As the summer holidays draw closer, this week marks the end of the Being Food Wise campaign. But there is still time for one final week of tips and challenges.
This week is all about ‘Making Healthier Food Choices’ throughout the life course.
Starting Well: Making healthier food choices for babies
The health of babies starts before they are born, so when mums are pregnant, it is important to eat well. During pregnancy, mums-to-be are hungrier than usual, but it is not necessary to eat for two. But, in the final 3 months of pregnancy, mums-to-be will need an extra 200 calories a day to support the baby’s growth – equivalent to 2 slices of wholemeal toast.
When the baby is born, breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a growing baby. Mum’s milk is perfect and uniquely made for the baby’s needs. Breastmilk helps to protect the baby from infections and other diseases, and as a mum, it also reduces chances of getting some illnesses later in life. When breastfeeding, eating well is important. Try to include a well-balanced, healthy variety of foods. If formula feeding is chosen, a first stage infant formula can be used throughout the first year (any brand is ok, as there is not much difference between them). Having support and advice from a Midwife or Health visitor is always a good idea, too.
Top Tips for Kids: Making healthier food choices for children
With children at home all day, they can be tempted to snack instead of eating at structured times. However, this is not the best way to ensure children are eating well. To help, there are lots of little things that can be done. Aiming for 5 a day, having structured family mealtimes, and swapping snacks can all help. It is also important to keep children active. They should be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
Top Tips for Adults: Making healthier food choices for grown ups
It is important to eat well no matter what your age. Making small changes to what we eat and drink can make a big difference to how we feel. Here are some top tips to help adults make healthier food choices:
Use a food diary to monitor food intake and identify where changes can be made. There are lots of apps that can help with this.
If portions need to be controlled, look to shrink the amount of food eaten instead of cutting the things that you enjoy out of your diet completely.
Use food labels to make changes to swap for a healthier food choice. You can use the green traffic light choices to help with this.
To support people to eat well, the Food Wise website has been updated to include a Making a Healthier Food Choices page: https://leedsfoodpartnership.wordpress.com/foodwise-choices/
For more information, look out for updates on social media. Hashtags for the week are: #foodwise #Leeds #foodwisechoices #foodlabels #fooddiary
Photograph by Reka Biro-Horvath.