Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health.
School nurses can offer advice on healthy eating and support you if you are concerned about your diet, eating patterns and your weight. We should all be eating a balanced diet of different types of food from across the five food groups to keep us healthy.
The Five Food Groups:
These are pasta, grains, bread, potatoes and some pulses (beans, peas and lentils). Pulses are a great source of protein. This means they can be particularly important for people who do not get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products.
Although too much fat is bad for us, some fats are important to maintain a healthy diet. Plant fats such as peanut butter, avocado and coconut are lower in cholesterol and considered better for us than animal fats from meat or dairy.
Protein is found in meat, fish, dairy, soya products (such as tofu), pulses and beans and to a lesser extent in some grains such as quinoa. Protein is very important for fuelling our bodies, especially for building muscle and many people who exercise regularly try to add more protein to their diet.
4. Dairy and dairy alternatives
Dairy foods include eggs, milk and milk products like yoghurt and cheese. They are excellent sources of calcium and protein.
5. Fruits and vegetables
It’s almost impossible to eat too many fruits and vegetables. We should all be aiming for at least five portions a day. Fruits and vegetables are essential for our digestion, vitamins and for a rich and varied diet.