Easy ways to be food smart

It's easier than you think to take control throughout the day


A good breakfast is an important part of the day. Get off to a great start with some simple breakfast tips.

Try a breakfast swap


Sugary cereal


Plain cereal such as plain porridge, plain wholewheat biscuit cereals, or plain shredded wholewheat

Top tips for breakfast

Go bananas

Try adding a sliced banana to plain porridge or plain wholewheat biscuits (like Weetabix or supermarket own-brand varieties). It's one of your 5 A DAY, too!

Fruit and yoghurt

When serving up plain cereal, try adding different fruit – like raspberries or blueberries – and low-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt.


Try semi-skimmed, 1% or fully skimmed milk with cereal – but remember, fully skimmed milks are not suitable for children under 5.

Wholegrain bread

Instead of sugary cereal, try wholegrain toast. And if they want jam or low-fat spreads, spread it thinly – it’s just as tasty!

Perfect porridge oats

Mix plain porridge oats with fruit and low fat, lower-sugar yoghurt and leave it soften overnight in the fridge. Served up the next day, it’s delicious!


Try lower-fat soft cheese on bagels topped with scrummy sliced banana.

Forget jams and chocolate spreads – mash a banana and spread it on toast instead. Experiment with other soft fruits, like berries.

Mum, Cheltenham


Sugary drinks have no place in our kids’ daily diets.

Try a drinks swap


Sugary drinks, fizzy drinks and juice drinks


Plain water, lower-fat milks and no added sugar/low sugar drinks

Top tips for drinks

Use a glass

Pour a healthier drink into a cup or glass and they may not notice it’s different to the more sugary one they’re used to.

Limit juices and smoothies

Fruit juices and smoothies are sugary but still count as one of your 5 A DAY. Limit to 150mls a day and have it with a meal because it can cause tooth decay.

Bigger isn't better!

When shopping, it’s easy to think you’re getting a better deal with the big bottles of pop and juice - but it just means you’re drinking more sugar.

Try sugar-free

If buying fizzy drinks, why not try the sugar-free or diet options? No one will likely notice the difference!

Try lower-fat milk

Instead of sugary, fizzy drinks, try lower-fat milks for a change. Fresh and ice-cold from the fridge, it tastes great, and it’s a great source of calcium too.

Sparkling surprise

Instead of a fizzy drink, try sparkling water poured over ice, served with a wedge of lime or lemon. Add a couple of straws and it should go down refreshingly well!

For a weekend treat, blend a banana with some ice cubes and cold semi-skimmed milk and sprinkle with cinnamon – scrummy!

Mum, Manchester

After school

Kids are often hungry after school, so put together some healthier snacks to take with you. Then, if sweets and cakes tempt them, you've got a healthier alternative to offer!

Try an after school swap




Fruit, cut-up veg, plain rice cakes, toast or bagel

Top tips for after school


If you find your child is offered sweet snacks by friends, try to limit how much they eat by keeping them small. Cut chocolate into squares and break cakes and biscuits in half.

Get them involved

Ask your kids to help prepare healthier snacks – they are more likely to eat it, if they’ve helped prepared it!

Be prepared

Before you pick up the kids from school, put together some healthier snacks to take with you. Then if sweets and cakes tempt them, you’ve got a handy alternative to offer!

Fill the gap

Toast with low-fat spreads or reduced fat hummus will help keep them going until dinner time.

Treat less

Some families find it helpful to only have sweet snacks once a week.

Don't buy it

Try the simplest tip in the book – don’t have sugary snacks in the house! Skip that aisle in the supermarket and avoid the checkouts with loads of treats on display.

I left carrots and cucumber sticks on the table so they were there when they came in and they went straight for them instead of into the cupboard. I was actually quite shocked.

Mum, Herts


Cutting down on sugar doesn’t mean no more puds! Try these tips for healthier desserts.

Try a pudding swap


Chilled dessert, yoghurt, ice cream, sugary jelly, puddings


Lower-fat, lower-sugar yoghurts, fruit, tinned fruit or sugar-free jelly, tinned fruit (in juice, not syrup)

Top tips for puddings

Portion size

Don’t forget about ‘me sized’ puds because we don’t all need to eat the same amount of food – and children need less than adults.

Halve ice cream

If you're having ice cream at home, try serving up half what you would normally give your family and add more fruit instead.

Make a crumble

Apple and blackberry crumble is easy to make without much sugar. Serve with a dollop of low-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt sprinkled with cinnamon.

For the weekend

Want a weekend treat? Try fruit…tinned fruit in its own juice is delicious; a handful of dried cranberries or raisins are a tasty choice after a meal.

Share desserts

If eating out for a treat and you fancy topping it off with a pudding – why not share? Restaurants are very happy to bring one pudding and two or more spoons.

Try yoghurt

If you fancy ice cream, choose low-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt instead. There are some very tasty fruit options in the supermarket.

I make banana ice lollies by peeling a banana and pushing in a lolly stick and freezing them. They taste great and are a great healthy alternative to normal ice lollies and count towards your 5 A DAY.

Mum, Selkirk

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