The best advice for a healthy eating approach is to follow the Eatwell guide. This shows how to plan your meals to include the right amounts of carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein and dairy foods, keeping sugar, salt and fat intake to small amounts. Whether you live on your own or with your family this is a simple and easy way to understand healthy eating.
Start the day with breakfast
The best way to enjoy and keep to a healthy body weight is to make sure you start the day with breakfast, whatever this means for you. There are a range of ways in which to prepare different types of breakfasts and not just ones that rely on cereals, where even those that appear healthy in terms of fibre content can still contain quite a lot of sugar.
Having breakfast gets your body and brain working as it needs to help you through the day.
How much is enough?
We can take the time to consider how much we are eating and rather than cut out the foods we think we eat too much of we can reduce overall the portions and amounts we eat on our plate.
Getting a smaller plate for your main meal of the day not only means you add less to it, it also means you are encouraged to think if you really need another helping once you have finished. Take time to enjoy the tastes and flavours of the food you are eating so that your stomach can work out when it is getting full. Learn to recognise when you have had enough to eat and that it is ok to leave food, even when in the past we may have been asked to eat food up that would otherwise go to waste.
Home cooked nutritious food
With a lack of time and the pressures of advertising or just aiming for our children to eat something we can often turn to processed or convenience foods to help us out. Whilst we all enjoy these foods now and again they often contain lots of sugar, salt and fat. Stock up your cupboards with a variety of tinned foods including vegetables and different bean varieties to add to our meat or fish dishes. Dried pasta or potatoes can be cooked quickly with most meals being cooked in around 30 minutes. If budgeting is hard, aim to get some vegetables and fruit from a local market or greengrocer as they are usually cheaper, make more than you need and freeze it for another meal. Also be aware of special offers, they are not always what you need and can be for the products that are not as healthy for us.
For more ideas on a range of foods from healthy to wholesome take a look at the following recipe examples or links to other food pages:
Children like a variety of food, exploring the texture of foods is appealing to them, especially raw vegetables. Some will like pasta on its own, some will like a sauce with it. Children all develop in different ways and there are frequent stages in their food journey. As Mum and Dad you know their food choices and stages better than anyone so be flexible and be excited about food, in this way you will help them enjoy it too!
The food journey continues and the appetite and volume of food increases usually! You get home and the food you thought would last your teenagers a week has gone in two days! Get them involved in cooking and learning about food so they can understand what they are eating and how it can help to keep their bodies working well. Food is great fun and connects with people, help their skills to develop and prepare them for cooking meals for others and for you!
Grabbing food on the run is perhaps typical, even finding the time to have lunch can be challenging! When you finish work, you can't be bothered to cook food for one....life is difficult! Plan ahead, just buy a few different ingredients and challenge yourself to make some different meals from them. Left overs can be turned into next day's lunch with a bit of pasta added. Better still invite some friends around and cook for them!
- Healthy Packed Lunches - BDA Factsheet
- Sport & Nutrition - BDA Factsheet
- Depression & Diet - BDA Factsheet
- Healthy Meals on a Budget - British Heart Foundation
How many packed lunches have I made today before 7am! I left mine at home. Had to buy lunch and it cost loads......What I am going to cook for the family tonight, I always seem to cook the same sorts of meals. You're not alone this is the common and chaotic experience of most families......getting through the day and eating is an achievement!
- Eating Healthy on a Budget for Families - British Heart Foundation
- Recipe Finder - British Heart Foundation
- Healthy Packed Lunches - BDA Factsheet
Food can sometimes lose its interest when we get older especially if our husband or wife who we loved to cook for is no longer there to share the meal with us. If you are on your own, make sure you are getting enough food to give you enough energy to help you move around the house, get to the shops and talk with your neighbours. See if you can get help with meals from neighbours or sing up to a meals on wheels scheme....ask them to come and sit with you to keep you company!
Meet and Eat
The Meet and Eat project helps older people come together to cook a wholesome and nutritious meal. Watch our video to find out more.
You can also watch the video with subtitles on YouTube
Download the Meet and Eat - video transcript.
Our bodies need enough water to work well as we are made up of high a percentage of water.
See for more information on this and what other fluids can make up our bodily intake.