Keeping control of what's on your plate starts with what you're putting in your shopping trolley.
So before you head out of the door, take a bit of time to plan your shop.
Make a shopping list
Yes, it might seem like a simple thing but it really makes a difference. Sticking to a list means you're far less likely to get lured into buying things you really don't need.
Consider creating a shopping list based on the eatwell food groups (opens in a new window) to include a variety of healthy food choices.
Get the whole family involved and making suggestions for the shopping list. Children (and adults too!) might be more willing to try new, healthier foods when they help to pick them.
You can plan your food shop in order to minimise waste with a handy app at Love Food Hate Waste (opens in a new window).
Don't shop on an empty stomach
If you're shopping on a full stomach you're far less likely to grab high sugar, quick fixes. So always eat before you hit the supermarket aisles.
Stick to small servings
Don't be tempted by value meals or supersized portions. They may be good value for money, but they're often bad bargains in terms of calories.
Check the labels
Food usually has a recommended serving size and lots of nutritional information on the packaging. Take a look - it might make you think twice about that ready meal.
You can read more about how to understand food labels in the information in the related documents section of this page.
When choosing your meals and ingredients see if there are healthier versions which are lower in salt, fat and sugar. Try some of the following swaps.
- Swap white breads, bagels and muffins for whole grain varieties.
- Swap creamy or cheesy sauces for tomato or vegetable-based sauces on your pasta.
- Swap sugar-coated breakfast cereal for a whole grain breakfast cereal such as porridge.
- Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt.
NHS Livewell has more ideas for healthy food swaps (opens in a new window).
Get some simple, easy ideas for quick food swaps in the information in the related documents section of this page.
Support your local producers and try getting your veg and fruit at a farmers market. You'll get wholesome, seasonal produce and you'll be boosting the local economy too.
The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)