It’s amazing how many everyday food routines could be tweaked and do us much more good!
1. Oils in cooking (like olive oil) don’t have to be an unhealthy option, but if you heat the oil beyond its ‘smoke point’ its properties do change, making it less healthy. With a good extra virgin olive oil, for example, making a sauce or cooking with it at less than around 200-250 degrees C should be fine.
2. Keep vitamins close to home. In order to arrive here without going past their best, many fruits and veg coming from abroad are picked underripe, which can mean they have not fully reached their optimum nutritional value before they are harvested.
3. Quite often organic meat is more fatty than non-organic options because of the traditional methods used for its farming. If you go organic, prepare your dishes with low-fat cooking methods.
4. If you’re preparing fruit salads or crudités, chop larger pieces because each cut surface leaks vitamins.
5. Bananas are not only a good slow-release energy snack, they can be good for stomach upsets because they contain a form of fibre that promotes healthy bacteria in the gut.
School lunches in England have to meet several key nutritional measures while packed lunches don’t. If you do make your child’s lunch, sandwiches should be offered alongside a variety of other options as even something like a ham sandwich has fat and salt content you probably haven’t considered. For inspiration, check out our packed lunch makeovers.
Pass it on – take the healthy eater test!
The NHS website has an interactive Q&A session you can do to find out just how good your family’s eating habits really are. www.nhs.uk