Zing Adolescents and Young People

Adolescents and Young People – Staying Happy and Healthy

At Zing, we believe everyone, of all ages, should have access to free, simple, accurate advice on how to stay healthy. This page is designed especially for teenagers and young people, to support you or young people you know with making healthy choices. If there’s anything else you think we should include, please contact us at OneLifeSomerset@somerset.gov.uk.

Why Bother?
The food we eat and our activity levels have a big impact on our health, both physical and mental!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying physically active can help to prevent things like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, depression and anxiety


Check out Zings quick and simple recipes for young people 

Zing young people recipes


You might have moved out or be responsible for your own meals at home, but don’t forget about your 5-a-day!

You might be sick of hearing about it, but it’s true – your 5-a-day are so important, especially if you’re busy with school, college, university, work, and staying in touch with friends.
Fruit and veg contain nutrients which keep your immune system healthy, which you’ll need to help you fight off nasty colds (which always seem to hit when you least want them)! They also help to keep:
• your skin clear and healthy,
• your hair and nails strong,
• you generally feeling good. 


Try to eat a selection of different fruit and veg each week, to make sure you are getting the full range of vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
If you don’t like many vegetables, try eating more of the ones you do like. You may also be surprised at how they can taste different if you cook them differently. Instead of boiling them, try:
– Roasting
– Mashing
– Stir frying or sautéing (frying with minimal oil)
– Adding to sauces/bases (e.g. chilli, bolognaise, curry or stew)

Tip: If you’re worried about them being expensive or time consuming, try keeping a stash of frozen or tinned items – these need almost no prep, still contain all the nutrients, and can be added to all sorts of dishes!
Not sure where to start with cooking?
Cooking can feel quite daunting if you’ve never done much of it before, but it really isn’t difficult and doesn’t need to take ages either (unless you want it to!).
• It’s a good idea to start by following recipes, or at least using them for a bit of guidance and inspiration. If you don’t have everything on the ingredients list, don’t worry! Just use what you have and feel free to add extras.

• Don’t worry about knowing ‘what goes with what’ – have fun and try experimenting with different combinations of ingredients and flavours. You’ll be surprised how many work and you may even make your new favourite meal by accident!

• We have plenty of easy recipes which we have showcased in videos! Check out all our videos on our YouTube channel


Don’t fancy cooking? Strapped for cash?

If you’re busy with work or worried about funds, it can be really easy to reach for the comfort food or cheap snacks. This might help in the short term, but this can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Lots of ready meals and snacks are also very high in sugar, salt and fat, which can contribute to weight gain, mood swings and poor health.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to create a tasty meal in no time, without breaking the bank.
Try adding a handful of plain cooked pasta or rice to a tin of soup for a bulkier dish, or some tinned chopped tomatoes on toast, topped with grated cheese.
Check out more of our easiest recipes here…https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/healthy/eating/


Brain Food – What Works?
You may be tempted to ‘fuel’ your lectures, assignments, revision marathons or long shifts with copious amounts of caffeine and sugar-filled snacks.
Please, don’t.

Overwhelming your body with stimulants will inevitably lead to energy crashes, leaving you feeling worse than before and craving more sugar. Instead, try fuelling up properly with carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Oats, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, paired with nuts, seeds, fish or olive oil will feed your brain properly!
Try some peanut butter and banana slices on wholegrain toast, or tuna pasta salad to get you started.


Keep moving!
Staying active also helps to keep us happy and healthy. This doesn’t mean you have to start jogging or going to the gym – it can be as simple as walking more. Walk to the shop, walk into town, take the stairs instead of the lift; it all adds up.

For a bit more exercise from home, check out Couch to Fitness by Our Parks here


If you’re trying to find an activity, club or session local to you, try SASP’s activity finder here





Look after your head, it’s important.

Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health, and they are actually closely linked. Being physically healthy through good nutrition and regular exercise will help you to stay mentally healthy, too.
As well as food and activity, you should try to make sure you get good quality sleep every night, for at least 7 hours. The amount of sleep you get impacts your mood, your appetite, and your muscle recovery – so it’s a no-brainer really!

You can find out more about sleeping and how to sleep better here


For more tips on looking after your head, check out CYP Somerset’s Mental Wellbeing Lifehacks here: https://cypsomersethealth.org/news&id=359


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Zing Young People Resources 

Nutrition and Healthy Eating