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Top Tips For Healthy Eating In A Family

As part of my series on ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks‘ I’m starting with a description of what on earth healthy eating might look like.  This isn’t a whole treatise on nutrition, just a set of simple rules for a family to look at and apply as many as are reasonably possible.

15 Simple Rules To Remember


What are the rules I try to follow that make my cooking healthy?

  1. Eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day (a portion of fruit is probably a handful, otherwise it’s obvious with apples/ bananas/oranges)
  2. Eat different colours of fruit and vegetables a day
  3. Limit the wheat intake per day so not cereal, plus a sandwich, plus pasta for dinner
  4. Eat the brown version: bread, sugar, rice, pasta
  5. Assume any ready meal or ready sauce will have extra sugar and fat, so don’t buy them apart from emergencies
  6. Cook from scratch as often as possible
  7. Don’t buy low fat, it’s probably high in sugar
  8. Don’t buy low sugar, it’s probably high in fat
  9. Don’t buy low fat, low sugar, it’s high in bad stuff for you
  10. Don’t eat stuff with chemicals in it or has had loads of chemical processing
  11. Don’t fry in fat where grill/oven/stir fry would work just as well
  12. Eat a **mixture of carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables
  13. Have snacks in the morning and evening
  14. Eat at least something little in the morning for breakfast
  15. Treats are fine, just not every day and not all day


**Definitions of the ‘mixtures’

Carbohydrates are things like potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, cereals, porridge.

Whole Grain Carbohydrates is full of fibre and very good for your digestion (i.e the brown versions of things)

Protein is meat, fish, eggs, beans

Dairy is milk, cheese, yogurt

Weaning babies only need to balance their weekly intake of food, as they grow older you will look to balance their daily intake, until eventually most meals are balanced as adults or teens.



So What Would A Main Meal Look Like?

Healthy Eating For Families


  • One portion of protein the size of your *palm
  • One portion of carbohydrates the size of your *palm
  • Half a plate of salad or vegetables

A Palm is not your HAND! It’s the middle bit where there are no fingers!

My kids probably eat more like a quarter of a plate of vegetables, but then eat more fruit than me for dessert

So it’s pretty simple isn’t it with just 15 rules?  I know that there are fabulous nutritionists out there who have written massive books on this subject.  So when the kids have grown up and you’ve got more time you can go and find out loads more.  But in the meantime these simple rules will keep you on the straight and narrow, plus I’ve got a pile more posts to come to help you when tackling a few more specific issues with healthy eating in a family.

(BTW there is also more information if you check out my weight loss posts)


6 thoughts on “Top Tips For Healthy Eating In A Family

  1. We’ve (husband and I) been following a well known recognised diet programme since early this month, with much success I have to add – yay! After the excesses of Christmas we really just needed some structure around our daily eating plans. Chocolate for breakfast was really not cutting the mustard anymore. This post caught my attention for one reason only – I love rule number 2 – eat different colours of fruit and vegetables a day. The sensible part of my brain says there’s likely some science behind that – different colours provide different vitamins / nutrients / benefits. But the idea of choosing an item of fruit to munch, or vegetables to add to the soup or load on the dinner plates simply on the basis of choosing lots of different colours really appeals to my silly side! I’m going to give it a go this week and see what we end up with….!

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