Healthy Eating Tips

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05 Jul 2016

Top tips for healthy eating

Love your labels

Food labels can seem a bit boring, but they are the best way of checking what you're eating as they can tell you what's hidden inside the food. Once you know what how to use them, you'll soon be able to make healthier choices when you're shopping.

 

Be calorie smart

Counting calories doesn't have to mean you're on a diet! They are a really handy way of helping you choose balanced meals each day, and not eating more than your body needs.

 

The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide is a brilliant idea - it helps you eat a healthy, balanced diet by showing you the different types of foods and drinks we should consume, and how much. Simple! You can use the Eatwell Guide to help you make healthier choices whenever you're:

  • deciding what to eat
  • at home cooking
  • out shopping for groceries
  • eating out at a restaurant, café or canteen
  • choosing food on the run

Aim to fill your trolley with a healthy balance of different types of food.

Share packaged foods

Many foods and drinks are packaged for two adults sharing, so if you’re eating by yourself avoid temptation and save some for later. Don’t give a whole one to a child - let them share a bag of crisps, or save some.

Eat a little slower

It takes time for our brains to register we’re full, so try to eat more slowly. If you’re eating with friends or family try pacing yourself to the slowest eater.

Focus on your food

Eating distractedly, such as in front of the TV, means we eat more without noticing or even enjoying it. Swap the TV for the table.

Aim to feel satisfied, not stuffed

Try eating just one plate of food and don’t go back for seconds.

Super start your day

Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast, even if you’re trying to lose weight. If you have a healthy breakfast in the morning you’re less likely to want to snack before lunch.
 

Mix and match

If you know you’ll be having a proper dinner later, keep an eye on the calories by having a lighter lunch.

Pack it in

Plan ahead and try to take a packed lunch to work or when you are out and about. It can work out cheaper. 
 

Spot the difference

Swap a big dinner plate for a smaller one and you’ll have a smaller portion. It will also look as if you have more food on your plate too.

Max your pocket, not your drink!

Extra large whole milk lattes or cappuccinos may seem like value for money, but they also contain more calories. Try swapping for a regular size coffee made with lower fat milk – less calories (and it’ll save you money).

Some special tips to help keep the kids’ portions under control

Lots of the tips above will help the whole family, but try these special ideas to help you make sure you’re giving your kids the right amount of food and help them understand why you’re doing it.

Me-size bowls

Plates and bowls are bigger these days - a child-size portion may not look like enough. So try getting child-sized ones for the kids; it’ll make it easier to tell if they’re getting the right amount.

Snack time

Set a regular healthy snack time for mid-morning and afternoon when the kids are home. It helps train their bodies to think regular food is coming, making them less likely to overeat at meal times. 
More healthy snack ideas for kids

Get the kids involved

Let the kids watch you serve the meals. This way they’re more likely to understand the different portion sizes for different ages.

Start small

Give them less to start with - they can always ask for seconds. You’ll have less waste and they won’t eat too much.

Just a mouthful

If you’re worried about picky eaters not getting a balanced diet, encourage them to try a mouthful of everything on the plate, rather than all of it. You might find they try more things that way.

Clear plate conundrums

Don’t worry if they don’t clear their plate. If they say they’re full, the chances are, they are full!

Water regularly

If the kids say they’re hungry while you’re cooking, try giving them a glass of water or juice to fill the gap rather than a snack that could ruin their appetite.

 

For more advice and tips about keeping you and your family healthy please visit the Change 4 Life Website on http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/change-for-life.aspx

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