Be treatwise® is an initiative by the Australian and New Zealand confectionery industries that is designed to provide consumers with information to help explain the place that confectionery has, as a treat food, that can be enjoyed  as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

The Be treatwise® logo is a visual cue on the front of confectionery packs to remind consumers that confectionery is a treat. With its logo and tagline, Enjoy a balanced diet, Be treatwise® helps consumers to understand the importance of eating treats in moderation.

Be treatwise® is available in New Zealand as a trademark licensed to NZFGC. It is available at no cost, subject to compliance with the Be treatwise® Style Guide.

New Zealand confectionery manufacturers that wish to use the trademark must contact the NZ Food & Grocery Council, which manages the trade mark in New Zealand. Contact details: 04 470 7725 or email admin@fgc.org.nz.

If you are a consumer seeking information, go to the Be treatwise® website here. If you are a manufacturer, distributor or retailer, go to this link.

View the Be treatwise® educational video

Treats in a balanced diet

Good nutrition is vital for the growth and development of children, both physically and mentally, and for the well-being of adults. This is reflected in the New Zealand Eating and Activity Guidelines, which promote healthy eating.  In particular, they advise that to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs. In relation to sugar intake, the guidelines recommend we limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars.

Balanced eating means that treat foods may be eaten sometimes and in small amounts, while other foods from the five core food groups should be eaten each day along with drinking plenty of water.

The five core food groups are:

  • vegetables and legumes/beans
  • fruit
  • grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties
  • lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legume/beans
  • milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat

Adults and children can enjoy a treat – such as lollies or chocolate – now and then, as these foods can add variety and enjoyment to eating within the context of a healthy, balanced diet – it is about moderation. Beyond health, eating is also a social part of our lives.

Balanced choices

The Eating and Activity Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. This includes information on the number of serves from each of the five food groups required for healthy eating depending upon your age, gender, weight, height and physical activity levels.

The guidelines suggest that additional portions of the five core food groups, unsaturated spreads/oils or discretionary food choices are needed only by those that are taller or more active to meet additional energy requirements. They also recommend New Zealanders consume discretionary foods ‘only sometimes and in small amounts’.

Treat foods, however, including confectionery, can add variety and enjoyment to eating within the context of a healthy, balanced diet – it is about moderation.

Being balanced is all about our food choices firstly and balancing food intake according to our personal needs which takes into account our activity levels. This means balancing our energy intake with our energy output.

Understanding energy

Food provides us with the energy to do daily tasks, exercise and keep our hearts beating and lungs breathing. This energy is measured in kilojoules (kJ) (or both kJ and calories (Cal). There are about 4.18 kilojoules in a calorie.

The energy represents the total amount of kilojoules from protein, fat, carbohydrates, including sugars, dietary fibre and alcohol that is released when food is used by the body.

If we eat too much energy, we do not become more energetic. Instead, the extra energy is converted into body fat and we gain weight. It is important to get our energy balance right, so that energy from food and beverages is the same as the energy burned up during the day through our activity, including keeping our bodies functioning.

Our energy needs are different from everyone else and change during our lifetime. They are based on age, life stage, gender, physical activity and other individual factors. For example, the reference amount for an average adult diet is based on 8700kJ, however daily energy requirements vary depending on personal needs.

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