Healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet

A healthy and well balanced diet means:

  • eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day - find out more with our our 5 things to know about 5 a day (PDF File, 714kb) and on the Change4life website
  • basing meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates - choose wholegrain where possible
  • having some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts) - choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options
  • eating some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein - aim for at least two portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel
  • choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and eating in small amounts
  • eating food high in fat, salt and sugar less often and in small amounts
  • drinking plenty of fluids - you should have 6 to 8 cups a day

The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide (PDF File, 2,464kb) helps get the balance of your diet right and applies to most people, whether you’re a healthy weight or overweight, whether you eat meat or are vegetarian. It also applies to people of all ethnic origins. Anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs might want to check with a registered dietician whether the eatwell guide applies to them.

It doesn’t apply to children under two because they have different nutritional needs. Between the ages of two and five, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family in proportions shown on the Eatwell Guide.

Find out more details on the NHS Livewell website.

Fit and healthy

There are many ways in which you can keep fit and healthy - and exercise can play a big part in this. The four leisure centres in Newark and Sherwood offer great value memberships and fantastic facilities.

There are different ways to exercise as well, from walking and cycling, to taking up sports coaching. 

Manage your weight

ChangePoint Nottinghamshire is a free lifestyle and weight management programme, designed to help you live a healthier life and manage your weight.

ChangePoint can help you take control of your own health and wellbeing. A team of clinical experts can provide advice and support on healthy eating, fitness and health. 

Healthy eating for children

5-a-day challenge

It seems many of us, including children, may not be reaching the 5-a-day target.

When you break it down, it’s not all that hard to get to the number five, especially when fresh, frozen, dried, canned and juiced fruits and vegetables all count.

Why not set yourself a challenge to plan your lunchboxes and see if you can get two of your five portions in? You could include:

  • 150ml of fruit juice
  • one tablespoon of raisins
  • a bowl of salad
  • a sandwich with salad included
  • a handful of grapes
  • a handful of vegetable crisps
  • sticks of cucumber, pepper and carrot (80g total)
  • three tablespoons of hummus

Use our lunch box ideas (PDF File, 615kb) for information on packing a lunch with a nutritional punch and get some ideas for making lunches in advance with the four week lunch box planner (PDF File, 81kb).

Sugar swaps

Swapping sugary snacks and drinks for ones that are lower in sugar can make a huge difference to kids’ calorie intake. Not only that, but it’s better for their teeth too. Did you know there could be up to 58 sugar cubes lurking in your cereal box?

Here are a few ideas on what to swap:

  • swap to water or semi-skimmed milk (but remember children under 2 need full-fat milk)
  • swap to diluted fresh fruit juice instead of drinks with added sugar like cola or squash
  • switch to snacks like fresh or dried fruit, breadsticks and unsalted nuts instead of sweets or biscuits
  • swap to plain cereals, porridge, fruit or toast instead of cereals with lots of sugar
  • switch to plain yoghurt with fresh fruit instead of sugary yoghurts

Find out more tips and ideas on reducing sugar in your family’s diet on the Change4Life website.

Me-size meals

Even though they’re growing, it’s important to make sure kids get just the right amount for their age – not too little and not too much.

Here are a few tips to make sure they’re getting the right sized portions.

  • remember that kids are smaller than adults. It sounds obvious, but an adult tummy is much bigger than a kid’s tummy. Try to give them a portion that matches their size and not the same amount of food as you
  • it’s healthier to give a smaller portion to begin with. Let them ask for more if they’re still hungry
  • try not to get them to eat up if they’re full

60 active minutes

Kids need to do at least 60 minutes of activity a day to help them stay happy and healthy. But it doesn’t have to be sport – running around and having fun outside counts too. Remember, if it’s walkable, walk it and leave the car at home.

For more information on top tips for healthy eating read the top tips for top kids guide (PDF File, 308kb) form the Change4Life website.

Healthy toddlers

It can be difficult to know what food to give toddlers to make sure they grow up healthy. 

The Eatwell Guide isn't relevant to younger children. A guide to portions can be found at the British Nutrition Foundation.