Some ways to make healthier food choices are to avoid highly processed foods, in favour of whole foods and fresh fruit & veggies, and to do a quick check of the ingredients list when considering packaged foods. Whole foods usually offer more nutrients and of course are far less likely to have unwanted additives. Check for artificial flavours, colours and preservatives – all of which are best avoided. Nutrition panels on packaging can also help to consider intake of energy, protein, carbs, fats and sodium. When possible eating organic or spray free produce also helps to ensure food is free of undesirable chemical residues.
When choosing what healthy foods to eat look for whole foods that have been processed as little as possible. Include a good variety of foods including protein like seafood, meat, legumes, dairy or tofu; plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains (think whole grain flour, pasta & bread); and healthy oils. Avoid or limit highly processed and ‘junk’ foods.
It is important to have a healthy diet to ensure you eat a balance of essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein and amino acids, dietary fibre and healthy oils. A healthy diet provides the energy and nutrients that young bodies need to grow and when combined with physical activity can help to keep us well.
It is important to eat a healthy breakfast so that you refuel your body with energy and essential nutrients after ‘fasting’ overnight. A healthy breakfast gives us the energy needed to start the day and has been shown to improve concentration.
Whole foods are considered better for you because they are unprocessed or only minimally processed and don’t contain artificial additives. Whole foods often have more fibre and nutrients than processed foods.