Healthy eating doesn't need to be boring.
It’s simply eating the right foods to ensure children grow up to be happy and healthy adults. Encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet early on is important for a number of reasons.
Encouraging Children To Eat a Nutritious, Balanced Diet is Important As:
It supports them to get the right vitamins and minerals to help them grow and develop
They are more likely to be energised and motivated thus supporting their ability to learn
Growing evidence that demonstrates it has a significant impact on behaviour, concentration, achievement and attainment
How Can We Support Children To Eat Healthier?
We all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults. Yet sometimes, with so much information out there it can be difficult to know what healthy eating means for a child. Below are Bracknell Forests Top Tips for healthy eating.
The Eatwell Guide
Eating a variety of foods is essential for good health. The Eatwell Guide shows the proportion of different food groups we should consume, including fruit and vegetables, dairy, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Sugar Swaps and Change 4 Life
Around half the sugar children are having comes from their snacks and sugary drinks, so making a swap to lower sugar varieties can make a huge difference. It’s better for their teeth too! Try swapping fizzy drinks to water, semi-skimmed milk or diluted fruit juice, swap sugary snacks for fresh fruit or dried fruit, vegetables or homemade popcorn and swap to lower sugar cereals, fruit or toast.
Meet Ginger! Our resident Bracknell Forest Gingerbread Man. Today he’s learning how to keep a perfect smile by not eating too much sugar and having a good brushing routine.
Me Size Portions
Even though they are growing, it’s important to make sure children get just the right amount for their age. Even if we are eating all the right things, if we eat too much, this can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Kids are smaller than adults and have much smaller tummies. Therefore, try and give them a portion that matches their size and not the same amount as you.
Watch packaging sizes, Lots of food and drink, like cans of pop, are designed for adults or for sharing.
In England, nearly a quarter of children are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school aged five. This rises to one third by the time they leave primary at age 11.
There are many factors that contribute to weight gain in children. However, the root cause is commonly a poor diet full at fat, sugar and processed foods and a lack of physical activity. Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to experience bullying, stigmatisation and low self-esteem. They are also far more likely to go on to become obese adults, with a higher risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
National Child Measurement Programme
The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of children in Reception class (aged 4 to 5) and Year 6 (aged 10 to 11), to assess overweight and obesity levels in children within primary schools. The measurement process is overseen by trained healthcare professionals.
Before the programme starts each school year, local authorities write to parents and carers of all children eligible for the measurement to inform them of the programme.
Support and advice for families on weight management and healthy lifestyle
Overweight & Obesity in Bracknell Forest
On average, the rates of overweight and obesity in our children at YR R and Yr 6 are similar to the England average. However, those rates are still too high. Over a third of year 6 children in Bracknell Forest are either overweight or very overweight.
7.8% of reception children in Bracknell are obese. The England average is 9.5%
17.9% of year 6 children in Bracknell are obese. The England average is 20.1%
In England, 22.4% of children in reception are overweight or obese
In England, 34.4% of children in year 6 are overweight or obese
In Bracknell, 21.3% of reception children and 32.3% of year 6 are overweight or obese
Resources for Schools on Healthy Eating
We know that obesity rates double during primary schools’ years. While parents have the foremost responsibility to monitor their children’s diet and weight and to influence their eating habits, schools also have an information role in equipping children with the knowledge they need to lead a healthy lifestyle and creating environments which encourage their pupils to eat healthily and be physically active.
PHE School Zone
A range of flexible nutrition resources across different subject areas designed to encourage pupils to build healthier habits for life.
Flexible nutrition resources for schools across different subject areas – designed for use throughout the school year to encourage pupils to build healthier habits for life.
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