Healthy Eating
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Beginning to eat healthier

Hi, new to this forum but I'm hopeful this might help. I'm a teenager, so I don't havea choice over what to eat for dinner but lunch, breakfast, and snacks throughout the day is my responsibility. I am trying to make healthier eating choices and exercise more. I already lead a pretty active lifestyle and I'm trying to eat healthy things to fuel that. I'm not able to spend a ton of money on healthy snacks so I'm hoping to get some suggestions on cheap healthy snacks I can bring to school or things I can make at home to spend less money. I also want some suggestions on healthy meals that I don't need to heat up since I'm usually at school. I'm trying to do the whole '7 small meals throughout the day' thing instead of 3 larger meals so I just want some suggestions on healthy foods that I can take to school and eat. I wake up early and exercise every morning and then twice a week I go to the gym after school. Losung weight isn't my goal, I just want my body to be strong and healthy. Thanks!

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If wheat isn't an issue for you I'd just go for pasta or rice salads for school with whatever veg, nuts and beans you can afford chopped up in it with a bit of fish or chicken. You can stick it a Tupperware box and snack on it throughout the day when you get the chance. Smaller more frequent meals don't necessarily have to all be different if you have a high number of the healthiest ingredients in one dish.

You just need a couple of diff oils like olive, almond, walnut or avocado and a range of dried herbs and spices to change the flavour up without dodgy secret sugar dressings.

Good luck whatever you end up doing

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That sounds really good I will definitely take that for lunch sometimes!

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Hiya I make my teenager take a packed lunch to school because the food on offer isn’t great, so whole meal bread with lots of salad content, then he takes an apple orange etc, your school might not allow nuts but if you can almonds make a good snack. Fruit and veg probably make the cheapest and easy snack. It’s really good that you are so interested in healthy eating , well done

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Thank you! I will definitely take some of these for snacks. I hate the lunchroom food too

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O no, do secondary schools not allow nuts ?! My kids are still in primary but I was looking forward to them being able to have nuts when they went to secondary.

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Mine does but it depends where you are

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Do you mean where you are in the school?

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Yes. Different schools have different rules for that

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Oh, cheers. It's one of the few healthy things they actually enjoy eating. You're making a good choice, I hope my kids do too.

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Lots of people on here have porridge with fruit and nuts added for breakfast it’s really filling and would keep you going until lunch, also remember to drink loads of water especially as you are so active

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Honestly, I would try to drop the idea of snacks and focus on eating proper food at home. The only people who would need to eat 7 times are day are world-class athletes and bodybuilders.

You say you "don't have a choice" about your home meals, but surely your parents will support your endeavours? Why not try to get them to join in? My personal experience - and this won't necessarily work for you - is that a big breakfast will set you up until lunchtime. It DOES take some getting used to (I skipped breakfast for many years) but it is really, really worthwhile getting up early to prepare and enjoy a proper breakfast. You'll feel so much better, especially if you're sporty.

I eat pretty much the same thing every day: two eggs, homemade sausages and bacon, usually some mushrooms or fried peppers or similar, a big side salad, and some homemade yoghurt. Make sure every meal has LOTS of vegetables and something with fat and protein (cheese, eggs, meat, etc). Human bodies are much better at managing fat for fuel than starches/sugars.

I really don't recommend eating large amounts of starchy food either for breakfast or for any other meal: you'll probably gain weight, and you'll feel low (ie., you'll want to snack) a couple of hours later.

+1 to Kay_Lee's comments about packed lunches. It's absolutely disgraceful what they serve to students in the canteen.

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I know ! my 11 year old is really difficult and I struggle every day to get him to eat fruit and veg, but on offer at school every single day is pizza and fizzy pop. I am trying to educate him to make correct choices but failing badly

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To be fair to the students, it's VERY hard to not eat what everyone else is eating. If I still had school-age kids I'd be absolutely livid at the trash they have on offer in the canteens these days. A school is supposed to be a place of learning, and what they're teaching kids is that it's OK to fuel up on stuff that's basically coloured and shaped pigfeed (I kid you not - go and look at the ingredients on a bag of hog finisher if you ever get the chance).

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Well done on wanting to take care of your health from an early age. Remember to eat protein (not protein bars) within 20 mins of exercise (to fuel your body). Drink lots of water throughout the day. Avoid shop bought snacks as mostly high in fat & sugar. Make sure you eat a good breakfast, 40g oats, yoghurt & fruit is a good option (swap yoghurt for fat free quark - it's protein) starts your metabolism so never skip breakfast. Will keep you full through the morning so just a piece of fruit would be needed before lunchtime. Protein (cooked chicken, fish or boiled eggs) and some salad is a great lunch with again some fruit. Make mini muffins to put in lunchbox (whatever chopped vegetables or cooked meats you have, whisk an egg and put both into cake case & microwave for 20-30 secs. Body works best on fresh fruit, vegetables & protein. Best of luck.

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A daily bowl of porridge with some blueberries is a fabulous way to start the day. Loads of energy to support both physical and brain demanding tasks. Stay clear of bread, especially white bread, incl seeded, for lunch since that will just cause a sugar spike that will ruin your afternoon. Instead get some whole food nourishment such as raw broccoli florets dipped hummous followed by an orange, perhaps with plain rye or oatmeal crackers/biscuits. Your evening meal should be at least 50% veg, imo. Add some rice to that and a banana or two later on and you are done for the day.

If you find that what your parents eat does not suit you consider investing in an instant pot. This is a modern day equivalent of a pressure cooker. They are not expensive. You can put all your veggies and pulses and flavourings in it, put the lid on and set the timer to have the meal ready when you want it. It is good because you can safely cook with it your room, and even take it to university or away for the weekend.

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excellent suggestion there about one-pot meals. Slow cookers are good too. If you can't afford the ingredients yourself then hopefully your parents will oblige :)

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