What is healthy eating?
Information on diet and health can be confusing and contradictory
Adults need about 8 – 10 cups of fluid every day but you need more if you are active. one cup is about 200mls. Water is the best drink, followed by low fat milk and pure fruit juice. Alcohol is high in calories and one standard drink (a half pint of beer, a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits) contains 100 – 150 calories. A man who drinks up to 17 drinks per week can gain about 1.5 stone in a year.
Healthy eating for Cchildren: Golden fules As parents, we do our best to provide healthy options, but it’s not always easy to put a fresh, balanced meal on the table when a toddler is crying at your feet or your teenager is being, well, a teenager. While fussy eating usually appears in the pre-school years, some children will continue to have food fads well beyond these years.
The good news is that small changes to your everyday lives can be hugely beneficial to your children’s health, and to your own. Time, encouragement and patience will produce improvements.
• Keep mealtimes relaxed. Try to eat together as a family and avoid preparing different meals for different family members. Young people who eat with their families consume fewer sugary drinks, more fruit and vegetables, and less fat both at home and away from home.
• Don’t panic, as even limited diets for a few weeks can deliver all the nutrients your child needs. A varied diet can be achieved over the course of a day or even a week. List all the foods your child will eat, which is usually more than you think, and develop menu plans around these.
• Another area that can affect eating habits is the child’s senses. Some children will look for very strong-tasting, spicy food while other children will like very bland foods.
• A food’s texture is also another factor – one child may enjoy crunchy, chewy food while another may prefer smoother food. It may help to adjust what you offer your child based on these preferences.
• Turn off the TV. Don’t underestimate the power of TV in promoting sugary, high-fat and high salt foods.
Janis Morrissey is a dietitian with the Irish Heart Foundation Check out the Irish Heart Foundation’s ‘Fats of Life’ campaign about fat and cholesterol and order your FREE ‘Fats of Life’ magazine at www.irishheart.ie/fatsoflife