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Eating well

Schools can have a powerful role in supporting children and young people to eat well.
Schools can provide children and young people with education on why we need to make healthy food choices . They can set a good example in the food available on school premises. This makes an invaluable difference to children’s understanding and can influence the choices they make.

This is increasingly important with childhood obesity rates at an all time high – 1 in 10 British 5 year olds are now obese – rising to 1 in 5 by age 11 (read more here) with the least affluent children most adversely affected.

We know obesity increases the chances of a range of long term health conditions including heart disease and diabetes Type 2. It impacts on self esteem and mental health.

Helping children and young people understand how to eat healthily and establish healthy habits can help them lead healthier, happier lives.

Low levels of physical activity, and increased sedentary behaviours among children and young people, exacerbate the problems of poor diet and nutrition. Data across local areas in England shows only 18% of children and young people aged 5 to 16 years reported taking part in physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day.

Children and young people need help to understand the importance of eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions to help maintain a healthy body.

Public Health England’s Change4Life and the NHS Eatwell Guide provide a wealth of resources and information for schools including a guide to inform the most recent guidance. Use the Eatwell Guide resources to support children / young people to understand nutrition recommendations. An explanation booklet is available.

The key messages are;

• eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
• base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
• have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
• eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
• choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
• drink plenty of fluids - ideally water (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)

Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

Children, young people and their families need support to move away from routinely choosing foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar. Consistent messages on healthy eating by schools can help young people establish healthier eating habits.

  • Find out about the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme here

    Model good habits– what is available in your school vending machine or tuck shop?
    What about lunch and snack time choices?

    Sensitively challenge lunchbox contents. Offer resources on healthy lunchboxes

    Encourage teaching staff to role model making healthy choices

    Be wary of using unhealthy food choices as rewards and celebrations within school

    Consider carefully what recipes are used in food technology lessons – are these things that are healthy and can translate to home and family life?

    Help children and young people understand that - as well as what you eat, how much you eat counts too.

    Access the Change4Life resources here they have child friendly materials as well as lesson plans about eating well and moving more. A selection of the Change4Life resources are available below but there are more on their website.

    Try the Change4life food scanner app on apple or android as an easy and visual way for children to look at the nutritional content of their favourite foods.

    Access to water in schools - including the ability to refill bottles and / or provision of water fountains is important. Hydration has been shown to benefit concentration and cognition during the school day.

    Refer struggling families to ‘Joy of Food’ where families learn to cook cheap and healthy home cooked meals in a small group (not usually more than 6 participants).

    If families tell you they have no food find out how to help them access foodbank support here

    If school children from low income families have siblings under 4 they may be eligible for Healthy Start Vouchers here.

     

  • Public Health England has launched new free All Our Health bite-sized e-learning sessions to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of all health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing.

    The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health from childhood obesity to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and they contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

     

  • Inspiration for the Whole School 

    English Resources:

    Maths Resources:

    Science Resources:

     

    Fussy Eaters - ideas to help children age 4-11

    Eatwell Guide, booklet and blank Eatwell resource

    Public Health England has launched new free All Our Health bite-sized e-learning sessions to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of all health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing.

    The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health from childhood obesity to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and they contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

     

  • Inspiration for the Whole School 

    English resources:

    Maths resources:

    Science resources:

    Public Health England has launched new free All Our Health bite-sized e-learning sessions to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of all health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing.

    The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health from childhood obesity to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and they contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

    Nuffield Health School Wellbeing Activity Programme (SWAP) - free 6 week programme of evidence based lessons delivered in six one hour sessions.  The programme is aimed at children aged 9-12 years old but can be adapted for other school age children.  The four key themes are:

    • How I Move - focusing on physical activity
    • How I Eat - focusing on sugar content of food and drinks, hydration, fruit and vegetables
    • How I Sleep - focusing on sleep, sleep hygiene and screen time
    • How I Feel - focusing on emotional wellbeing and resilience

    Fussy Eaters - ideas to help children age 4-11

    Eatwell Guide, booklet and blank Eatwell resource

How Can We Help?

Just One Norfolk Access the health advice website to explore a variety of health issues. This website is consistently being reviewed and updated.

Parent Activation Measure This helps parents think about their knowledge skills and confidence in understanding and supporting their children or unborn babies.

Just One Number Call to speak to a health professional by phoning 0300 300 0123. They will be able to provide initial advice and support and guide next steps with us or signpost you to other more relevant agencies and professionals. It is available 08.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays

ChatHealth Children and Young people can access us through our text messaging service on 07480635060. They will be able to discuss any health concerns with one of our Practitioners and also be able to request an appointment if they would prefer to meet with us.

Parent Line Parents can access our services by texting our number 07520631590 . This allows them to access the advice and support from a clinician about any health issues affecting their children aged 0-19.

JustOneNorfolk Health Passport app Young people age 16-19 can download this app on apple or android phones. It provides young people age 16-19 with general health information and advice to increase health literacy. It signposts to services and promotes self care. It aims to increase resilience and wellbeing and to find out how to access health services.

Health Unlocked Parents can be signposted to this. It is a carefully monitored online community forum which allows local parents and carers to talk with each other regarding issues affecting their children. This can be accessed through our Just One Norfolk website.

Solihull Parenting Online For our Norfolk parents there is the opportunity to access this free of charge through JustOneNorfolk. It supports parents in understanding their children from 0-19 via 4 modules.
Staff working with children and families will also benefit from this – or they can book to do the two day Solihull Training provided by our service by contacting karin.bibby@nhs.net

 

 

 

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