What is a Balanced Diet?: An Easy Read Guide
If you were wondering what is a balanced diet, or what are the different types of food groups, we have covered them in this easy ready guide to a balanced diet!
Why is a Balanced Diet important?
A balanced diet has lots of different kinds of food.
A balanced diet has a healthy amount of each kind of food.
A balanced diet is an important part of being healthy.
It helps you feel your best and stay a healthy weight.
If you have special food needs or a medical condition you can ask your doctor for food advice.
The 5 Main Food Groups
Fruit and Vegetables
Try to eat 5 kinds of fruit and vegetables every day.
They can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
1 small glass of juice or smoothie is one of your 5 a day.
Drinking more is unhealthy because they have a lot of sugar.
An apple, banana or pear are each 1 portion each.
A spoonful of dried fruit is 1 portion. Try it with your cereal.
Try a salad with your lunch or peas and carrots with dinner.
Your meals should be based on starchy food.
Your body gets a lot of energy from starchy food.
Try to choose brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and wholemeal bread.
They have more fibre, and usually more vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes with the skins on have a lot of fibre and vitamins.
When having boiled potatoes or a jacket potato, eat the skin too.
Protein builds muscle to help your body move and helps your body repair itself.
Choose skinless and lean meat to help cut down on fat.
Eggs and fish are full of protein.
Oily fish are really good for you. Try to eat fish twice a week.
Beans, peas and lentils, are low in fat and are full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are high in fibre, but also have lots of fat so don’t eat too many.
Dairy (and alternatives)
Milk and dairy foods, like cheese and yoghurt, have calcium in them.
Calcium helps keep bones healthy.
Plant milks are in this food group.
Try to choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.
Oils and Spreads
Choose spreads and oils, like olive oil to get the fat you need in your diet.
You need to eat a little bit of fat to help absorb vitamins from food.
Spreads and oils are high in calories so you only need to use a little bit.
Unhealthy food tastes nice but is bad for you if you eat too much!
Too much fat and salt can make your heart unhealthy.
Too much sugary food and drink is bad for your teeth and can make you gain weight.
Making healthy choices about food will help you stay healthy and feel better!