Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Afghanistan

Official name

National Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Afghans – A Manual.

Publication year

Afghanistan published and launched their national guidelines in late 2015.

Process and stakeholders 

The development of the guidelines was spearheaded and endorsed by the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and Ministry of Education. The process was carried out in collaboration with the FAO. 

Intended audience

The messages of the guidelines are intended for the general public. Specific recommendations for pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children are also included, as they are more nutritionally vulnerable.

The booklet that accompanies the guidelines serves as a technical background document, which has been written for professionals who inform and educate the public about eating for good health. 

Food guide

Afghanistan has used a tablecloth to represent its National Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. The tablecloth shows seven food groups that should be included in the daily diet. The size of the various plates indicate the approximate amounts of each of these food groups that should be eaten for a balanced diet.


  • Eat different types of food daily.
  • Eat different types of fruit and vegetables daily.
  • Eat lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.            
  • Reduce sugar intake and avoid sweet carbonated beverages.
  • Use less salt and eat fewer fatty foods and highly-processed foods.
  • Pregnant and lactating women should increase intake of all the food groups daily, especially foods that are rich in iron.
  • Give infants only breast milk for the first 6 months of life.
  • From 6 months onward, feed infants and young children different nutritious foods in addition to breast milk and continue breastfeeding until 24 months.
  • Use clean and safe water for handwashing, drinking and food preparation.
  • If you live a sedentary life, do some physical activity for at least 20–30 minutes daily.