Eat 2-3 balanced meals each day. The idea behind this is to get into a structured routine for your eating. Avoid randomly grabbing snacks here and there. Instead, let your body get into a rhythm of 2-3 set meals, staggered throughout the day (eg – breakfast, midday and evening meals).
If we spend some time and effort getting those meals nice, balanced and healthy, there is a good chance we wont need to grab snacks or “get a quick boost” with junk food. The next question obviously is “what is a balanced meal?” Take a look at the following pictures…
The Healthy Eating Pyramid
This shows the mix of foods we should aim to be having throughout an entire week/month. The vast majority of the food should make up the lower, foundation tiers of:
- Fruit and veg
- Healthy oils and fats
- Whole grains
We would eat progressively less of the other food groups, further up the pyramid, until we reach the tip of the pyramid. And we should only have occasional treats of things like:
- Red meats and butter
- Refined grains
- Sugary drinks and sweets
The Healthy Eating Plate
These pictures (aimed at adults and kids) show pretty much the same information, but in a different way. Instead of looking at the food over a whole week, it shows what individual meals could look like:
- Vegetables and fruit make up a whole half of the meal! This is often one of the biggest, simplest changes we can make to improve our meals… Add more fruit and veg!
- The protein is from a healthy, lean source.
- The carbs are made up of whole grains, instead of “white” refined grains.
Below is the kids version of the Healthy Eating Plate. It shows exactly the same info, but in a friendly, happy way.
Use your food diary to look at your meals last week and compare them to the above “ideals”. And if they don’t stack up, ask yourself:
“If I had this meal again, what could I do to bring it closer to the theoretical ideal?”
Once you have an idea of how you can improve it, make sure you do next time!