Your Guide to Health and Wellness

(Western Cape Government)

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.

 
Health and Wellness

 

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

BreakfastLunchSupper
Soft porridge with milk/sour milk/maas
Tea with milk
Banana
Brown bread sandwiches with pilchards
Tea or coffee with milk
Orange
Samp and beans
Stewed tomato and onion
Spinach and pumpkin
Brown bread with margarine thinly spread and jam
Tea with milk
Apple
Brown bread with margarine thinly spread and baked beans
Banana
Tea or coffee with milk
Stiff maize meal porridge
Chicken stew with carrots
Green beans
Cooked cabbage
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.
The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014