Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Sri Lanka

Official name

Food-based dietary guidelines for Sri Lankans.

Publication year

Sri Lanka first published food-based dietary guidelines in 2002. A revised version was launched in 2011.

Process and stakeholders

The guidelines were developed by the Nutrition Division of the Ministry of Health, in consultation with various government ministries, universities, nutrition associations and institutes, consumer and non-governmental organizations, and with the support of the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The guidelines are endorsed by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture and nutrition institutes.

Intended audience

The dietary guidelines are aimed at the general population, and include recommendations for different population groups.

Food guide

The food guide of Sri Lanka is a food pyramid divided into six levels. Rice, breads, other cereals and yams are at the base: vegetables and fruits on the second level; fish, pulses, meat and eggs are on the third level; followed by dairy products, nuts and oils, and fat and sugary products.


  • Eat a variety of foods every day.
  • Eat cereal-based foods three times a day.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat pulses, fish, dried fish, eggs, poultry and lean meat.
  • Consume milk or milk products daily.
  • Consume moderate amounts of fats.
  • Limit salt intake and use only iodized salt.
  • Consume less sugar, sweets or sweetened drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight through a balanced food intake and regular physical activity.
  • Eat additional food during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.
  • Start complementary feeding at the completion of 6 months.
  • Children and adolescents should take an adequate and nutritious diet.
  • The elderly should eat foods with high nutritional value.
  • Eat clean and safe foods.
  • Eat naturally occurring foods in preference to processed foods.