To keep us healthy, we need to eat well and be active. Eating a variety of nutritious food every day will help you avoid sickness and longer term diseases.
The Eatwell Guide highlights the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a well-balanced and healthy diet.
It's a good idea to try to get this balance right every day, but you don't need to do it at every meal. You might find it easier to get the balance right over a longer period, say a week.
Eat well by including a variety of healthy foods from each of the four major food groups.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit
- Eat breads, grains and cereals, preferably wholegrain
- Have milk and milk products in your diet, preferably reduced or low-fat options
- Include lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or alternatives.
- Prepare foods or choose pre-prepared foods, drinks and snacks with minimal added fat, especially saturated fat; that are low in salt; with little added sugar
- Drink plenty of liquids each day, especially water
- If choosing to drink alcohol, limit intake
- Think about food safety and hygiene when you purchase, prepare, cook and store food
- Maintain a healthy body weight by eating well and daily physical activity.
Where do sugary foods, fizzy drinks, fatty and salty foods fit in?
These should not be eaten very often as too much of these types of foods can lead to you becoming overweight and unwell. This is really important for children too. So save your treats for special occasions!
5 quick tips for healthy eating!
- Eat the rainbow, naturally colourful foods such as fruit and vegetables provide a range of essential vitamins and minerals, eat a variety of colours everyday.
- Avoid foods in a packet, foods that come in packages are often processed and have had sugar, fat and salt added.
- Get cooking! You know what is in your food when you cook it, and it is simple to use less salt, fat and oils and sugar. Get your family involved too.
- Make healthy swaps, there are some easy things to swap in your diet that you will hardly notice in taste, but your body will notice the goodness. Visit change4life website for more info on smart swaps.
- Reduce your portion sizes, eat less by reducing the calorie dense part of a meal and increasing the vegetables, if you are having a treat, share it with someone else.
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow, and will keep you fit and well.
Infants have special dietary needs from the day they are born. It is recommended that all babies are only fed breastmilk for around the first 6 months of life. Breastmilk is nutritionally perfect and is a ‘living’ fluid as it changes between and during feeds to suit the baby’s needs. At around 6 months the infant should be ready to start trying some solid foods. These foods will not only provide the extra nutrients that baby needs to grow and develop, the foods offered will lay the foundation of the taste preferences for the rest of their lives. Baby food does not need any salt or sweeteners. Babies’ tastes are very basic and cannot be compared to an adult’s preference.
Children need a wide variety of food in order to get all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Children need much less food than adults, so it is important to remember that they be offered small portions of food. View more information on healthy children.
Services are free, so if you are keen to make a lifestyle change and want to feel better through improved health, contact us to find out more:
- Telephone: 0845 023 0370, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. 24 hour voicemail in operation outside of these times.
- Email: [email protected]
If you are a health professional and would like more information on how to refer into the service, look out for our regular communications via email which will be coming your way.