To stay fit and healthy throughout your life it is really important that you eat a balanced diet every day.
You need to make sure you are putting the right food into your body to give you enough energy – otherwise you are just going to zonk out!
Too little food and you won’t have enough energy, too much food and you will have too much energy – just the right amount of the right kind of food and wa-hey! It’s all about balance, balance, balance.
- Just have a small amount of sugar and salt each day. Try to swap fizzy drinks for water, and avoid them altogether before bed because it isn’t good for your teeth and can keep you awake all night!
- Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – or more if you can. Top tip: one portion is about a handful, and juice can only count towards one of your five a day.
- Foods like potatoes, bread, cereals, rice and pasta should make up about a third of the food you eat. They are a great source of energy, so try to include them at each of your main meals – breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
- Milk, cheese and yoghurt are great sources of calcium which make teeth and bones strong. You need to make sure you have some every day.
- Meat, fish, eggs and beans give us protein, vitamins and minerals which help us grow strong and healthy – you need some of these every day too. Try to eat these foods at your lunch and evening meal each day and to try to have two helpings of fish a week.
Our tastes change all the time so something that you didn't like six months ago, you might love now!
We all need to think about the types of food and drinks we have, how healthy they are and how often we should have them.
We need to be careful about sugar because it’s not very good for our teeth and eating too much of it can make us ill.
Children aged 7-11 should have no more than 24g of added sugar a day.
We need to have some fat in our diet, but it needs to be healthy fat – from things like oils rather than cakes, biscuits and crisps.
Eating too much fat can make us unwell and affect our heart.
Salt is found in lots of different foods like crisps and sausage rolls.
If you eat too much salt it can make you ill and affect your heart or brain.
Eating a balanced healthy diet
Remember to eat your five a day – a rainbow of fruit and vegetables every day.
Don’t forget: a small glass of fruit juice or smoothie can count!
Carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread, cereals)
These are your energy foods to keep you going, so you need to have these with every meal.
Foods that are high in sugar or fat should be eaten less often to keep your body healthy and working at its best.
Water is the best thing to drink.
You need to have six to eight drinks every day.