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Eat well: food and health

Good food is essential to good health, whatever age you are. Eating a balanced diet will not only keep you healthy but also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

What is a healthy diet?

Girl holding a cherry tomato

A healthy, balanced diet contains a variety of foods, including:

  • plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice
  • some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and lentils
  • some dairy foods.

It should also be low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar.

Visit the 5 A DAY website to get ideas on how to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

I want to eat more healthily

We run various food projects to help encourage children and adults to be able to cook and enjoy healthy food, even if your budget is tight:

Cook and Eat groups

Cook and Eat groups operate across West Sussex, in places as diverse as community centres, schools and centres for the elderly. 

You will learn:

  • how to cook healthy meals

  • why it's important to eat a healthy diet

  • how diet can affect your health

  • how to eat healthily on a budget.

These courses are designed to help people develop basic cookery skills and are not advanced or specialised cookery classes. 

Contact cookerychampions@btinternet.com for more information about Cook and Eat groups.

Cookery Clubs: training people to become Cook and Eat group leaders

Learning to prepare a healthy meal

NHS West Sussex currently provides free training for people working within West Sussex who want to brush up on their nutrition and cooking knowledge and become cookery leaders.

The training is for people who would like to deliver the Cook and Eat course or other food and health initiatives within their organisation or who would like to work as a cookery leader within the county.

The training covers the following topics:

  • why it's important to eat a healthy diet
  • how diet affects health
  • how to eat healthily on a budget
  • a practical session on feeding a family of 4 for just £3
  • how to plan and run a cookery session.

If you would like to become a Cookery Club leader

Contact cookerychampions@btinternet.com for more information.

If you work with vulnerable communities, you can find out more about becoming a Cookery Club leader on a free three-day training course (June-July and September 2010 in Worthing and Crawley). 

In Bognor Regis, regular cookery clubs are run for local residents around the Community Centre by Bognor Community Action Network. If you live in this area contact the centre directly on 01243 870406.

If you are interested in cookery clubs in school, please contact the Healthy Schools team on 01293 435618.   

If you are a cookery club leader

Visit the resources page on the NHS West Sussex Health Professionals site for ideas and information.