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Healty and tips

Eight tips for healthy eating

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These eight practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices.

Base your meals on starchy carbohydrates
Eat lots of fruit and veg
Eat more fish – including a portion of oily fish
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
Eat less salt – no more than 6g a day for adults
Get active and be a healthy weight
Don’t get thirsty
Don’t skip breakfast

The key to a healthy diet is to:

  • Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.

Base your meals on starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over one third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full for longer.

Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content, for example oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. It’s easier than it sounds.

Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

Unsweetened 100% fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies can only ever count as a maximum of one portion of your 5 A DAY. For example, if you have two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie in one day, that still only counts as one portion.

Eat more fish – including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease.

Oily fish include:

  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • trout
  • herring
  • fresh tuna
  • sardines
  • pilchards.

Non-oily fish include:

  • haddock
  • plaice
  • coley
  • cod
  • canned tuna
  • skate
  • hake

If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Saturated fat in our diet

We all need some fat in our diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

The average man should have no more than 30g saturated fat a day. The average woman should have no more than 20g saturated fat a day, and children should have less than adults.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:

  • hard cheese
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • sausages
  • cream
  • butter
  • lard
  • pies.

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

Sugar in our diet

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars. Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

Cut down on:

  • sugary fizzy drinks
  • alcoholic drinks
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries

These foods contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

Get tips on cutting down sugar in your diet.

Eat less salt – no more than 6g a day for adults

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.

Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.

Get tips on cutting down on salt in your diet.

Get active and be a healthy weight

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health.

Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Check whether you’re a healthy weight by using our Healthy weight calculator.

Most adults need to lose weight, and need to eat fewer calories to do this. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Don’t forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down can help you to control your weight.

Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight. Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking.

Being physically active may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. For more ideas, see Get active your way.

After getting active, remember not to reward yourself with a treat that is high in energy. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories, but still filling.

If you’re underweight, see our page on underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

Don’t get thirsty

We need to drink plenty of fluids to stop us getting dehydrated – the government recommends 6-8 glasses every day.

This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices.

Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth.

Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.

For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you’ll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.

When the weather is warm, or when we get active, we may need more fluids.

Don’t skip breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.

Breakfast has also been shown to have positive effects on children’s mental performance and increase their concentration throughout the morning.

A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health.

A wholegrain, lower-sugar cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.

More information

  • To help you get the right balance of the five main food groups, take a look at the Eatwell Guide. To maintain a healthy diet, the Eatwell Guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. It’s important to have only small amounts of foods high in fat and/or sugar.
  • Learn how to have a balanced diet, and read about the energy contained in food in our page on understanding calories.
  • Download Losing weight: Getting started, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.

Source: www.nhs.uk

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Healty and tips

33 Simple Diet and Fitness Tips

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Diet and workout tips that work

We all want to be our fittest selves, but with so much advice floating around out there, it can be hard to hone in on what healthcare tips actually work. To make your life a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a number of our go-to healthy strategies, to help you reach your most ambitious fitness goals even quicker.

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Say hello to H20

Whether you’re heading off to spin class, boot camp, or any other exercise, it’s always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and have your best workout. Electrolyte-loaded athletic drinks, though, can be a source of unnecessary calories, so « drinking water is usually fine until you’re exercising for more than one hour, » says Newgent. At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks (and their calories), which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost. But worry not if you like a little flavor during your fitness: There are now lower- cal sports drinks available, adds Newgent, so look out for ’em in your grocery aisles.

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Find the best fitness friend

A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria, says Andrew Kastor, an ASICS running coach: Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.
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Stock up on these

While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place Newgent’s top three diet-friendly items in your cart: balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). « Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips—or as a tangier alternative to sour cream, » says Newgent. Talk about a multitasker!
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Relieve those achy muscles

After a grueling workout, there’s a good chance you’re going to be feeling it (we’re talking sore thighs, tight calves). Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath (50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; you may have to throw some ice cubes in to get it cold enough) for 10 to 15 minutes. « Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions, » says Andrew Kastor. And advice we love: « An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery, » adds Kastor. Now that’s speaking our language!
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Curb your sweet tooth

Got a late-night sugar craving that just won’t quit? « To satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think ‘fruit first,' » says Jackie Newgent, RD, author of The Big Green Cookbook. So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you’re still on the right, healthy track.
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Buy comfy sneaks

You shouldn’t buy kicks that hurt, bottom line! « Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step, » says Andrew Kastor. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you want to shop when they’re at their biggest. Also make sure the sneaks are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that. They should be comfy from the get-go, but Kastor says they’ll be even more so once you have a good 20 to 40 miles on ’em.
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Pick your perfect tunes

