Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Panama

Official name

Dietary guidelines for Panama (Spanish: Guías alimentarias para Panamá).

Dietary guidelines for children under 2 years from Panama (Spanish: Guías Alimentarias  para los menores de 2 años de Panamá)

Publication year

Panama published its dietary guidelines in 1997. A revised version was published in 2013.

The guidelines for children under 2 were published in 2018.

Process and stakeholders

The dietary guidelines were revised by the Dietary Guidelines National Committee, composed of members from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, academics, nutrition associations and consumer groups. The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama and the Pan American Health Organization provided technical assistance.

The guidelines for children under 2 were developed by the Deparment of Nutrition from the Ministry of Health with FAO's support.

Intended audience

Panama has two guidelines which are aimed at the healthy population 2 years and older, and at healthy children under 2 years of age.

Food guide

The food guide chosen is a food plate divided into five food groups: starches, cereals and cereal products; fruits and vegetables; meats; dairy products; and oils, fats and sugar. The size of the segments reflects the volume that each food group should contribute to the daily diet. The recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water a day is placed outside the plate.


  • Eat a variety of foods every day.
  • Use natural seasonings such as garlic, onion, coriander, parsley, spring onions, oregano and pepper.
  • Limit your intake of processed products high in sodium, such as artificial sauces and seasonings, dry soups, cans and jars.
  • Use little oil and cooking fats. Avoid fried foods.
  • Avoid sodas, iced tea and sugary drinks. Prefer natural juices without sugar.
  • Increase your daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables of different colours.
  • Drink water throughout the day and enjoy it.
  • Do physical activity (e.g. walking, dancing and/or sports) every day for at least 30 minutes.

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