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Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy Eating


Children’s food preferences and eating habits are formed early in life and we as adults can support shaping healthy behaviours. There has been recent evidence that young children’s diets are providing more energy than they need, and consumption of fruit, vegetables, oily fish and fibre are still lower than recommendations.

If your child is a healthy weight, there's lots you can do as a parent to help them stay a healthy size as they grow. Research shows children who stay a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, better able to learn, and more self-confident. They're also much less likely to have health problems now and in later life. Children whose parents encourage them to be active and eat healthily are more likely to stay a healthy weight and grow up healthy.

The Eat Well Guide - NHS

The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.


Most of us still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. They should make up just over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced. Remember that fruit juice and smoothies should be limited to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Click here for more information. 

Starchy food should make up just over a third of the food we eat. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice, or simply leave the skins on potatoes.There are also higher fibre versions of white bread and pasta.Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet. For more information, click here


These foods are good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are good alternatives to meat because they're low in fat and they're a good source of fibre and protein, too.Choose lean cuts of meat and mince, and eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages.Aim for at least 2 portions (2 x 140g) of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily, such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. Find out about fish and meat.

Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are good sources of protein and some vitamins, and they're also an important source of calcium, which helps keep our bones healthy. Try to go for lower-fat and lower-sugar products where possible, like semi-skimmed, skimmed or 1% fat milk, reduced-fat cheese or plain low-fat yoghurt. Find out more about milk and dairy foods


Unsaturated fats are healthier fats and include vegetable, rapeseed, olive and sunflower oils.Remember all types of fat are high in energy and should be eaten in small amounts. Find out more about the different types of fat in our diet

These foods include chocolate, cakes, biscuits, sugary soft drinks, butter, ghee and ice cream.They're not needed in our diet, so should be eaten less often and in smaller amounts. Get tips on cutting down on sugar

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Eating Well 6 months to 2 years for South Asian children

Author: Dr Helen Crawley, First Steps Nutrition Trust. Published in 2021. This resource was prepared in collaboration with First Steps Nutrition Trust for the NEON (Nurture Early for Optimal Nutrition) programme to provide culturally tailored South Asian age-appropriate healthy recipes for babies. The NEON programme is a study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), that aims to optimise infant feeding, care and dental hygiene practices for infants and young children up to the age of two years in East London. The programme is sponsored by University College London. University College London and First Steps Nutrition Trust would like to thank the NIHR for funding the NEON programme. - click here for the full booklet including recipes

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