Running with music is a great way to get in a groove (just make sure it’s not blasting too loudly, or you won’t hear those cars!). To pick the ultimate iPod playlist, think about what gets you going. « I know several elite athletes that listen to what we’d consider ‘relaxing’ music, such as symphony music, while they do a hard workout, » says Andrew Kastor. So don’t feel like you have to download Lady Gaga because her tunes are supposed to pump you up—go with any music that you find uplifting.
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When to weigh

You’ve been following your diet for a whole week. Weigh to go! Now it’s time to start tracking your progress (and make sure pesky pounds don’t find their way back on). « It’s best to step on the scale in the morning before eating or drinking—and prior to plunging into your daily activities, » says Newgent. For the most reliable number, be sure to check your poundage at a consistent time, whether daily or weekly.
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Police your portions

Does your steak take up more than half your plate? Think about cutting your serving of beef in half. That’s because it’s best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of veggies and fresh fruit, says Newgent, so that it’s harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes (like cheesy potatoes or barbecue sauce–slathered ribs—yum!).
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Combat cocktail hour

Is it ladies’ night? If you know you’ll be imbibing more than one drink, feel (and sip!) right by always ordering water between cocktails, says Newgent. That way, you won’t rack up sneaky liquid calories (and ruin your inhibition to resist those mozzarella sticks!). But your H20 doesn’t have to be ho-hum. « Make it festive by ordering the sparkling variety with plenty of fruit, like a lime, lemon, and orange wedge in a martini or highball glass, » adds Newgent.
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Eat this, run that

When you have a 5- or 10K (you get to eat more with a half or full marathon) on your calendar, it’s important to plan out what you’re going to eat the morning of the big day—something that will keep you fueled and also go down easy. While everyone is different, « We always have good luck with a high-carbohydrate breakfast such as a small bowl of oatmeal with fruit or a couple of pieces of toast with peanut butter or cream cheese, » says Andrew Kastor, who also advises eating around 200 to 250 (primarily carb) calories about 90 minutes before you warm up for your run . And don’t worry about nixing your a.m. caffeine fix on race day. « Coffee is great for athletic performances, » Kastor adds, because it makes you sharper and may even give you extended energy. Talk about buzz-worthy!
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Turn your cheat day around

Feeling guilty about that giant ice cream sundae you enjoyed at your niece’s birthday party? Don’t beat yourself up! It takes a lot of calories—3,500—to gain a pound of body fat. « So really, that one off day doesn’t usually result in any significant weight gain, » says Newgent. It’s about what you do the next day and the day after that’s really important—so don’t stay off-track. So be sure to whittle away at those extra calories over the next day or two, preferably by boosting exercise rather than eating too little. Starvation is not the healthy answer!
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Run with this

Before you hit the road, make sure you’re packing these key staples: a watch to log your total time (or a fancy GPS to track your mileage), an iPod with great amp-you-up music, a cell phone if you don’t mind holding onto it, and a RoadID (a bracelet that includes all your vital info, $20; roadid.com). And on a sunny day, wear sunglasses. « They reduce glare, which can decrease squinting, ultimately releasing the tension in your shoulders, » says Andrew Kastor. And that’s a performance bonus, because relaxing them helps conserve energy on your runs. Hey, we’ll take a boost where we can get it!
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Be a weekend warrior

You’ve been following your diet plan to the letter, but enter: the weekend. To deal with three nights of eating temptations (think: birthdays, weddings, dinner parties), up your activity level for the week. For instance, try taking an extra 15-minute walk around your office each day, suggests Newgent. Then, go on and indulge a bit at the soiree, guilt free. Another party trick? Enjoy a 100-calorie snack before a celebration, which can help you eat fewer munchies at the event.
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Fun up your food

It’s easy to get in a diet rut, even if you’re loading up on flavorful fruits and veggies. The solution? Have plenty of spices, fresh herbs, and lemons at your cooking beck and call. « It’s amazing what a little dash of spice, sprinkle of herbs, pinch of lemon zest, or squirt of lime juice can do to liven up a dish—and your diet, » says Newgent. The best part: They contain almost no calories. Experiment with your dinner, tonight!
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Up your exercise

How do you know when to increase your exercise? « The general rule of thumb is to up the amount of miles run, for races half-marathon length and longer, by 5 to 10 percent each week, » advises Andrew Kastor. See our training schedule at Health.com/yes-you-can, which guides you on how to increase your mileage.
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Have a fruity ice cream sundae

