Healthy Eating Week 2021
Eating Habits | Children 4 to 12 years
Pack in the calcium
Investing in your child’s bone bank early is crucial to ensuring stronger bones and teeth. 800mg of calcium per day is key to a child’s development, so milk, cheese, tofu, broccoli and almonds should all be part of any child’s diet.
Diversify food choices
To prevent fussy eating, diversify the food that your child eats at an early age. Disguising food such as fruit or veg in smoothies and sauces is a great way to smuggle the necessary nutrients into your child. Remember your child’s taste will constantly change, so something they might not like today, could be a new favourite in the future.
Veto junk food
Although their eyes might light up as you pass McDonalds, junk food offers no nutritional value. These foods are extraordinarily high in sugar, salt and calories but not much else. Choose smoothies over fizzy drinks.
Eating Habits | Women Teenagers
With more and more ‘role models’ promoting skinny self-image and fad diets, young women are increasingly cutting out food groups, such as fats and carbs, to maintain unrealistic body desires. This isn’t healthy or safe and may deprive their body of vital nutrients needed to balance hormone levels during puberty and promote growth. Try discouraging diets in teenagers and if you notice restrictive, anti-social or obsessive behaviours, additional support may be needed.
Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. Failing to eat a substantial protein-packed breakfast will leave you with food cravings, often leading to bingeing later in the day. This can also compromise academic performance, energy levels and mood.
Increase iron and magnesium
Heavy periods will remove a large amount of iron-containing blood each month, which can result in depleted iron stores and may increase the risk of anaemia causing fatigue. To reduce this risk, ensure a good intake of dietary iron and magnesium through dark green leafy veg, beans, nuts and lean red meats.
Eating Habits | Male Teenagers
Choose carbs wisely
Carbohydrates provide energy, but they are not all created equally. Simple carbohydrates such as pizza and pies may be tempting but they offer minimal nutritional value. Instead complex carbohydrates should be the focus thanks to the high fibre content and slow-releasing energy. Complex carbs include brown rice, oats and vegetables.
Pack in protein
Protein plays an essential role in development and repair of tissues and muscles. Generally, in order to support growth spurts a typical male teen needs 52 grams of protein per day, with meat, dairy and fish all rich sources.
Following a bone-healthy lifestyle from an early age may prevent any problems happening later in life. Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K are all essential to healthy bone growth. Dairy, whole grains and green leafy veg provide good nutrition alongside spending time outside.
Eating Habits | Women 20 to 35 years
Make fast food healthy
Life can get quite busy, so grabbing food on-the-go may help allow you to make more time to meet work deadlines or keep your social calendar busy but could deprive you of vital nutrients. Instead, by batch-cooking meals such as stews, curries, or soups you can still eat healthy while on-the-go.
Live by the rule ‘no caffeine after noon’ to promote better sleep quality. Or try replacing the afternoon tea with herbal or green tea instead.
Say no to fat-free foods
Not all fats are created equal and fat-free foods are not always that good for you. Essential fatty acids are required in your diet to contribute to the maintenance of normal heart function, blood pressure and vision. Try to eat 2 to 3 portions of oily fish weekly, or if you prefer to choose avocado, nuts and chai seeds instead.
Get your six-a-day
Going over on five portions of fruit and vegetables daily isn’t a bad thing. The more colourful your plate, the more nutrients you will consume which will only improve your waistline, wellbeing and womanhood in the years to come
Eating Habits | Men 20 to 35 years
Pack in the plants
Antioxidants, fibre and minerals, fruit and veg are bursting with them. Although in recent years protein, carbohydrates and fats have dominated nutrition, it is really important to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you have in your diet.
Reduce salt intake
Men are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than women, so reducing the salt intake in your diet, avoiding processed foods and using lemon juice and herbs to season meals will all have a positive impact on reducing the number on the blood pressure monitor.
Don’t make every lunch a business lunch
Metabolic rate reduces with age, as does the body’s forgiveness of those restaurant portion sizes. By choosing lower glycaemic index foods for lunch, such as avoiding bread, pasta or rice, will support healthy weight management.
If you are routinely drinking more than the NHS recommended 14 units per week, then reducing alcohol may be a good idea. Try spreading your consumption over 3 or more days but remember you should also have several drink-free days a week too.
Eating Habits | Women 35 to 65 years
Avoid fad diets
Slowing metabolism, onset of menopause, less time to spend in the gym? Weight gain is more likely to happen in this age group, but fad diets are not the way to combat it. Although your calorie needs may have reduced, your nutritional needs haven’t. Instead of fad diets, choose healthy, wholefood diet with slightly smaller portion sizes
Green leafy vegetables are packed with calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E and K. All of these are especially important and complement your health and hormonal needs.
Fill up on fibre
Fibre supports digestion, facilitates weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels and helps control blood sugar levels. You should be looking to consume around 30 grams of fibre daily.
Eating Habits | Men 35 to 65 years
Aiming for two litres of water daily can help promote healthy circulation, elimination of toxins and the supply of nutrients to your vital organs and skin. Making an effort to drink enough water daily is key to longevity.
Add more fibre
Fibre will help keep your digestive system regular and working correctly. Consider adding more fruit, veg, beans, pulses and wholegrain cereals to your diet.
Aim for 10-a-day
Finding any excuse to add more fruit or vegetables to your meals is great for your health. Porridge? Add extra berries or banana. Stir fry? Add mange tout, baby corn or broccoli. Curry? Add peppers, peas or cauliflower.
Eating Habits | 75 years Plus
Pack in the plants
Antioxidants, fibre and minerals, fruit and veg are bursting with them. Although in recent years protein, carbohydrates and fats have dominated nutrition, it is really important to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you have in your diet. Regions where people live much longer than average owe their longevity to eating a diet of 95% plants.
Fill up on fibre
As you get older, your digestive system can start to slow and become sluggish. Fibre keeps the system well-oiled through foods such as oats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Maintain a healthy weight
Age can impact on your appetite which can mean keeping weight up is tricky. Bone density and immunity both rely on a healthy body mass index, so if you are unintentionally losing weight try packing your diet with high-calorie yet nourishing foods such as peanut butter, avocado, cheese or full-fat milk.