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Eating Well

Eating well


Eating Well

Welcome to the Eatwell guide, where vibrant colours guide you toward a healthier and more balanced diet. Follow these simple principles to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients and promoting overall well-being:

use the eat well guide to help you get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food

Green Goodness – Fruits and Vegetables

Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Embrace the freshness and nutritional richness of nature’s greens to fuel your body with essential vitamins and minerals.

Yellow Power – Starchy Carbohydrates

Base your meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, or other starchy carbohydrates. Opt for wholegrain options when possible to provide long-lasting energy and fiber for a healthy digestive system.

Pink Protein – Diverse Protein Sources

Include beans, pulses, fish, eggs, and meat in your diet. Aim for 2 portions of fish every week, with one being oily fish. Diversify your protein intake for a well-rounded nutritional profile.

Blue Dairy and Alternatives

Incorporate dairy or dairy alternatives such as soya drinks. Choose lower fat and lower sugar options to support bone health and overall well-being.

Purple Fats and Oils

Opt for unsaturated oils and spreads in small amounts. Choose options like extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil. Differentiate between saturated and unsaturated fats by their consistency – solid at room temperature for saturated and liquid for unsaturated.

Stay Hydrated

Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day to keep your body hydrated. Water, herbal teas, and other low-calorie options are excellent choices for maintaining proper hydration levels.

Traffic Light Labels

Always check food labels using the traffic light system. It’s a quick and easy way to identify nutritional content, but be mindful that it is usually per portion, not the entire packet.

Limit High Sugar/Fat/Salt Products

Enjoy high sugar, fat, and salt products such as biscuits, crisps, cakes, chocolate, ice cream, and sweets in moderation. Consume them less often and in smaller amounts to maintain a balanced and health-conscious diet. `Remember, your plate is your palette for good health. Embrace the colours of the Rainbow Plate for a vibrant and nutritious lifestyle!

5 a day

Unlocking the Power of Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are not just a colourful addition to your plate; they are nutritional powerhouses! Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, they play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and reducing the risk of diseases, including certain cancers.

Portion Control for Little Hands

For children, a portion is roughly what they can hold in the palm of their hand. Let’s make every portion count for their growing bodies and developing minds.

A Day in the Life of Healthy Eating

Breakfast

Enhance your cereal, porridge, or low-fat yogurt with a burst of freshness by adding fresh or dried fruits.

Lunch

Elevate your sandwich game by including a vibrant salad with cucumber, lettuce, or tomato. Don’t forget to add a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks on the side.

Tea

Boost the nutritional value of stews and bakes by incorporating lentils or beans. Grate carrots into pasta sauces and serve a variety of vegetables on the side for a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Potato Pointers

While regular potatoes don’t count toward your fruit and veg intake, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates. However, avoid frying them. Just like pasta and rice, potatoes are a valuable addition to your diet.

Seasonal Sensations

Explore the local market for affordable and tastier fruits and vegetables that are in season. Seasonal produce not only supports local farmers but also offers a delightful variety to your meals.

Canned and Frozen Convenience

Make healthy choices quick and easy by opting for no added salt or sugar canned fruits and vegetables in their own juice, not syrup. Frozen counterparts are equally convenient and add a nutritious touch to stews, sauces, or as side dishes.

Juice Wisdom

Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a portion of 150ml a day to manage sugar intake. Whole fruits are preferred for the fibre content and overall health benefits.



Dried Fruits

A Tiny Treat-Dried fruits like raisins, sultanas, and dried apricots are fantastic for children. However, be mindful of portion sizes, as they are less filling than fresh fruits. Consider adding them to cereals, yogurt, or as a delightful snack. Let’s savour the goodness of fruits and vegetables at every meal, cultivating a healthy lifestyle that nourishes the body and delights the taste buds.

Sugar Smart

Understanding the Sweet Story

Children often encounter sugar in various forms and being mindful of these sources is crucial for their overall health. Excessive sugar intake, found in fizzy drinks, juice drinks, pastries, cakes, biscuits, sugary breakfast cereals, flavoured yogurts, sweets, chocolate, and ice cream, can have detrimental effects on their well-being.

Unseen Risks of
Too Much Sugar

The accumulation of hidden fats, brought on by excessive sugar consumption, poses health risks that may go unnoticed. This build-up can lead to weight gain, increasing the likelihood of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Additionally, frequent and excessive sugar intake is a leading cause of painful tooth decay, resulting in a concerning number of children undergoing tooth removal procedures in hospitals.

