Did you know…?

If you know someone who is pregnant and under the age of 18, or who is at least 10 weeks pregnant or has a child under the age of 4 and they or their family are claiming financial support, then they can get help to buy food and milk through The Healthy Start Scheme.

For more information on the eligibility criteria visit: or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823.

There’s so much advice out there about how to cook and eat healthily, it can be overwhelming.

What is ‘healthy’?
The best, simplest route is to eat lots of fruit, vegetables, pulses (like lentils and chickpeas) nuts and seeds, in different colours and shapes – in as natural a form as possible.

Try to eat less meat, and avoid processed meat like ham, sausages, and meat in ready-meals. Why not have a meat-free day every week, or a meat-free meal every day?

Choose wholegrain carbohydrates, like brown rice, wholemeal bread, beans and pulses. Try and eat food that’s low in added fat and sugar. Lots of ready prepared produces use the food traffic light system, explained on the NHS’s Change for Life website.

Try to choose food that is as natural as possible and not mixed with too many fats, sugars and e-numbers. Looking for foods made of just a few recognisable ingredients can be a good sign that they’re not overly processed.

Learn new recipes
There are lots of great places to find healthy recipes and video demonstrations online. The first two in the list below are amazing Bristol organisations who have created cook-along videos – plus some other resources:

Square Food Foundation on YouTube – from fishcakes to flapjack and everything in between, Square Food’s short, simple recipes are easy to follow and focus on everyday ingredients.

The Children’s Kitchen Bristol (a Feeding Bristol project) has some delicious recipes available in 16 languages, all of which are spoken in Bristol.

Food Savvy is a hub for delicious, affordable, healthy and climate-friendly recipes, with lots of information on how to save money, store food so it lasts longer, make the most of leftovers and more.

The British Heart Foundation have a recipe finder with filters for dietary and cultural needs, cooking time, health conditions and more.

Food with Chetna is the YouTube channel of Chetna Makan of Great British Bake Off  fame. It has lots of great short videos demonstrating simple recipes that use everyday ingredients.

BBC Good Food Together is a popular Facebook group you can join to ask for ideas for ingredients, and find inspiration from the community of cooks – from complete beginning to experts. Expect a LOT of suggestions!

NHS Easy Meals app, available from your app store, is a good resource for healthy, nutritious, simple recipes.

BBC Good Food Magazine give some top tips on how to get more veg in your diet.

Migrateful, based in London and Bristol, takes you on a cultural journey, with cookery demonstrations and courses taught by expert migrant and refugee cooks from all over the world.

Ideas to try
Why not try a new recipe every week?
By trying something new every week, you can quickly build up a catalogue of favourite go-to recipes, making cooking easier and more enjoyable. Use our planner to help you organise your meals, and keep on track.

Or, why not download the brilliant Whisk app for meal and shopping list planning and recipe saving?

Eat seasonal and local food at home
This invariably means your food will be fresher and more nutritious, as it’s had less far to travel. A good place to find out what’s in season throughout the year is Eat the Seasons. And it doesn’t get much fresher than home-grown.

Eat healthy food out
We all need time off from cooking at home. Keep healthy when you’re out and about too by choosing a restaurant that has a Bristol Eating Better award. This award supports and rewards businesses that offer healthier food options and promote sustainability. Find out more here.

Chopping cabbage with a sharp knifeWant to learn to love cooking more?
Cooking isn’t a joy for everyone, and if that sounds like you, we’ve got a few simple ideas that might just make it that little bit more enjoyable.

Get a good chef’s knife – chopping veg with a blunt knife is a chore. It’s much safer too. You can get a good knife for around £10.

Notice the colours, patterns, aromas and even sounds as you prepare food. Food is full of surprises. Pay attention to the sensory treats hiding in that cabbage. This is a great one to try with children.

Taste your recipes as you cook and try to regard balancing the flavours and textures of a dish as a game every time you make a meal. Try to balance the tastes of sweet, sour, salty, umami and bitter. A variety of textures makes a meal more interesting, too. How can you introduce some fresh crunch, or something smooth and silky?

So you’ve got a good idea how to make it happen.
Have a look at some ACTIVITIES for you to read online or print out to put these changes into practice at home.

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