As in most things, the key to good nutrition is balance and moderation. Here are the top ten tips for healthy eating:



Read labels.
Nutrition labels can be a great source of information and help you make wise choices. Learn to read them and understand the different categories.


Fat matters.
Although everyone needs a bit of fat in their diet, the source of the fat matters a great deal. The healthiest fats are unsaturated - choose olive, canola or soy oils. Remember though, that even healthy oils are high in calories so use them sparingly.


Sweets are not so sweet.
Occasional sugary treats are fine but definitely not on a regular basis. Remember, sugar and other sweeteners are loaded with calories; they contribute to tooth decay and offer no real nutritional value.


Lean is the way to go.
When selecting proteins, choose lean or low fat meat, chicken and fish. Also, try to get some of your protein from non-animal sources such as nuts, chick peas, beans and soy products.


Build those bones.
Be sure to get sufficient calcium by choosing a variety of dairy products (low fat or non fat for older children and teens). Milk, cheese, yogurt and even the occasional ice cream can help meet calcium requirements of your children.


Fruit is a natural sweet treat.
Unlike processed sweets, fruit is nature's way of satisfying your sweet tooth in a healthy, wholesome way. Enjoy fresh fruit on a regular basis. You could also offer canned, dried and frozen fruit but be sure to avoid those that have added sugar! Check the labels before putting them in your trolley.


‘Mum was right, eat your veggies!’
Eating a variety of vegetables is a great way to boost your nutritional status. Enjoy all of them but focus on those with a dark, rich colour such as spinach, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.


Grains are great.
Choose whole grain foods such as breads, oatmeal and brown rice over the processed types. Read those nutrition labels – ‘brown bread’ is not necessarily ‘wholemeal bread’’


Basic is better.
In general, the less processed your food is, the better. A piece of fresh fruit is better than fruit juice, which is far better than chewy fruit sweets. Keep it simple and you can't lose.


Moderation is the way to go.
There is nothing harmful about a rare indulgence. Have a slice of birthday cake and treat yourself to a double scoop of your favourite ice cream on a sunny afternoon - just don't do it every day or even every week, for that matter. Make up the bulk of your family's diet from healthy, natural, wholesome foods and then you won't have to feel guilty when you do give in to the occasional temptation.