The Culprit: Added Sugar

When we refer to added sugar, we mean any sugar introduced to food and drinks for sweetening purposes. This could be done by manufacturers, chefs, or even at home. Added sugar includes not only the sugar in your tea but also honey, syrups, fruit juices, and nectars.

Sugar-Free Zones

Certain foods are naturally free from added sugar:

Juice and Smoothie Awareness

While fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies contribute to the 5 A Day goal, it’s essential to be mindful of their sugar content. Limit the amount to no more than 150ml a day and consume them during mealtimes to mitigate the risk of tooth decay, similar to dried fruit.

Building Healthy Habits

By making informed choices and encouraging a balanced diet, we can empower our children to develop healthy habits that will benefit them now and in the future. Together, let’s foster a Sugar Smart generation!

Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the Smart Choices

Unveiling the Impact of Saturated Fat

Too much saturated fat can lead to unseen build-ups of harmful fat, posing serious health risks such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Saturated fats play a role in high blood cholesterol, transporting it to arteries where it may accumulate, restricting blood supply to the heart and potentially causing heart attacks. On the other hand, unsaturated fats aid in eliminating excess cholesterol, reducing the risk of arterial blockages.

Weight and Fat

A Delicate Balance Excessive fat consumption, especially high-fat foods, contributes to weight gain as they are calorie-dense. This weight gain can hinder insulin production, leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, being overweight heightens the risk of bowel cancer. However, maintaining a diet rich in fibre and low in saturated fat promotes a healthy bowel and reduces this risk.

Smart Fat Reduction Strategies

Choose Lower
Fat Products

Choose lower fat alternatives, such as dairy spreads, to reduce overall saturated fat intake without compromising taste.

Choose
Healthy Fats

Incorporate healthy fats from sources like fish, avocados, unsalted nuts, and seeds. Half an avocado counts towards one of your 5 a day, and nuts and seeds contribute to protein intake.

Mindful Cooking
Methods

Avoid adding extra oil or butter when cooking. Instead, explore healthier methods such as grilling, baking, steaming, or poaching to retain flavour without excess fat.

Embrace
Oily Fish

Include more fish in your diet, especially oily varieties like mackerel or salmon. These contain good fats that contribute to lower cholesterol levels.

Choose
Healthy Fats

Choose lower fat mince and always trim visible fat from meat before cooking. This simple step significantly reduces saturated fat intake. By making these smart choices and being mindful of fat intake, we can promote heart health, manage weight effectively, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Let’s embark on a journey towards a balanced and heart-smart lifestyle!

Salt

Beware of the stealthy culprits lurking in our daily meals. Salty foods that demand a watchful eye include sausages, bacon, ham, pastries, pizza, cheese, crisps, salted nuts, gravy, brown sauce, soy sauce, mustard, and ketchup. While these add flavour, too much salt can jeopardize the health of our kids, putting them at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future.

The Golden Rule: Less Than a Teaspoon

Guided by health recommendations, we should limit our salt intake to less than 6g a day, equivalent to less than a teaspoon. Unfortunately, over half of kids exceed this daily allowance, with unsuspecting sources like cakes and biscuits contributing to their salt intake.

Wise Swaps for Snacking

Certain foods are naturally free from added sugar:

Home-Cooked Triumphs Over Takeaways

Takeaways and ready meals often pack a punch when it comes to salt content. Cut back by cooking your favourite dishes at home, allowing you to control the amount of salt in your meals.

Shake Off the Saltshaker

Remove the saltshaker from the table and minimize salt in cooking. Instead, enhance flavours with herbs and spices. It’s a simple switch that can make a world of difference.

DIY Meals for the Win

Ready meals and pre-packaged soups are often loaded with salt. Take charge of your family’s health by preparing your own meals at home. It’s a delightful way to control ingredients and prioritize a low-salt lifestyle.

Breakfast Brilliance

Even breakfast cereals can harbour hidden salts. Choose low-salt options such as plain porridge, whole-wheat biscuits, or shredded wheat. Elevate the taste with fresh, frozen, or tinned fruits in their natural juices.

Savvy Swaps for Savoury Delights

Make conscious choices when it comes to cheese and processed meats:

Let’s embark on a flavourful journey that prioritizes health. By making mindful choices, we can ensure a low-salt lifestyle for our kids, setting the foundation for a healthy and happy future.

Lunch boxes

Whether squeezing it in before the school run in the morning or before bed on busy midweek evenings, preparing your child’s lunchbox can seem like just another thing on the list.

