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Healthy Eating

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

This page covers healthy eating advice for the general population. People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.


Food groups in your diet

The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see 5 A Day)
  • base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
  • have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
  • eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)

If you're having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

The Eatwell Guide does not apply to children under the age of 2 because they have different nutritional needs.



What you can do to eat well

You know your eating habits better than anyone else. Have they changed? What do you think you can do to improve them? Eating well can help us keep strong, healthy and optimistic and with some planning, make our money go further.

Here are some of the ways people from across Wales are using food to look after themselves and each other:


Planning the weekly shop

What would help you to plan the shop? Making a shopping list can help us avoid impulse buys and keep to our budgets. Some of our usual food favourites may not be available at the moment so think about what you can use instead in case you can’t find what you want. Click here for example lists and plans.


Eating a variety of foods

Eating a variety of foods will provide the supply of the nutrients we need to keep healthy and strong. Lots of people use the Eatwell guide to help them eat a healthy, balanced diet. Taking a vitamin D supplement can also help since we are spending more time indoors.


Swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options

Try to limit the amount of unhealthy snacks available in the house by sticking to your list. What snacks can you swap? There’s some ideas here.

Keeping to your regular meal pattern

Maintaining our usual mealtimes, and making meal plans, can help us to stay aware of what we are eating and give some structure to the day. How are you finding ways to keep some structure in your day? What helps you stop diving into the fridge in between meals?

Trying some home cooking

What have you made recently? Home cooking can mean the food you cook is healthy as well as tasty- and it can help you save money too. Many people also find cooking relaxing and a way to connect with family and friends by sharing your successes, tips and ideas. See below for some more ideas.

For yourself

Cooking with children

For the whole family


Saving time spent preparing meals can free up time for other activities to help you stay happy and healthy while at home.

Try these short and easy to follow #familyfood recipes. They are little in time, ingredients and money but still good for the whole family.

These recipes use what you already have in the house, but you can swap ingredients if you need to. We suggest making food in batches, so you have meals that last a few days.

You can also take inspiration from the meal plans, shopping lists and food swap ideas to help you plan ahead, keep a routine and eat as well as possible. 


Limiting portion sizes

Taking notice of portion sizes can help increase our awareness of just how much we are eating. Try this one page handy guide.


Making use of food related benefits if eligible (e.g. healthy start vouchers, free school meals)

Many more of us may need to make the most of community supports such as Food Banks and shopping vouchers. Lots of people are using support like this to keep themselves healthy and strong. Take a look at our links to find out what’s available in your area.

To find out if you are eligible for healthy start vouchers, or to apply, go to the healthy start website.

To find out where your nearest food bank is go to Trussell Trust or FareShare. 

Families with children eligible for free schools meals can find out how to access support from their local authority.

Not being distracted by fad diets

Social and print media are full of stories of very specific diets or superfoods that claim to give protections against Coronavirus. The best diet to follow is a varied and balanced diet, recommended by AfN Registered Public Health Nutritionists and Dieticians. Use credible sources of information about food including NHS sites, British Dietetic Association and others on our resource pages.