Healthy eating: what does it mean?

Healthy eating: what does it mean?

Vitamins, nutrients and mindful eating 🍉

Nutrition & exercise

Quick summary 📝

1️⃣ Healthy eating is about balanced nutrition, and it’s especially important during puberty and teenage years

2️⃣ There are 5 main food groups: fruits and vegetables, starchy carbohydrates, dairy and protein, fats and sugars

3️⃣ You should aim for 5 portions of fruits/veggies daily, include whole grains, dairy, and protein for muscles and bones

4️⃣ Limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat; pay attention to calorie intake based on your growth needs

5️⃣ Hydration matters: water is best, limit sugary drinks, moderate caffeine

6️⃣ Practice mindful eating, listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues

7️⃣ Avoid extreme restrictions, know that occasional treats are fine for both physical and mental wellbeing ✨


The term healthy eating is used all the time in our daily lives, but it can be tricky to get to the true meaning and actually live by it. A healthy diet is a balanced diet that involves eating different foods that are nutritious and give you the energy and vitamins your body needs, which is especially important during puberty and your teenage years.

There are five main food groups (carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruit and veg, fats and oils) to familiarise yourself with. Here a few things to remember with each of them:

  • We’re encouraged to eat plenty of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day 🍏
  • Starchy carbohydrates (like wholegrain bread, rice, pasta and potatoes), which are filled with vitamins, minerals and fibre are also important 🍝
  • Having some dairy and protein (meat, fish, pulses and beans) are key too as they help to keep your muscles, bones and skin healthy 🥛
  • Foods high in sugar, salt and fat should be eaten less often and in smaller amounts as they’re generally not very nutritious 🍫

These food groups give us calories or energy to get through the day. In puberty, because the body is growing so much, depending on your age and gender you will need between 2200-3000 kcal a day which is a lot! You might notice that foods have labels telling you how many calories there are.

Drinks count as part of your diet too! Water is one of the best things to hydrate yourself with. Drinks like fruit juice and fizzy drinks should ideally be limited as they contain lots of sugar. Tea, coffee and energy drinks should be drunk in moderation because of their caffeine content - they are also “diuretics” which mean they don’t hydrate you well as they pass through the body quickly. It’s recommended that you drink about 2 litres (or 6-8 glasses) of fluids a day to keep your body and mind healthy and hydrated.

Mindful eating is healthy eating and listening to your body is important when eating healthily. Eating excessively may make you feel unwell and not eating enough may result in you feeling tired and hungry. Try not to skip any meals (3 regular meals a day is great) and take a moment during your meal to figure out if you feel full or you’re still hungry. You don’t need to finish your meal if you’re full and it’s absolutely okay to have more if you’re still hungry. A healthy diet is a balanced one and restricting yourself can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally as eating something you love is good for you, too ❤️

Overall, healthy eating means eating nutritious foods that give you energy and vitamins as well as some foods that you really love, all while listening to what your body wants and needs. Food is not just fuel - it’s enjoyment too ✨

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