Next time your family or friends decide to make an ice-cream run, don’t worry about being left out of the fun! Order a fresh (and super-refreshing) ice cream sundae, piled high with diced kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries. You’ll get a serving of delish fruit—no hefty calorie-laden toppings required.
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Swap out your shoes

While we’ve all heard that running shoes break down after logging lots of miles (about 300 to 350), you may still be holding on to your fave pair. (They fit just right! They’re so cushy!) Not a good idea. « Glue has a tendency to break down under ultraviolet light, as do the other materials that make up the shoe, » says Andrew Kastor. So even if your sneaks have only 150 miles on them but are more than two years old, recycle them (try oneworldrunning.com or recycledrunners.com), because chances are they’ve already started deteriorating. And as a rule of thumb, always keep tabs on how many miles you’ve logged on them—tedious, but hey, you’ll be proud of how far you’ve gone.
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Snag the right support

Sure, your yoga sports bras works great for downward dog—but when it comes to running, you’ll need one that’s designed to lock them in for all that pavement pounding. So what should you look for? « The best sports bras are loose around the chest so you can expand your ribs and diaphragm more effectively. But they should also be form-fitting, » says Deena Kastor, an American marathon record holder and 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. Just make sure the cup is made of comfy material (like a soft compression fabric; look for descriptions that include the terms « breathability » and « compression »)—you don’t want to be itching at mile two!
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Relieve those side stitches

You know it: a sharp pain just below the rib cage that always seems to pop up when you’re working out your hardest. It’s called the side stitch, and it can be a major nuisance—especially when it keeps you from completing a workout. To ease the ache (so you can get on with your run), take your fist and press it beneath your rib cage while taking deep breaths from your belly for about 10 steps. In about 30 seconds, the pain should subside, so you can get on back to (fitness) work.
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Shake your way slim

Sick of that elliptical or bike or workout DVD? That means it’s time to mix up your routine! Our favorite way: Break a sweat by moving and shaking. Simply make a playlist with your favorite « cut a rug » tunes (« Girls Just Want to Have Fun »? « Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) »?), then turn up the volume, and start breaking it down. For even more fun, invite some gal pals over and get grooving (and laughing). The best part is that you’ll each burn about 200 to 600 calories per hour. Now that’s something to shimmy about!
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Fuel for fitness

Planning on picking up the pace tomorrow? Eat food that will help keep you going strong. For breakfast, opt for a high-carbohydrate meal—one similar to what you’ll be eating on race day, so you can find out what foods digest best (for you!). Try a whole-grain English muffin or a bagel with peanut butter or a low-fat cream cheese. Then, have a well-rounded meal post-workout to help with recovery. Andrew Kastor’s favorite? One to two slices French toast with a side of fruit. « The protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is perfect for enhancing my recovery, » he says. We like that it’s super-yummy, too.
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Say goodbye to peer pressure

Even if you’ve been eating right on track, it may be tough to stay on track if your partner, coworkers, or friends don’t share your healthy-eating habits. What to do? If your partner loves pizza, try ordering a pie that’s heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese—then supplement it with a side salad. Or, if your friends are having a girls’ night out, suggest a restaurant that’s got healthy appetizer options, instead of the typical fare of onion rings and cheese dip. And at work, instead of Friday baked-goods day, suggest a Friday « make it healthy » day, and swap in baked pears with cinnamon or mini fruit-and-nut muffins for brownies and blondies.
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Savor your carbs

When trying to slim and trim, you may be tempted to take drastic measures like cutting out your carbs. But before you go and add dinner rolls and chips to your « no » list, remember that yummy foods like brown rice, pumpernickel bread, and even potato chips contain Resistant Starch, a metabolism-boosting carb that keeps you full for longer. And that’s great for maintaining a fit you because you won’t have to eat as much to feel satiated. So go on, rip open that (single-serve) bag of Lay’s!
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Ditch your working lunch

Munching on your lunch while at the computer could lead to mindless grazing, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who ate their midday meals while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who hadn’t been gaming. So carve out 20 minutes a day (we know, you’ve got a million things to do, but … ), and eat in your conference room (or outdoors!). Your whittled waistline with thank you.
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Slather up!

