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Let's get cooking

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Eating a healthy, balanced diet helps us to feel good, gives us more energy and can help to improve our mood and mental health. As well as the health benefits, learning the core skills involved when cooking with fresh ingredients can also help to save us money.

Healthy eating

There are a few simple steps that we can all take to ensure that we’re living a healthier lifestyle. Some practical tips given by the NHS include:

•    Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day.
•    Starchy foods, such as potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta and bread, should make up around a third of the foods that we eat.
•    Try and eat a wide variety of fish.
•    Cut down on sugar and saturated fat.
•    Cut down on salt.
•    Be aware of your calories. On average men need around 2,500 calories a day, while the average women needs 2,000.
•    Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water, milk and fruit juices – we need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid a day.
•    Eat a healthy breakfast.
•    Get active – go for a walk, get on your bike, dance, run –just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a real difference.

We only have to make small changes in our diet to make a difference to our lives and one project that that is helping to promote this is Let’s get cooking.

Working with local authorities, charities and community organisations, Let’s get cooking help to set up cooking clubs and give demonstrations to give everyone the opportunity to learn how to cook and enjoy good food.

One of their latest projects will be at Calvert Road in Swindon. Offering supported housing for ten people living with a variety of mental health conditions, the scheme welcomes the ‘Let’s get cooking’ health ambassadors on May 29 for the first of three sessions that will run over the next few weeks. Nine different meals will be cooked over the sessions to give a good idea of how you can eat healthily without sacrificing taste.

Bromford support worker, Corrina Rose said that the ‘let’s get cooking’ event will help her customers to ‘learn new techniques and skills’. She says that they all live independently in their flats and at the moment there is a tendency for them to buy microwave meals and take-aways. ‘They’re all on low incomes and dependent on welfare benefits and these sessions will hopefully teach them how to eat healthily on a budget’.