School meals are a great choice, but if you do make a packed lunch for your child then we’ve got you covered with our range of quick, easy, healthier lunchbox ideas and tips.


Creating lunches that keep kids energized throughout the day starts with a solid foundation:

Bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. Choose wholegrain options where possible to provide lasting energy and keep kids full.

Trim the Extras

Be mindful of spreads and condiments:

Cut down on: Spread and mayonnaise. Consider swapping to lower-fat options to reduce unnecessary calories.

Choose Wisely for Sandwich Fillings

Select nutritious and lower-fat sandwich fillings to keep things tasty and healthy:

Pick lower-fat options: Lean meats like chicken and turkey, fish such as tuna and salmon, reduced-fat cream cheese, or reduced-fat hard cheese.

Green Goodness in Every Bite

Boost the nutritional content of sandwiches, wraps, pitas, or bagels:
ALWAYS add: Salad! This not only adds vibrant flavours but also contributes to your child’s 5 A Day goal.

Veggie Variety

Incorporate a rainbow of vegetables into lunch boxes for
added nutrition:

Add: Carrot sticks, cucumber, celery, peppers, and tomatoes. Pair them with reduced-fat hummus for a delightful dip.

Snack Smart

Make smart swaps for snack time:

Cut down on: Crisps. Replace them with healthier alternatives like popcorn, rice cakes, and baked products.

Sweet Treat Transitions

Satisfy sweet cravings with healthier options:

Swap sugary cereal bars for: Dried fruit snack pots.

Indulge in Healthier Desserts

Make dessert choices that are both delicious and nutritious:

Swap cakes and chocolates for: Malt loaf or fruit teacakes.

Yogurt Mastery

Choose yogurt options that balance taste and nutrition:

Go for: Low-sugar, low-fat yogurts. Add your child’s favourite fruits for a personalized touch.

Empower your kids with lunches that not only taste great but also provide the nutrients they need to thrive. With these smart choices, you’re setting the stage for a healthy and successful school day!

Healthy Swaps

These simple food swap ideas can help cut down on sugar, salt and fat in your and your family’s diet, plus discover easy ways to make a swap when you next shop.

Even just 1 or 2 everyday swaps can really make a difference and go a long way to making each day healthier – but the more you make, the better!

Breakfast Revamp

Transform their morning routine with healthier
cereal options:
Swap to: Porridge, wheat biscuits, ‘no added sugar’ muesli, or shredded wholegrain. These choices provide a nutritious start to the day.

Fruity Delights

Elevate lower-sugar cereals or plain natural yogurt with a burst of sweetness:

Top with: A handful of their favourite fruits such as sliced bananas, chopped strawberries, or a mix of berries. It’s not only super tasty but also contributes to their 5 A Day.

Toast Triumph

Say goodbye to croissants and welcome wholemeal toast:

Swap croissants for: Wholemeal toast. This swap adds fibre to their breakfast routine, keeping them satisfied and energized.

Yogurt Makeover

Upgrade format frais pots to split pot yogurts for a delicious change:

Swap to: Split pot yogurts. These offer a variety of flavours while potentially reducing added sugars.

Smart Snacking Choices

Make healthier snack choices that satisfy their cravings:

Sweet Treat Transitions

Satisfy sweet cravings with healthier options:

Swap sugary cereal bars for: Dried fruit snack pots.

With these simple swaps, you’re not just changing what they eat – you’re transforming their daily choices to be more nutritious and supportive of their well-being. These alternatives are not only healthier but also delicious, making it easy to embrace a balanced and enjoyable diet.

Take-away’s and ready meals

Swapping takeaways for home cooking can save a
staggering £800 a year.


Make vegetables the main event! They tend to cost less than meat, so swapping more veg into your meals can cut your food bills, as well as cutting back on fat.

Swap salt for herbs, spices or pepper and add flavour to your dish. Try some ginger, basil, coriander or curry powder to spice up your meal.

Smart Start: Ditch the Extras

Make your family’s takeaway healthier with these easy adjustments:
Skip the extras: Ditch the dips, stuffed crusts, and extra cheese. These additions contribute unnecessary calories. Stick to the main dish for a more balanced meal.

Portion Patrol

Be mindful of portion sizes and resist the urge to go large:
Watch out for: Portion sizes when ordering. Say no to going large and check the recommended number of portions for your order.

