Nutrition and eating well

Eating healthier, nutritionally balanced food is an important part of achieving good health both physically and mentally.

This means eating a wide variety of minimally processed foods that provide good nutrition, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eating these foods in the correct amounts will help you to be healthier and support a healthy weight.

An unhealthy diet is one of the most common reasons for ill health and poor wellbeing such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Some cancers and heart disease
  • Weight gain or being underweight
  • Low Mood
  • Low energy levels and feeling tired

Family friendly recipe cards

Somerset Council’s Public Health team have created a collection of recipe cards including everything from breakfast, to lunch, small bites and even fakeaways – a healthier version of a takeaway.

All recipes are budget friendly, ingredients can be swapped in and out based on what you have in the cupboard and allergens are present in each recipe card. The cards also include suggestions on how to make dishes plant based.

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Top tips for eating on a budget

Modern living and the cost of living going up can mean it is harder than ever to eat healthily. But there are small steps you can take to eat healthier whilst sticking to a budget.

  • Buying fruit and vegetables in season or buying frozen and tinned
  • Plan your meals and aim to stick to a shopping list will help reduce impulse buys of processed or unhealthy foods
  • Aim to reduce your food waste – rotate food in your fridge and cupboards so it doesn’t go out of date
  • Cook double and freeze for another day
  • Bulk out meals with beans, lentils, chickpeas and other pulses which are a good source of fibre and protein and often cheaper than meat alternatives
  • If you can, grow your own food

Be Sugar Smart

Most of us eat too much sugar as it is added into so many foods and drinks. The NHS sugar calculator is a quick and simple way of checking how much sugar you and your family have with some top tips for how you can reduce your sugar intake.

NHS – Healthier Families – Reducing sugar

The Somerset Children and Young People website has a lot of helpful information about healthy eating.

NHS Food Scanner App

With a speedy scan of your family’s favourite foods on the NHS Food Scanner app, you can find healthier swaps for next time you shop.

NHS Healthy Family Recipes

From what to put in your kids lunch box to what to have for dinner, you’ll find lots of delicious low cost healthy recipes.

Visit the NHS – Healthier families – Healthy Recipes page to find out more.

Somerset Community Food

Somerset Community Food is a charity which aims to help you grow, buy, prepare and eat local food. They have a Somerset community food map which shows their network of community growing projects.

Helping make your food go further

Here are some tips on helping your food budget go further

  • Find courses on the Somerset Skills and Learning website, or you may be able to join a community cooking group
  • See if there is a community fridge or larder nearby where you can access free foods. This is usually donated by local stores and may go very quickly
  • Some towns provide community pantries as part of the Local Pantry Network. These are membership schemes where, for a small fee, you can receive a mix of fresh, chilled and dry foods
  • Some areas of Somerset also offer a low cost or free community meals.
  • If you find you cannot afford food and need more immediate help and advice, you can contact a Somerset Village and Community Agent or Citizens’ Advice Somerset and ask for a referral to a Somerset food bank.

Last reviewed: June 27, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: December 27, 2024

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