Eating healthily is all about balance. Every now and then it’s perfectly OK to have pie for dinner or a nice slice of cake at teatime – treats are a part of life – but it’s also important to recognise when we’re pushing things too far. Indulgent food should be enjoyed and savoured, but only occasionally – it’s important to remember that the majority of our diet should be made up of balanced, nutritious everyday foods. Make healthy food a priority in your life and allow it to bring your family and friends together. Learn to love how it makes you feel, how delicious it is and remember that a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise are the keys to a healthy lifestyle.
1. Cook from scratch
This is one of the most important life skills you can learn. It allows you to have complete control of what goes into your food.
2. Eat a balanced diet
Aim to eat a balanced diet that contains each of the food groups in the correct proportions.
3. Variety is key – eat the rainbow
Fill your diet with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and naturally low fat dairy foods. When it comes to fruit and veg, different colours provide your body with the different nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy – it’s not just greens that are good for you!
4. Understand what you’re eating
Make an effort to learn about the food you’re eating – we all need to understand where food comes from and how it affects our bodies.
5. Eat nutritious calories
Make sure the majority of your energy intake comes from nutritious calories that also provide your body with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and good fats. Avoid empty calories.
6. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to be alert and awake throughout the day. Make sure you always eat a nutritious breakfast. Make it wholesome and make it count.
7. Read the small print
It’s important to read packaging correctly. Be aware of the recommended portion sizes, and the sugar, salt and saturated fat contents. Remember that not all E-numbers are bad, but too many is often a bad sign.
8. Drink more water
Water is an essential part of your diet. Drink plenty of water and avoid empty calories from things such as fizzy drinks, energy drinks or juices with added sugar. Eat your calories don’t drink them.
9. Keep active
Exercise is an extremely important factor in staying healthy so try to be as active as you can.
10. Sleep well
Make sure you get enough sleep – it’s an essential part of being healthy and directly affects how well we are able to learn, grow and act in life. While we’re asleep, our bodies have that all-important time to repair.