Healthy Eating Week 2018
Published on 07/06/18
Healthy Eating Week takes place this year between the 11th and 15th June and is organised by BNF (British Nutrition Foundation).
In 2017, an astounding 9681 nurseries and schools took part in this event which comprised almost 4.2 million students and this year they are hoping for more people to take up the challenge! To help you make the most of this week, the BNF have come up with five challenges to promote awareness of the benefits of healthy eating.
As we’ve all heard at least once in our lives, breakfast is often cited as the ‘most important meal of the day’. Having a good meal in the morning is seen to improve cognition and also can make you feel happier. You’re also less likely to snack throughout the day if you’ve started off with a nutritious breakfast. The BNF recommend a high-fibre, low-fat, low-sugar option; wholemeal toast, low-sugar cereals and dairy products like yoghurt and milk. Make sure you also start off your morning with a large drink, to help rehydrate you after you’ve slept.
Eat 5 a Day
Eating five pieces of fruit or vegetables a day is recommended to help your body receive all of the vital nutrients and vitamins it needs to keep you fit and healthy. There is evidence that shows that people who regularly eat 5 a day (as part of a balanced diet) are less likely to suffer from some types of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Change 4 life has lots of helpful advice on what constitutes 5 a day as well as some simple recipes you and your students can follow at home.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. As well as eating the right foods, it’s also important to ensure you’re drinking enough throughout the day. The recommended allowance is 6 – 8 drinks every day (although definitely more in hot weather – as you will lose more water through sweat). The body is about 60% water so staying hydrated allows the body to function as it should. If you start to become dehydrated, you may experience headaches, difficulty concentrating and fatigue. Make sure you have a drink with you wherever possible to ensure that you keep hydrated throughout the day.
Physical activity can work wonders for a variety of reasons; it can increase your mood, improve your sleeping pattern, strengthen your heart and muscles and reduce stress.
On average, you should aim to be doing two and a half hours of moderate activity a week or an hour and a quarter of vigorous activity, to keep everything ticking along nicely. You don’t have to join a gym or be a sporty-superstar to do this; even making small changes to your lifestyle can be a good start. Try taking the stairs instead of the lift and see if you can cycle or walk for any of your journeys where possible.
Make a Change
The challenges above are not just useful for one week of the year - they’re important lifestyle choices which ideally should be implemented into your day to day routine. Use this week as a chance to help you make positive goals and encourage your students to try and meet these challenges, even once Healthy Eating Week is finished. Eating well and keeping active will have long-term benefits to both your health and wellbeing; allowing you to reduce the risk of developing some health conditions or becoming obese. Don’t try and change too much too soon though – the best changes are made carefully over time. If you try and make drastic changes, you may find yourself slipping back into old habits!
Perhaps these tips will spark off an idea for how your school can tackle these topics, or maybe it’ll inspire you to come up with some challenges of your own! If you do take part in any Healthy Eating events next week, don’t forget to let us know via our social media (@e4education), as we’d love to see what you get up to.