Wise Choices for Main Dishes

Choose healthier main dishes by avoiding anything battered or crispy, as they are often deep-fried and high in fat:
Consider: Swapping creamy-based curries for stir-fries, and tikka masala for Balti. These alternatives are lighter on the fat content.

Veggie Power

Enhance your takeaway with healthier vegetable options:
Pick: Vegetable toppings like chopped peppers and mushrooms for pizza and burritos. Add extra veggies to curries and swap meat for chicken, prawns, or vegetables. Baked beans, mushy peas, or saag aloo are excellent choices for additional veg portions.

Sugar Swap

Make smart choices with beverages to reduce sugar intake:

Transform Your Ready Meals

Modify ready meals and takeaways for a healthier twist:

Pie Perfection

Cut back on fat by swapping pastry pies for potato-topped
options like cottage or fish pies.

Embrace the Fake-Away Challenge

Try your hand at creating healthier versions of your favourite takeaways:

Processed Food

Understanding Processed Foods

Processed foods extend beyond microwavable and ready meals, encompassing any food altered during preparation. Basic food processing methods include freezing, canning, baking, and drying. While not all processed foods are unhealthy, some may contain elevated levels of salt, sugar, and fat.



Identifying Processed Foods

Examples of common processed foods include:

The Purpose of Food Processing

Food processing serves various purposes, such as ensuring safety and suitability:

The Less Healthy Side of Processing

Some processed foods may be less healthy due to added ingredients like salt, sugar, and fat:

Hidden Challenges

Buying processed foods can lead to unintentional overconsumption of sugar, salt, and fat:

Smart Choices for a Balanced Diet

You can still include processed foods in a healthy diet by:

Budgeting

Smart Shopping for a Healthier Wallet and Lifestyle


Welcome to our guide on budget-friendly and health-conscious grocery shopping! Maintaining a nutritious diet doesn’t have to break the bank. Follow these practical tips to make the most of your grocery budget while promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Plan Ahead with a Shopping List

Minimise Food Waste

Utilize food storage solutions to extend freshness.

Budget-Friendly Choices

Healthier Alternatives

Kitchen Management

Cooking Strategies

Shopping Tips

Lifestyle Choices

Savvy Shopping

Remember, a well-planned approach to grocery shopping not only helps you save money but also contributes to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Happy and healthy shopping!

Food Labels

Discovering what’s inside your food has never been easier, thanks to traffic light labels prominently displayed on most food and drink packaging. These labels utilize a color-coded system—red, amber, and green—to empower consumers to make healthier choices while shopping.

Understanding Traffic Light Labels

Reading Food Labels

Healthy Choices for Children

Empowering Healthier Lifestyles

Grow your own

Welcome to your go-to resource for reaping the benefits of growing your own food. Discover the joy of cultivating plants, the cost-effective nature of home gardening, and the plethora of choices at your fingertips. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, here are some tips to set you on the path to a flourishing harvest.

Getting Started

Growing your own food is a rewarding experience, and it all begins with selecting the right plants. Start with herbs such as basil, parsley, and coriander. These culinary delights thrive on a sunny windowsill, adding both flavour and freshness to your meals. Experiment by planting seeds from shop-bought bags of dried peas – you might be surprised as they germinate into delightful pea shoots. Supermarket peppers and chili seeds can also find a new home in the sunshine of your windowsill.

Container Gardening

Limited on space? No problem! Embrace container gardening by planting mini-roots and spring onions. Container gardening is a versatile solution, allowing you to cultivate a variety of crops in limited spaces. Sow carrots and beetroot in containers during spring for a quick harvest of tender, tasty baby roots. Imagine the satisfaction of pulling, trimming, rinsing, and cooking your homegrown vegetables – a true farm-to-table experience. Dwarf French beans are also a great option, thriving in bucket-sized pots or large boxes.

Involving Kids in Gardening

It’s never too early to instil a love for gardening in children. Get your kids active and involved in the garden, allotment, or even growing indoors. Gardening not only teaches them about the origins of their food but also promotes physical activity and a connection with nature. Imagine the excitement in their eyes as they witness seeds transform into thriving plants. Make it a family affair and bond over the joy of watching your garden flourish.

Benefits of Growing
Your Own Food:

Cost-Effective: Save money by cultivating your own produce and reduce your grocery bills.

Freshness and Flavour: Enjoy the unparalleled taste of freshly harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Health and Nutrition: Homegrown produce is often richer in nutrients and free from harmful pesticides.

Sustainable Living: Reduce your carbon footprint by cultivating your own food locally.

Therapeutic: Gardening has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental well-being.