Getting Prepared for Winter – Part 3: Eating Well In Winter

In this, the third of a series of articles aimed at helping you get ready for winter, we look at the importance of eating well at this time of year.

What Is A Healthy Diet And What Should I Be Eating In Winter?

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in staying healthy year-round. Focus on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Proper nutrition strengthens your immune system and helps you ward off common winter illnesses. Don't forget to stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.


Healthy meals are not just about getting enough vitamins, they can also help keep you warm. Hot meals and drinks are a great help to keeping you warm. When the temperatures drop, aim to eat at least one hot meal each day and have hot drinks throughout the day. Wholesome soups make a warming snack and are inexpensive to buy and very easy (and fun) to cook for yourself.

It’s also important to include a good range of foods in your diet and, especially, aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, so that you’re getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins. Remember that frozen vegetables are generally as good as fresh.

It’s easier than you might think to become dehydrated in Winter. Dehydration isn’t just the product of warm weather. Having a glass of water within reach during the daytime will remind you to keep up your fluid intake. Having a hot drink before bed and keeping one in a flask by your bedside can be good ideas too, keeping you hydrated and warm at the same time.


Fruit and vegetables contain a range of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Research shows that people who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables are less likely to develop heart disease and certain cancers. Aim for at least five portions of different-coloured fruit and vegetables each day. These can be fresh, frozen or canned. A portion is roughly the amount you can fit in the palm of your hand, for example:

  • two satsumas
  • three apricots
  • an apple
  • a banana

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat. These foods all contain protein, minerals and vitamins which help maintain and repair your body after an injury or surgery. You don’t need to eat meat every day – try eggs, beans, lentils or meat substitutes such as Quorn or tofu instead.

Oily fish are rich in vitamin D and a type of fat that helps to reduce your risk of heart disease. Try to eat fish twice a week, with one portion being oily fish such as salmon or sardines.

Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates. These foods give you energy and a range of nutrients. Try to eat wholegrain versions such as brown rice, wholegrain bread or pasta. These are good sources of B vitamins, minerals and fibre which helps prevent constipation.

Dairy and alternatives. These foods contain protein and vitamins and are a good source of calcium, which helps to keep bones strong. Try to choose lower-fat versions, such as semi-skimmed milk, half-fat cheese and low-fat paneer.

If you’re worried about a poor appetite or losing weight, speak to your GP.

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