There are lots of good reasons to eat healthily. Your body needs lots of different nutrients and vitamins to stay at its best. Having the right nutrients as you grow can help you have stronger bones and teeth, it can help your mental health and your immune system, helping fight off colds.
Eating a balanced diet and making sure you do some physical activity is the best way to make sure you stay a healthy weight, and keep your body physically healthy.
You can find healthy food almost anywhere! Shops and super markets are great as long as you know what you are looking for. Check the packaging, there is probably a traffic light label showing how many calories, sugar, fat and salt is in the food. Watch out for foods with lots of red and amber sections, ideally you would eat as few of these as possible.
Things like fresh fruit and vegetables won’t be labeled but it is recommended that you try and eat 5 of these a day. This means 5 handful sized portions of different fruits and vegetables, some fruit juices and smoothies count towards this.
If you eat out then lots of places offer healthier options. Try picking something fresh and unprocessed from the menu, some menus will even indicated the healthier or low calorie options.
Want to grow your own? Why not? Theres lots of information out there about growing your own and some things you can even grow in pots on a windowsill.
The internet is a really good place to find lots of recipes but watch out because they might not all be very healthy. The Change 4 Life website has a recipe section full of tasty healthy recipes for any meal. There is a handy icon which shows how easy a recipe is to make and how long it takes to do.
If you are worried that you have an eating disorder it is important that you seek help, the school nurse or your GP are probably the best people to see. If you aren’t ready to do that there is lots of information on the NHS choices websites about eating disorders. ‘Beat’ is an eating disorders charity and they have a helpline for people under 25 where you can speak to a trained support worker, the website and forums might also be helpful to you.
Being overweight can be a problem too. You can work out if you are a healthy weight using the NHS BMI checker (see below), this is important because it depends on your age as well as your weight and height.
Being overweight when you’re young unfortunately means it’s harder to be a healthy weight as you grow up, and that brings lots of risks of serious illness. If you want to lose weight then you need to do it safely, there is a lot of confusing information about diets and weight loss in magazines and on the internet. The most important thing is to make sure you keep eating a balanced diet but try to reduce your portion sizes.
The NHS 12 week weight loss plan is a good place to start, because it combines diet with physical exercise. Think about how much time you’re spending sat down on your phone or computer, do you think you could move more? Check out the physical activity pages for some good advice on physical activity.
If you are very overweight it is probably worth talking to your GP or school nurse for some advice and they may be able to refer you to Get Going.
Treatment for eating disorders is available through the NHS but you will need to be referred by a health professional, so it is important to see your school nurse or GP first.
For children and young people aged four to 16 years who are above a healthy weight and live in North Lincolnshire, the Get Going team provides a personalised and supportive approach to childhood weight management.
This successful programme enables children and their families to access FREE one-to-one sessions in their home or community setting. Each session aims to empower and motivate children to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Please contact Alex Piercy for more information or to make a referral to the Get Going team – 07702 275246.