetarian then complete vegetarian protein combining is important to achieve in at least one of your meals per day.

Carbohydrates = Portion size matters;

  • Complex carbohydrates in the form of grains include; brown rice, wholemeal pasta, all wholemeal or unprocessed grains.
  • Complex carbohydrates from vegetables include; starchy veggies like potato, sweet potato, corn, taro, squash etc.
  • Keep each serving of complex carbohydrate to 1x fistful size per meal.

Fats = Healthy fats include; extra virgin olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, nut oils. A serving size is about the top tip of your thumb;

  • Saturated fats come from animal & animal by- products as well as coconut oil.
  • Trans fats can be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation and can often be found in many cakes, biscuits, crackers, icings, margarines, and microwave popcorn products.
  • Omega 3 fats such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid),  DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), come from fish, seeds and beans.

Please note that this is a guide ONLY and food requirements can differ between people for many reasons including; pregnancy, breastfeeding, health conditions, chronic disease, specific training, specific medications, ethnic and genetic background, age and more.

If you have any questions or concerns, please book an appointment with one of our specialised General Practitioner’s or Naturopath and Nutritionist.


If you need a doctor urgently outside of our opening hours please call Byron District Hospital on 6639 9400.

For emergencies call 000 for an ambulance.

Urgent Care Clinic

On the day appointments are available by calling the surgery from 8am onwards until slots are filled. We recommend calling early to secure an appointment.

Opening Hours

Medical Centre
Monday – Friday: 8.30 – 17.00
Saturday: 8.30 – 11.30

Allied Health
Monday – Friday: 8.30 – 17.00
Saturday: 8.30 – 11.30