The five food groups
You should eat sensibly, choosing a range of foods from the five food groups in the correct proportions:
- bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
- milk and dairy products
- food and drinks high in fat and / or sugar
- meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non dairy sources of protein
- fruit and vegetables
- basing meals and snacks on starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, noodles and cereal
- avoiding adding fat or using it in cooking
- having at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned or dried. Fruit juice, beans and pulses count but only once a day
- having 2 to 3 portions of dairy foods each day. A portion is a small pot of yoghurt or 30g of cheese or 1/3 pint of milk. Try to have reduced fat versions such as fat-free yoghurt, cottage cheese or Edam cheese, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
- choosing moderate amounts of fish, meat and pulses. Avoid frying and remove the skin from chicken and excess fat from meat
- eating foods containing fat and sugar sparingly. Try to have reduced fat / sugar products
- limiting red meat and advoiding processed meat. Follow these links to the NHS website for more information on vegetarian and vegan diets.
The Eatwell Guide from the Food Standards Agency shows the recommended amounts you should eat from each food group.
Tips for healthy eating on a budget
Buying healthy food on a budget can be easier if you know how to shop smart. These tips can help you get more value for your money.
Compare prices online to find the best bargains for ingredients. Look for a loyalty scheme if you shop from a particular place. You can compare prices online at Price Comparison.je or download the app on android or the apple store.
Plan your shopping list
A shopping list can make all the difference in keeping organised. Base this on a meal plan for the week and double-check what you have already before heading out. Healthy recipe ideas are available from NHS Better Health.
Compare unit prices
When deciding what to buy, use the unit pricing label found on the shelves (e.g., £0.33 per 100g). This allows you to compare between products to ensure you are getting the best deal.
Value and store branded
Value brands often taste just as good and are as nutritionally adequate. Using supermarket ranges can lead to significant savings.
Be wary of the multi-buys
Multi-buy and discounted food items can be great, but only if you can eat them before they expire. Don't buy what you don't need.
Frozen, tinned, and seasonal
Eating seasonal fruit and veg when widely available is usually cheaper and introduces a diversity of vitamins and minerals into the diet. Tinned and frozen fruit and veg can also be great value for money and just as nutritious.
Healthy snacks don't need to be expensive
When snacking, try to choose:
- fruit or dried fruit
- plain, low-fat yoghurt
- unsalted nuts and seeds
Homemade popcorn with herbs can also be a great snack rather than using salt, butter and sugar.
Wholegrain food varieties rather than white products
Try to include more wholegrain versions of:
- other grains
These can help you to feel fuller for longer, will release energy gradually throughout the day and will help keep your bowel regular. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important.
Frozen, plant and tin-based protein
Plant proteins provide a way of including protein at a cheaper price and include:
Tinned and frozen fish and meat without coatings and sauces can be bought cheaper and are often healthier options.
Minimise food waste
Small actions can all make a big difference to our pockets, our health and to the planet like:
- storing food in the right places
- freezing leftovers and ingredients before their use by date
- measuring out the right amounts
Visit Olio online to learn more about food waste in Jersey.