Healthy eating

This Wednesday (October 16) is World Food Day. As obesity rates soar around the world, this year it is promoting healthy, sustainable diets for every person on Earth.

A healthy diet is all about balance. That means lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates; lots of water; less sugar.

This matters, because a balanced diet plays an essential role in staying healthy throughout your life. Overeating can lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, while obesity has been linked to a higher risk of cancer.

Undereating or cutting out major food groups can also seriously affect your health. The human body needs protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals to function properly — so, if you are vegan, gluten-free or lactose intolerant, it is still important to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients.

But healthy eating is not just about the physical benefits. Scientists have found that eating well actually makes us happier. A balanced diet and regular exercise are two of the best ways to improve our mental as well as our physical health.

Why not set yourself a healthy lifestyle challenge and see whether it helps to improve your mood?

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Assembly

World Food Day is also about promoting more diversity in food, in order to protect the world’s delicate food supplies. Just eight plant species supply more than 50% of Earth’s calories, which puts us in danger if one of them fails. This animated video explains more about the race to save endangered crops.

Activities

  1. Write a list of five reasons why it is important to have a healthy diet.
  2. As a class, take it in turns to share various pieces of advice you have been given about food. These could come from school, family, friends, social media or elsewhere. Then, research which ones are true, and which are untrue or exaggerated.
  3. Make a poster or video which gives advice about healthy eating to young children.