Finding the healthy balance with food
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
Healthy eating simply means eating a variety of foods in the right amounts to make sure you get all the energy and nutrition you need. You should also be able to enjoy food without feeling guilty or worrying about weight.
It’s important to eat a variety of food groups, find your balance, and not be too obsessive when it comes to food.
Healthy eating basics
The easiest way to make sure you have a healthy diet is to eat lots of different foods. So, eat a wide variety of foods from the food pyramid and avoid eating the same old stuff every day of the week.
- Eat one you’re hungry, until you feel full
- If you’re hungry between meals, snack on healthy foods that will give you a boost of energy throughout the day
- Work some exercise into your daily routine to feel your best
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables every day
- Eat energy providing carbohydrate foods, for example: bread, cereal, potatoes, rice and pasta. Choose wholemeal options when ever possible. It is recommended that we eat six servings/portions from this food group daily.
- Eat healthy fats like nuts, beans, avocado, eggs and oily fish
- Cut down on processed, fried and sugary drinks and snacks. For example, instead of eating a bar of chocolate, have a square, or a glass of coke instead of a bottle of coke
- Cut back on your use of salt. Choose from the huge variety of herbs and spices to brighten up your meals, for example chilli, garlic, pepper, and mixed herbs.
We all need at least eight glasses (two litres) of water or fluids every day. This can be water or other drinks like juices, herbal teas and so on. Choose pure unsweetened fruit juice instead of sugary cordials or minerals, and watch out for coffee and tea with lots of added sugar. If you do sport, or you’re going to be in the heat, you’ll need to drink even more than eight glasses during the day. Carry a bottle of water to work or college with you so that you can keep hydrated all day.
Avoid junk food- try these alternatives instead:
- Always eat breakfast so that you don’t crash later in the day or crave sugary foods by mid-morning.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day); they’ll fill you up and are perfect when you have the urge to snack on something
- Carry a healthy lunch with you to work, university, school or wherever you’re headed. The easiest way to do this is to make sandwiches filled with plenty of salad or cook enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Make sure it’s enough to keep you full throughout the day
- Incorporate some exercise throughout your day, like heading outside for a walk, dancing while cleaning the kitchen, or some stretching and yoga at home
- Plan your easy, healthy snacks ahead of time, and carry some with you for when hunger hits
- Find out more about snack foods here.