Healthy eating, ages and stages

Healthy Eating Tips

Mother and Baby

  1. Long chain omega 3 fatty acids are crucial to the healthy development of your baby, affecting both physical and mental health. Ensure you get an adequate intake of these important fatty acids by having at least one, but no more than two, portions of oily fish in your diet per week. If you don’t like fish, try the omega-3 enriched eggs instead.
  2. Eating well is important throughout pregnancy, but remember, you are not eating for two – its just you and a tiny growing foetus. During the first 6 months of pregnancy you only need an additional 100 kcal per day, this increases to 200 kcal during the last three months. Choose healthy snacks such as low fat yoghurt, wholegrain toast and plenty of fruit.
  3. Boost your folate intake during pregnancy by including plenty of rich sources such as breakfast cereals, wholegrains, green leafy vegetables, fruit and fruit juices. Take a folic acid supplement daily.

Children and Teenagers

  1. Good eating habits are established in early childhood so ensure your child eats breakfast every day. Eating breakfast sets them up for the day ahead and scientific research shows that people who eat breakfast have generally healthier diets.
  2. Help your child grow strong, healthy bones and teeth by making sure they get plenty of calcium in their diet. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are the best sources so include one of these at each meal.
  3. Limit the amount of sweets and sugary drinks your child consumes. They should be eaten as part of a meal to reduce the harmful effects on teeth.

Adults

  1. Drink plenty of water. Being well hydrated improves both physical and mental performance and can help curb your appetite between meals.
  2. Watch your salt intake and try not to eat more than 6g per day. Reduce the amount you use in cooking and add to your food at the table. Check the nutrition information on food labels so you can choose the lower salt options of foods.
  3. Increase the amount of wholegrains you eat. As well as being high in fibre (good for your gut health), they have the additional health benefit of providing extra vitamins and antioxidants which can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Older People

  1. As you get older the amount of vitamin D your skin can make through exposure to sunlight declines. Boost your vitamin D intake by including foods like fortified margarines, oily fish, liver and eggs.
  2. Dentures can make it difficult to eat enough fruit and vegetables and reach your 5-A-DAY target. But remember, fruit and vegetables don’t have to be raw, canned and dried versions, juices, vegetable soups and stews all count too.
  3. Limit your intake of saturated fat by reducing the amount of cakes, biscuits and pastries you eat. Replace saturated fat with healthier fats by having foods such as unsalted nuts, avocados, oily fish and olive oil.