World Health Day
World Health Day is celebrated annually on 7 April and marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948.
World Health Day is a global campaign that invites everyone to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. This year's theme for World Health Day, "Ageing and Health: Good health adds life to years", highlights how good health throughout life can help older people lead full and productive lives.
In line with World Health Day's theme, the Western Cape College of Nursing (WCCN) of the Western Cape Government's Department of Health will create awareness around the day on 14 April 2012 at the Vangate Mall.
Most South Africans are not as healthy as they should be. Children are especially amongst those who are underweight, get sick easily or do not grow properly. This can be caused by eating too little food or not being able to enjoy a variety of foods to give them all the nutrients their bodies need. By following this guide to healthy eating, every single South African can make wise food choices for themselves and their families on 2012's World Health Day.
What Should I Eat to Be Healthy?
- Eat a variety of different foods.
- It is important to eat different types of food that contain all the nutrients our bodies need.
- The best way to obtain all of the nutrients is to eat three meals a day, and to include a variety of foods at these meal times.
- Young children should have extra food between meals because their stomachs are smaller.
What are Considered Good Mixed Meals to Eat?
Make starchy foods the basis of most meals:
- Starchy foods are rich sources of carbohydrates, which supply the body with energy.
- Choose starchy foods such as maize meal, bread, rice and potatoes.
- Starchy foods should make up the main part of the meal, and other food should be served with them to provide extra nutrients.
Chicken, fish, meat, milk or eggs should be eaten daily:
- These foods are good sources for many of the nutrients our bodies need.
- These include protein and minerals to build muscles, bones, teeth and blood.
- Eat small portions of these foods daily.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit:
- Vegetables and fruit supply lots of vitamins and minerals that are good for our health.
- Eat at least five portions of vegetables and/or fruits a day; remember to add vegetables to starchy food.
Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soya regularly:
- These foods are rich sources of protein; protein is needed to build, repair and maintain our body's muscles and tissues.
- Eat these foods at least three times a week with starchy foods.
Examples of Good Mixed Meals
|Soft porridge with milk/sour milk/maas |
Tea with milk
|Brown bread sandwiches with pilchards |
Tea or coffee with milk
|Samp and beans |
Stewed tomato and onion
Spinach and pumpkin
|Brown bread with margarine thinly spread and jam |
Tea with milk
|Brown bread with margarine thinly spread and baked beans |
Tea or coffee with milk
|Stiff maize meal porridge |
Chicken stew with carrots
|Remember to drink between six and eight glasses of water per day|
Other Useful Guidelines
- Use salt sparingly. Add very little or no salt to foods at the table and during cooking, as a high intake of salt has been linked with high blood pressure.
- Use fats sparingly. An eating pattern high in fat has been linked with being overweight, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
- Drink lots of water. Water helps with the digestion and absorption of food and with the removal of waste products.
- Use food and drinks containing sugar sparingly and not between meals. These should not be taken instead of mixed meals, but can be enjoyed in small anmounts as a treat after a mixed meal.
- Be active. Being active and eating healthy are the best ways to prevent us from gaining weight or developing ailments such as osteoporosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.