There’s no denying it: Getting the fresh air from exercising outdoors is great! But along with it, you also get the harmful UV rays. To keep yourself shielded while still having fun in the sun, opt for a sweat-proof screen with SPF 30 or higher (look out for types that say « water-resistant » or « waterproof » on the bottle, terms regulated by the FDA), a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher, a lightweight hat, and sports shades. Also consider trading in your white tee and instead going for a shirt with built-in UV protection (a rating of 30 UVP is necessary to be awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation’s « Seal of Recommendation »; a white T-shirt has a rating of 10). And remember, the rays are at their brightest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so try to plan a before-or post-work sweat-session.
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Slim up your snack

It’s hard to avoid that 3 p.m. stomach rumble, when nothing can stand between you and the office vending machine. And while it’s fine to eat something to hold you over until dinner (in fact, we encourage it!), some choices will help you keep on your weight-loss track—while others can surely derail you. So at the vending machine, instead of choosing that ever-so-tempting pack of Twizzlers, try a 100-calorie cookie pack or a Nature Valley granola bar. Better yet, bring a snack from home! We’re fans of sliced veggies dipped in hummus. Delish!
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Run chafe-free

There’s nothing fun about chafing. You can get the rash (caused by moisture and constant friction) on your thighs, around your sports bra, and even under your arms, to name a few hot spots! To prevent the next occurrence, try rubbing on an anti-chafe stick like Bodyglide For Her Anti-Chafing Stick ($9; amazon.com)in any spots that have the potential to chafe. Moisture-wicking fabrics help, too, so if you have a few quick-dry shirts (Nike, Asics, and Under Armour all make ’em), save those for your long runs or tough workouts, when chafing is most likely to occur.

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Find healthy fast food

Have to work late tonight and need dinner—in a hurry? Not to worry. If you find fast food is your only option, pull up the restaurant’s nutrition facts online before you go; you can make an informed decision ahead of time about what to order. « Nearly every quick-service restaurant has a relatively healthful option or two, » says Newgent. We’re thinking salads, chili, or grilled chicken. Some low-cal, healthy, on-the-run dishes: the vegetarian burrito bowl at Chipotle, the Bangkok curry at Noodles and Company, and the tomato basil bisque at Au Bon Pain.
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Be a mighty maintainer

The end is here! Three cheers for all your hard work. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to put on the brakes. To maintain your weight, you still have to make those smart choices at restaurants, work, and home. Look into getting a diet confidante, who you can chat with once a week about your eating highs and oh-no’s. And stick to using that scale so you can be proactive if a few extra pounds creep back on. Don’t let your exercise routine change, either, because even if you don’t have any more pounds to lose, you’ll still be working out your ticker. And we heart that!
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Up your fiber intake

Along with protein and good-for-you fat, fiber is one of those nutrition elements that keeps you full and fueled all day long. And if you’re trying to get fit and shed pounds, fiber is your best friend. In fact, in one an American Heart Association study, participants who consuming 30 grams of fiber a day ended up losing weight and improving their heart health. So when it comes to staying healthy and slim, aim for that 30 gram fiber goal!
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Work out in the morning

Sure, it can be a pain to drag yourself out of bed for a morning workout. But according to a study from Appalachian State University, opting for a 45-minute a.m. sweat sesh could cause a metabolic spike, helping your body continue to burn an additional 190 calories throughout the day.
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Have a hearty breakfast

By now you’re probably tired of hearing how breakfast is the most important meal of the day—but this tired piece of advice couldn’t be more true! In one study completed at the Imperial College of London, participants who skipped breakfast were more tempted to reach for unhealthy, high-calorie foods later in the day. And in case you need more evidence to eat that a.m. meal, further research found that women had a larger drop in ghrelin (the hunger hormone) when they ate a hearty breakfast versus a small one.

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Healty and tips

Nutrition for kids: 5 tips

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Nutrition for kids: 5 tips

1) Stick to concrete ideas

Avoid abstract concepts. Children only start to understand abstract concepts once they reach about 11 or 12 years old. For example some concrete ideas are:

  • Eat lots of different foods every day
  • Eat fruit and vegetables of all colours of the rainbow every day
  • Talking about whole food items
  • Classifying foods by where they come from
  • “Sometimes” and “everyday” foods
  • Note: the classification of foods into everyday or sometimes is an abstract concept, but how often foods are recommended to be eaten is a concrete idea.

Some abstract concepts are:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Other nutrients that can’t be seen (e.g. protein, calcium, saturated fat)
  • Classification of foods by nutrients
  • Recommended serve size; daily recommended serves
  • Digestion
  • Chronic disease risk
  • Processes by which food affects health

2) Avoid complicated phrases

Kids can often recite facts and phrases without really understanding them. For example, younger children probably don’t understand what ‘variety’ means and many kids might only know the word ‘diet’ to be a special way of eating (for example to lose weight or for diabetes) rather than a person’s everyday food consumption. Other terms kids might not understand are healthy weight, low fat or low sugar. When talking with your child, keep checking in with them and ask them to explain back to you what they know – that way you’ll get an idea for how much they’ve grasped.

