Eat Well

What we eat every day has a big impact on our health. A balanced diet is eating more of what our body needs and less of what it doesn’t. We can still eat a wide range of delicious foods, while keeping an eye on our intake of sugar, fat and salt. No single food provides all the nutrients we need, therefore it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods.


Use the Eatwell Guide to help you get the balance right. It demonstrates how much of each different food group you should be aiming to eat each day.    


The Eatwell Guide is suitable for use with children over the age of five, adolescents and most adults and helps us understand and enjoy healthy eating. It is not appropriate for babies, children under 5 years, frail older people and people who are seriously ill.


Click here to explore the Eatwell Guide further.


Feeding babies and children under 5 years of age


Young children have a high requirement for energy and nutrition relative to size. Insufficient energy will lead to weight loss and delayed development, while over feeding leads to obesity. All nutrients are important at this age but protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D and fibre are particularly important. Milk (breast or formula) will meet requirements for the first 6 months. The World Health Organization (WHO) “recommends that ideally babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six month. Breastfeeding should continue after solids have started until the second year of life and beyond”. 

  • Solids should be introduced from 6 months to meet increasing nutritional requirements
  • By 12 months a child can move on to full cream cow’s milk.  They can eat the same foods (more or less) as adults and should be eating three healthy meals a day plus snacks
  • Care should be taken over salt and sugar content of the diet
  • Fats should not be overly restricted in children under 5 years of age

For more information:


Weaning made easy


Getting a Good Start 1-5 year olds


Pregnant women


Eating for a healthy pregnancy is very important because everything you eat and drink can influence your baby’s health. You don’t need to go on a special diet, but you do need to get a good balance of food in order to make sure your baby gets all the nutrients they need. There is no need to eat for two, eating a varied diet made up from the four main food groups shown in the eatwell guide is enough. Try to eat regularly – three meals a day – to ensure you and your baby get all the nutrients needed. For more information click here.


Breastfeeding mothers


You don't need to eat anything special while you're breastfeeding. But it's a good idea for you to eat a healthy diet. Healthy eating whilst breastfeeding is no different from any other time of your life. To make sure you are getting a good balance of nutrients for you and your baby follow the eatwell guideFor further information on breastfeeding clcik here.


Healthy Eating for Older Adults


As we get older a good diet and keeping active can help us age well and prevent potential health problems.
For information and guidance on healthy eating for older adults click here


Vitamin D


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for everyone, to help develop and maintain healthy bones. Although many people get enough vitamin D, some, need more and should take a vitamin D supplement. Most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight, so even a healthy well balanced diet that provides all the other vitamins and nutrients needed it is unlikely to provide enough vitamin D.


Vitamin D supplements are recommended for the following groups:

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • People who are confined indoors for long periods and those who cover their skin for cultural reasons
  • People who have darker skin (e.g. those of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin)

For more information about vitamin D supplements and the amount to take click here.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Obesity is one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland today.  The Health Survey (NI) 2016/17 first results have reported: “27% of adults were classed as obese with a further (36%) classed as overweight. The proportion of adults classed as overweight or obese has increased to 63%”. This has a negative impact on both our physical and mental health. For more information click here.

To find out whether your weight is increasing your risk of developing serious illnesses, including information on measuring your waist and Body Mass Index (BMI) click here.  


Just 100 Calories extra a day could mean 10lbs of weight gain a year.
























For more information on maintaining a healthy weight, including healthy recipe ideas:

Further Information

The Health Improvement Department has launched their new training brochure for March 2018 - September 2018. To find out more about the courses they are offering click here

The Health Improvement Department is based within the Health Improvement, Equality & Involvement Department and provides a range of free information leaflets and training opportunities.

Catalogue of resources

Community Cuisine Newsletter Autumn 2017

The community Food and Nutrition Team takes a community development approach to promoting good nutrition in the following areas: Early Years-Later Years-Food Poverty and Learning Disability. We provide training and support for community based food and nutrition initiatives and offer workshops, taster sessions and updates on a variety of nutrition topics. 

Click on the button below.


Click on the thumbnails below to watch our videos to learn more about Community Food and Nutrition training opportunities.



Nutrition Resource

The Nutrition Resource provides links to nutrition based information and has been designed for use by the general public and staff working in the community and voluntary sector. Hopefully it will encourage individual’s to adopt and promote a healthier diet and lifestyle