MAKE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES EASIER
The focus areas for National Nutrition Week 2022 are:
- Improved healthy food choices by household members throughout the life course
- Eating regular meals and healthy snacks
- Improved consumption of healthy portions
- Improved physical activity engagement by household members
Healthy eating can be affordable and helps fight diseases such as COVID-19 and chronic illnesses.
- Enjoy a variety of whole foods, i.e., unprocessed or minimally processed foods
- Buy healthy affordable foods
- Drink lots of clean, safe water instead of sugary drinks
- Prepare healthy home meals rather than buying ready-to-eat snacks or meals
- Practice healthy eating habits, e.g. eat lots of vegetables and small portions of other foods. Eat together without distractions (e.g. cellphones or TV)
Protect your health with vegetables and fruit. Eat more vegetables and fruit through every stage of your life.
Eating more vegetables and fruit every day can help protect against diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
- Reducing blood pressure
- Reducing cholesterol
- Supporting weight management
- Supporting blood sugar management
Eat regular meals and healthy snacks
- Setting and keeping to a plan of regular, healthy meals helps people to stay healthy, maintain a healthy weight and prevent hunger. It helps to prevent overeating at meals or snacking on unhealthy foods during the day which can lead to the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
- The goal is to eat at least every four to five hours during the day in order to re-energise one’s body and keep blood sugar levels consistent and for optimal digestion of food.
- Skipping meals can lead to feelings of hunger and low blood sugar (like dizziness, shaking or loss of concentration).
- Eating regularly means that if one chooses to eat three meals per day, that this is done most days of the week.
Choose water rather than sugary drinks
- Start your day with a glass of water.
- Increase your daily water intake when the weather is hot.
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you and make sure to refill it regularly. This will also help one to sip on water instead of sugary drinks and will also provide a visual reminder to drink more water.
- Take a bottle of clean, safe water to school or work.
- Make it a habit to drink water with meals instead of sugary drinks.
- Add fresh slices of lemon, cucumber or lime, mint leaves or pieces of fresh fruit or berries to your water or unsweetened Rooibos or herbal teas. Prepare flavoured water in advance and refrigerate and/or add ice.
- If you do not have access to clean, safe water, purify water by boiling it for three minutes or by adding one teaspoon of bleach to 25 litres of water and leaving it to stand for two hours before using.
INFANTS & YOUNG CHILDREN
Feed smart from the start! Feeding your child the right type of food from birth until two years old lays the foundation for a healthy brain and body.
- For the first six months of your baby’s life, this is breastmilk only. Do not give porridge, water or any other liquids. Do not give any other home or traditional medicines or remedies. Only give your baby medicines they receive from the clinic or hospital.
- From the age of six months onwards, in addition to breastmilk, your child will need different types of foods. Vegetables and fruit should form part of each meal. Start with small amounts and building up to five small meals each day.
For more facts, information and references, download the concept document here.