Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Dominican Republic

Official name

The mortar of food and nutrition (Spanish: Pilón de la alimentación y nutrición).

Publication year

The Dominican Republic published its food-based dietary guidelines in 2009.

Process and stakeholders

The guidelines were developed in a process led by the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with other ministries, universities, consumer groups, the FAO, the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama and the Pan American Health Organization.
The guidelines are endorsed by the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Intended audience

The guidelines are directed at the healthy population aged 2 years and older. Recommendations for adequate feeding of children less than 2 years of age are included.

Food guide

The Dominican Republic uses a mortar as its food guide. Mortars are found in every Dominican kitchen and are a symbol of the country’s cuisine. The mortar includes images of different food groups and water. Under the mortar there is a chopping board with images promoting breastfeeding and complementary feeding. In the background are images of physical activity, hand washing and a family learning together.


  • Exclusively breastfeed infants from birth up to 6 months because it is the first and the best food for them.
  • Introduce adequate complementary foods (as shown in the food guide) starting at 6 months of age.
  • Eat cereals and starchy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day to get all the energy you need.
  • Increase consumption of beans, grains, fish, eggs and dairy products to keep your bones and organs healthy.
  • Eat five fruits and vegetables of different colours and flavours every day to fill you with health and vitality.
  • Eat fortified foods every day to add quality to your life.
  • Decrease your consumption of sugar, fat and fried foods to prevent obesity.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to ensure quality of life.
    Wash your hands with water and soap before every meal to avoid infectious diseases.
  • Exercise every day to improve your overall wellness.