Handy Hints

Cooking tasty, healthy meals for your family doesn't need to cost you lots of time or money. Select a topic below to find out how you could make a change.

Cutting Down Sugar


When your kids are given sweet snacks by friends, encourage them to eat small portions. Chocolate can be broken into pieces and cakes and biscuits can be cut in half.

Make a crumble

Fruit crumbles are tasty and easy to make without much sugar. Served with low fat, lower-sugar yoghurt and sprinkled with cinnamon they still feel like a treat.

Try yoghurt

Low-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt can be a great alternative to ice cream. You can try many different fruit yoghurts from the supermarket.

For the weekend

Tinned fruit in its own juice can be a delicious treat. A handful of dried apricots, cranberries or raisins are also a tasty choice after a meal.

Bigger isn't better

Big bottles of pop and juice might seem like a better deal - but they often mean you’re drinking more sugar.

Halve ice cream

When you eat ice cream at home, try giving half what you'd normally serve your family, adding more fruit instead.

Wholegrain bread

Wholegrain toast is a healthier option than sugary cereal. And if the kids fancy jam, you can spread it thinly – it’s just as tasty!

Fill the gap

If your kids are hungry before dinner, toast with low fat spread or hummus will keep them going.

Try lower-fat milk

Try replacing sugary, fizzy drinks with low-fat milk. It tastes great when it's fresh and cold, and it's full of calcium too!

Treat less

Many families choose one day of the week for sweet treats.

Sparkling surprise

Try sparkling water poured over ice, served with a slice of lemon or lime, or a dash of cordial. With a couple of straws it feels like a treat!


Instead of jam,  lower-fat soft cheese tastes great on bagels, especially when you cover with lovely sliced banana.

Perfect porridge oats

It's delicious if you mix plain porridge oats with fruit and low fat, lower-sugar yoghurt before leaving it soften overnight in the fridge. Served up the next day, it’s delicious!

Portion size

We don’t all need to eat the same amount of food, so serve the right amount for your child – kids need less than adults.

Don't buy it

It's often simplest to just not have treats in the house! When you're shopping, avoid the sweet aisle and don't buy sweets at the checkout.

Get them involved

When your kids help prepare healthier snacks, they are more likely to eat them!

Try sugar-free

When you buy fizzy drinks, try the sugar-free or diet options. Your family probably won't notice the difference!

Fruit and yoghurt

Try adding different fruit – like raspberries or blueberries – and low-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt to plain cereal instead of sugar.

Be prepared

If you're out and about with your kids, or picking them up from school, bring some pre-prepared healthy snacks with you. 

Limit juices and smoothies

Fruit juices and smoothies might be sugary, but they still count towards your 5 A DAY. Limit yourself to 150mls, and try and drink it with a meal to help prevent tooth decay.

Share desserts

When you're eating out and you fancy a pudding, why not share? Serving staff are very used to giving two spoons and two plates for one pudding.