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Is fréamhshamhail í seo - cabhróidh d’aiseolas linn é a fheabhsú


Eat Well

Foilsithe: 4 April 2019
Ó: Healthy Ireland ga agus An Roinn Sláinte
Teanga: Níl leagan Gaeilge den mhír seo ar fáil.

Eating well is of huge importance to your overall health. Here at Healthy Ireland, we've rounded up some of the first steps you can take to make a difference.

Healthy eating guidelines

Healthy eating guidelines help people make choices to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. The guidance is for everyone from 5 years upwards.

The guidelines are called Healthy Food for Life and the toolkit includes:

The Food Pyramid

Healthy Ireland Food Plans and Guides

The key messages from Healthy Food for Life are:

  • eat more vegetables, salad and fruit - up to seven servings a day
  • limit intake of high fat, sugar and salt in food and drinks
  • size matters: use the Food Pyramid as a guide for serving sizes
  • increase your physical activity levels
  • small chances can make a big difference... so start today!

Healthy eating for kids

We all want our kids to have the best possible start in life so getting their diet right is of huge importance. Children are better at making changes when the whole family do it together.

Knowing how much food to give your child can be difficult as it can depend on their age and activity levels. Portion size is a good place to start and is something you can introduce gradually for everyone in the family.

As a rule of thumb, a 5-year old should eat about half the amount that an adult does. Many adults eat larger portions than they need also. Try giving everyone smaller portions on their plates to start with and they can have more after if they’re still hungry. Using smaller plates, for children and adults, can help.

Go to safefood for more information on portion serving sizes.

We partner with the HSE and safefood on the START campaign, which helps parents make changes to their childrens' diets. It’s also a place where parents share tips with each other. You can check out some recipes, especially for kids, here .

Cooking healthy meals

Dinner is a busy time in any house. After a long day at work or school, preparing a healthy dinner when you are hungry and tired might be the last thing you feel like doing.

Many recipes can be made healthy without losing the taste. Here are a few tips that will help you adapt your favourite recipes to reduce fat, sugar, salt, calories and increase fibre without changing your diet radically.

  • cut down on fats: if frying, use a non-stick pan and less oil than the recipe suggests
  • cut down on salt: replace salt with alternative seasonings such as pepper, herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar or mustard
  • sauces and dips: choose tomato-based sauces and replace cream, whole milk and sour cream with semi-skimmed and skimmed milk, or low-fat yoghurt
  • cheese: use strongly flavoured cheeses like mature cheddar or blue cheese in savoury dishes - you can use less and still get all the flavour

Safefood have some very simple, healthy recipes you can follow (the calories are also stated). You can check out the recipes here .

Bord Bia also have recipes that combine a mixture of traditional and modern cuisine and you can check them out here .

What you drink matters too

The amount of fluid we need depends on how active we are and how warm it is. To stay healthy, we should drink about 8 cups or 1.6 litres per day. Water and milk are the best choices. Get into the habit of drinking water with all meals and carry it as a thirst quencher. Still water is kinder to teeth than sparkling varieties.

Drinking a large glass of wine is like eating a slice of pizza, when it comes to calories. If you drink a lot, it's likely to have an impact on your weight over time, as well as your general health. You can find information on calories in alcohol here .

Use the Ask About Alcohol Drinks Calculator to see what impact alcohol is having on your health, your wallet and your weight.

Losing weight

When trying to lose weight people often focus on one thing, the pounds or the kilogrammes lost. But you can be more successful if you focus on eating healthier foods, and being more active will lead to keeping the weight off.

Some tips are:

  • keep track of your food intake, it will make you aware of your eating habits and will help you spot problem areas
  • planning and setting goals is crucial to your success
  • rewarding your success will help keep you motivated

You can check out some tips on how to lose weight safely here .

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