Make sure you have fruit available for quick snacks and plenty of vegetables, lean meat and pantry items such as rice and pasta so you can always make a nutritious meal. Start thinking of your evening meal early in the day so you don't end up ordering take away when you are starving at dinner.
The key to good nutrition is variety. Aim for 30 different foods each day, making sure you get colour in your diet from eating fruits and vegetables. This will give you more vitamins and protective antioxidants.
GRAINS and FIBRE
Grains and Legumes have been found to help control weight. Use oats, grainy bread, barley and legumes like baked beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans. These are all low Glycaemic Index too!
CONSIDER FAT & TYPE OF FAT
Cut the total fat in your diet by using smart snack foods like fruit toast and low-fat yoghurt. Importantly, always read labels to look for lower fat options. Change the type of fat you eat to keep high cholesterol at bay. Use a heart tick margarine or avocado as a spread instead of butter to reduce the amount of saturated fat you are eating. Eat fish like salmon, tuna or sardines twice a week to help get protective omega-3 fats.
Extra energy often comes in disguise. Watch out for super-sized drinks and 'treat foods' that have become 'everyday foods'. Take action when weight creeps on rather than leaving it to another day.
STRONG BONES FOR LIFE
Include foods rich in calcium. Aim for a variety of fat reduced milk, yoghurt and cheese, as well as calcium enriched soy alternatives. A glass of milk, a tub of yoghurt and two slices of cheese should meet your needs.
Iron rich foods are important! Use fruit with breakfast cereal to increase the amount of iron that can be used by the body. Choose lean cuts of meat and aim to have 2-3 red meat meals a week. Vegetarians need to take care to get iron from plant sources – again using a source of Vitamin C can help maximise iron absorbed from these foods.
CATCH 22- ALCOHOL
Whilst some alcohol is beneficial to our body, more is not better! Take care when pouring a glass of wine and drink water or mineral water between drinks. Always have at least two alcohol free days each week.
Aim for 10,000 steps each day. The benefits to health are HUGE. For younger people, high intensity exercise is also very important – plan at least 2 sessions each week. You may need to gradually increase your exercise and always remember to stretch.
Think positively and try and think about 3 happy thoughts each morning to get you started! Making gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle is important for everyone and is an investment for you and your family's future. For more information on good nutrition visit www.nestle.com.au/nutrition.