3) Use props!

When referring to a particular food, use the real food item or a picture of the food so your child knows what you’re talking about. Chat about the food you’re preparing and eating for dinner. Ask them how the food grows or where you can find it; discuss seasonal produce and the kinds of environments foods need to grow.

4) Be meaningful

Kids live in the present, so focus on the immediate benefits rather than long term ones. Being strong, growing well and having enough energy to climb the monkey bars are important concepts to kids. They’re less concerned about their longterm disease risk or heart health!

5) Be a role model

Research shows what you eat and do influences children’s habits more than what you say. Studies also show that an authoritative parenting style is also associated with positive dietary results in children. Authoritative parenting doesn’t necessarily need to be overly restrictive nor lax, but it sets some boundaries around the consumption of “sometimes” foods. Families that eat meals together are also associated with children who eat more fruit and vegetables.

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Diet During Pregnancy

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Dieting During Your Pregnancy

What does diet during pregnancy mean? When we refer to diet during pregnancy, we are not speaking about restricting calories or trying to lose weight. Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can be hazardous to you and your baby, especially since a weight loss regimen may restrict important nutrients such as iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, we recommend avoiding popular diets such as Atkins, South Beach, The Zone, Raw Food Diet, and so on.

The type of diet we encourage during pregnancy refers to fine-tuning your eating habits to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrition for the health of you and your baby. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s growth and development. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products.

Typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.

Food Groups

It is always important to eat a variety of foods throughout the day making certain you get the nutrients both you and your baby need. Here is a look at the food groups and some suggested sources for creating a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy: Food Groups

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain many important nutrients for pregnancy especially, Vitamin C and Folic Acid. Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily, which is contained in fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and honeydew, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and brussel sprouts.

In order to prevent neural tube defects, 0.4 mg of folic acid per day is recommended. A good source of folic acid can be found in dark green leafy vegetables (other sources of folic acid include legumes, such as black or lima beans, black-eyed peas, and veal). You should have at least 2-4 servings of fruit and 4 or more servings of vegetables daily.

Diet During Pregnancy: Fruits and Vegetables

Breads and Grains: The body’s main source of energy for pregnancy comes from the essential carbohydrates found in breads and grains. Whole grain and enriched products provide important nutrients such as iron, B Vitamins, fiber and some protein, even. You can get the required amount of folic acid from fortified bread and cereal.

Depending on your weight and dietary needs, you should consume anywhere between 6-11 servings (6-11 oz) of breads/grains daily.

Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans contain the protein, B vitamins and iron needed in pregnancy. Your developing baby needs plenty of protein, especially in the second and third trimesters. Iron helps to carry oxygen to your growing baby, and also carries oxygen to your muscles to help avoid symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression.

The U.S. RDA recommends about 27 mg per day. Lean beef, chicken, lamb, liver, turkey, and veal are good options. Fish and some other seafood can be a good nutritional choice for pregnancy, within guidelines. Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. (Read more about Fish and Mercury Levels). You should consume at least 3 servings of proteindaily.

Dairy Products: At least 1000 mg of calcium is needed daily to support a pregnancy. Calcium is essential for building strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. Since your developing baby requires a considerable amount of calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones, if you do not consume enough through your diet (which can lead to future problems, such as osteoporosis).

Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, cream soups, and puddings. Some calcium is also found in green vegetables, seafood, beans and dried peas. You should consume at least 4 servings of dairy productsdaily.

A Complement to Nutrition

Prenatal Vitamins: Although the main source of vitamins and nutrients needed during pregnancy should come from your diet, a daily prenatal vitamin can help fill small gaps—just in case you unintentionally do not get enough key nutrients. Prenatal vitamins should be taken up to three months before conception, if possible.

Consult your healthcare provider about which supplement is best for you.

REMEMBER – a prenatal vitamin, or any other supplement can only complement a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy: A Complement to Nutrition

Sample Daily Menu

The following sample menu will give you some idea of what a pregnant woman should typically consume in a day for a healthy diet during pregnancy. Three small, but balanced, meals and three light snacks throughout the day are a good rule of thumb to ensure you and your baby’s nutritional needs are met.

Breakfast: Oatmeal cereal, banana, 1 slice whole wheat toast, 2 tsp jam, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: 1 cup yogurt, grapes

Lunch: Turkey (if deli meat, do not eat cold – heat to steaming to avoid Listeria) and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, small bag potato chips, pear, and 1 cup skim milk

Snack: Raw veggies and low-calorie dip

Dinner: 4 oz chicken, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup veggies, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: fresh fruit or low-fat frozen yogurt

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