A well-balanced diet is one of the most important factors for your health. It provides the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important for avoiding serious illness.
Top 6 tips for eating well
1. Try to ensure that your intake across the week includes a variety of foods in the proportion of the eatwell guide. You can do this by:
Basing your meals on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, rice or other starchy foods
Eating lots of fruit and veg. Aim for at least five portions a day
Include enough protein such as eggs, beans and meat. Beans pulses and lentils are good and sustainable sources as an alternative to meat and fish.
Don’t forget diary and alternative - aim for low fat varieties.
2 . Eat less sugar – no more than 30g a day for adults (less for those aged under 11). See sugar smart Kingston for ideas on how you can reduce sugar intake in your workplaces or school.
3. Look out for salt! No more than 6g (approximately teaspoon) a day for adults (less for those aged under 11). See salt awareness week for top tips on reducing your salt intake.
4. Regular meals - Don't skip breakfast. Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast can help people to control their weight. Lunch and Dinner with no more than 2 healthy snacks is also suggested.
5. Cook from scratch and watch your portion sizes. Reducing how often you have takeaways, ready meals and/or eating out is a quick way to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt from your dietary intake and ensure you’re portion sizes don’t creep up on us.
6. Check the labels! This puts you back in control of what you eat. The British Heart Foundation has a fantastic guide to label reading you can download.
For more information visit the NHS Choices good food guide.
In our busy lives staying hydrated isn’t always at the forefront of our minds. Water makes up two thirds of our bodies so it’s vital that we take in more than our bodies lose on a daily basis. Headaches, dizziness, urinary tract infections (UTIs), low blood pressure and falls are just some of the health problems that can be prevented simply by drinking enough water.
Aim for approximately 6-8 cups a day. Water and lower fat milk are the only tooth friendly health drinks. Tea, coffee and sugar free drinks can also be a helpful source of hydration.
Keep a water bottle with you each day, if you don’t like water then you could try adding a slice of lemon or lime for taste - just be careful of your teeth.
Drink more in hot weather or when doing physical activity
Make and freeze low sugar drinks into ice lollies
Some people may find having a cup of warm/hot water soothing too.
Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a total of 150 mls per day. For children, remember to dilute with water to protect the teeth.
Some foods such a soup, fruit and vegetables also contribute to our fluid intake.
Healthy Start is a national programme that provides free milk, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and vitamins for you and your family. If you are pregnant or have a young child under the age of four years, you could get Healthy Start vouchers worth £3.10 a week for you and your child.
The vouchers can be spent on milk, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk at your local shops and supermarkets. You’ll also receive coupons for free vitamins too.
To join this scheme see your midwife, health visitor and children’s centres and ask for an application form, or you can apply online.
To apply and/or to find your nearest participating shop visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823. Ask your midwife, health visitor and children’s centres where you can exchange your coupons for vitamins.
For more information, call the Healthy Lifestyle helpline on 020 8547 6815 or email [email protected].
If you’re a retailer that sells milk, fruit and/or vegetables, join the scheme and increase your income by accepting vouchers. For further information visit www.hsru.co.uk/retailerguide.pdf
Sugar Smart is a campaign which aims to acheive the following:
Raising the awareness of the impact sugar can have on ours/ our children health.
Inspiring people take action to do something about sugar intake
Encouraging people to signup to take action and create a social movement
To find out more information on the programme, to sign up and make a pledge, please go to Sugar Smart UK
Cook & Eat
Cook & Eat is a free six week programme of community based food workshops that include healthy eating advice and cooking easy recipes. Each session lasts two hours and involves interactive learning about a healthy diet and the opportunity for participants to experiment and
try new recipes and to practice new cookery skills by cooking a healthy dish in a small group.
Organisations in Kingston that currently provide Cook & Eat programmes for Vulnerable adults include:
- The Fircroft Trust
- Joel Community Trust Cook & Eat programmes
- Looked After Children
- Young Carers and Young Adult Carers
- Greens Lanes
- Independent Yemen Group
There are also Cook & Eat programmes in Children’s Centres across Kingston for parents with children aged four and under.
For more information and to find out where your nearest Cook & Eat programme is, call the Healthy Lifestyle helpline on 020 8547 6815 or email [email protected]
For a wealth of extra information from partners and colleagues across Kingston upon Thames, please visit the Kingston Digital Health website. Their page features a number of interesting and engaging topics which are also aimed at those in and around Kingston upon thames.