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Guiding food choices

How do we know which foods will best suit our lifestyles? The Lifestyle Foods programme has developed a guide!

Choosing what to eat

Do you plan ahead and take morning tea and lunch to school? Or do you smell the hot chips at lunchtime and grab some of those? Maybe you have both your own lunch and the hot chips? What is it that makes you choose the food that you do? And why do we need food, anyway?

One of the main reasons for eating is that it gives our bodies energy. But not everyone needs energy in the same amount. For example, take two guys with very different energy needs: Hamish exercises everyday and uses large amounts of energy, but John prefers to watch TV and uses much less energy. In order to be healthy and feel good, each one needs to be able to match his food intake with his lifestyle. If he doesn't, he might feel run down or tired, and he may lose or gain weight.

The Lifestyle Foods programme is using the latest research in food science and technology to help people choose foods that best suit their lifestyles and energy needs.

A new way of choosing food

To balance the food you eat with the energy requirements of your lifestyle, you need to know more about what you are eating. The Lifestyle Foods programme has worked with the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation to develop a food label, called the e Mark.

The e Mark: Guiding food choice

The e Mark is a food label designed to help people make food choices that suit their lifestyles and the activities they do.

It tells you the amount of energy in a food, and the speed with which that energy is released.

The e Mark is based on three colours and five numbers. The numbers tell you how much energy is in the food. The colours indicate whether the energy is released quickly, slowly, or somewhere in between.

Want to try using the e Mark now? Have a go at an choosing the right food for your after school activity.

To find out more.

Get information sheet: The e Mark: e numbers and e colours

No foods are good or bad

Often we are told that particular foods are good or bad for us. But by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and knowing how to choose the right foods for what you are doing, you will be able to find an appropriate time to eat all kinds of foods.

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