Eating well is a foundation stone for good health, especially in later life. If you can enjoy a wholesome balanced diet, with a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, you’ll have more energy, find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and generally feel better all round.
A great way to know exactly what you’re eating and avoid the additives, preservatives or high levels of salt and sugars in many pre-prepared foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Lots of healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, getting you ‘fuelled up’ ready for the day ahead. Porridge oats are a particularly good choice for breakfast because they are a complex carbohydrate, providing slow-releasing energy throughout the morning. Oats contain magnesium, iron and zinc as well as the B vitamins.
You can make porridge with water or milk – when you use milk the vitamin, mineral and calcium content increases, but so does the fat, protein and calorie content. A good compromise is to use skimmed milk and water, as in this recipe from the NHS Change 4 Life website, which has lots of suggestions for healthy and nutritious meals throughout the day.
Serving six, it only takes around 10 minutes’ preparation time and a further 10 minutes’ cooking time. You could make less by halving the ingredients, or let any surplus cool then keep it the fridge to reheat for later that day or the following morning, but don’t keep it for longer than that.
- 200g porridge oats
- 300ml skimmed milk
- 750ml water
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 200g raspberries (thawed if frozen)
- 4 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
- Put the porridge oats into a saucepan with the skimmed milk and water. Heat, stirring continuously, until the porridge thickens. Reduce the heat and simmer for three to four minutes, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the bananas in a bowl. Stir half of the mashed bananas into the porridge. Add the raspberries to the rest of the mashed banana and squash them in a little with the fork.
- Share the porridge between six warm bowls and top each portion with the Greek yoghurt and the banana and raspberry mixture, then serve.
Tip: You could vary the recipe by replacing the raspberries with other soft fruit or a summer fruits mix, which is available frozen from most supermarkets. Make sure you let it thaw before using.
* Each serving of this recipe contains: Energy 904kj/214kcal; protein 8.8g; carbohydrate 35.6g, of which sugars 12.4g; fat 31g, of which saturates 0.6g; fibre 4.3g; sodium 57mg, equivalent to 0.1g salt.