Your body is the ultimate machine - but for top performance, it needs the best fuel you can give it. Your body will run best and get everything it needs if you eat something from each of the five different food groups every day. Variety is the key!
1 – Bread, other cereals and potatoes, including pasta, rice, noodles, beans and lentils.
These foods are energy-packed and will keep you going however busy you are. Make them the main part of each meal. Foods like wholemeal bread and pasta contain more fibre which is important for a healthy digestive system.
2 – Fruit and vegetables
The pick of the crop, full of vitamins and minerals. there are loads of different fruits and vegetables to choose from, and many can be eaten just as they are. Try to eat at least five portions every day.
3 – Milk and dairy foods
Bones and teeth are the toughest body parts but they need calcium to stay that way. Dairy delights such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are full of the vital bone-builder. Choose low fat varieties when possible.
4 – Meat, fish and alternatives
Meat, fish, eggs, baked beans, nuts and lentils provide protein to help your body grow and repair itself. they're also packed with iron – a mineral we all need to keep us healthy.
5 – Foods containing fat
Like butter, margarine, oils and crisps – and sugar – are OK in small amounts, for a treat, but not too often.
Food should always be enjoyable. But if food is not carefully looked after, harmful bacteria can grow in it and you can get food poisoning. Wash your hands thoroughly before you touch food, after going to the toilet and after touching pets.
Make sure hot food is kept hot and cold food kept cold, don't leave food sitting around. Keep pets and insects away from food; just remember where else their hairy little feet may have been.
Here are two recipes for healthy meals. Maybe you could try to make these dishes the next time you have friends over for dinner?
Veggie Corn Burgers with Potato Wedges
What you need:
400g can mixed beans, rinsed and drained, or 6oz/175g dried beans, soaked and cooked
2oz/50g grated carrot
2oz/50g canned or frozen sweetcorn
2oz/50g sage and onion stuffing mix
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil
4 wholemeal baps, toasted
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
¼ crisp lettuce, shredded
For potato wedges:
4 x 8oz/225g baking potatoes
1tbsp sunflower oil
How to make it:
1 Preheat oven to Gas 6, 400 F, 200 C. Wash and scrub the four baking potatoes and cut each into eight equal portions. Place in a clean plastic bag along with 1 tbsp sunflower oil. Seal and shake well to coat. Arrange with wedges, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 30–35 minutes until tender and golden.
2 Meanwhile, place the mixed beans in a bowl and mash well using a potato masher or fork. Stir in the carrot, sweetcorn and stuffing mix.
3 Bind together with the egg to form a stiff mixture. Divide into four. Flour hands and form each portion into a burger shape about 8cm in diameter.
What you need:
2 teaspoons rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
2 tbsp tomato purée
Ground black pepper
280g packet granary, malted brown bread mix
4oz/100g grated reduced fat Cheddar cheese
For the faces:
a few slices of red, green or yellow pepper
a few slices of tomato
a few slices of mushroom
4 slices lean ham
How to make it:
1 Preheat the oven to Gas 6, 400F, 200C. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion for 2–3 minutes until softened but not browned. Stir in the tomatoes, herbs, tomato purée and black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool.
2 Meanwhile, make up the bread mix according to the manufacturer's instructions. Divide into 4 and knead each portion. then form into a round approx. 6”/15cm in diameter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and leave to prove.
3 Spread each dough round with tomato sauce and sprinkle over the cheese.
4 Now make the faces using the peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and ham. Bake in oven for 20–25 minutes until risen and cooked through.