• Read the label to check what the suggested portion size is. Sometimes it’s not the whole packet or bottle!
• Offer your child a range of fruit and vegetables with as much variety of colour as possible. Praise them when they try something new and encourage them to find fruit and vegetables they enjoy.
• Be aware of portion sizes. As a guide, the palm of a child’s hand is about the right size for a portion of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates or protein.
• Sit down at a table to eat together and talk at meal times. This helps to slow down your eating and helps you to enjoy your food.
• Start off the meal with a smaller serving. You can always get more if you need to.
• Wait before taking an extra serving. It takes about twenty minutes to realise you are full.
• Make sure you have plenty to drink - being thirsty can cause you to eat more.
• Increase the number of meals you make at home. Prepared foods often contain added sugars, salts and fats.
• Encourage children to recognise when they are full.
• Check out the traffic light labels on foods. Look for things with less red and amber colour traffic lights and go for green.
• Choose water or milk for you and your children to drink. Drinks like fizzy drinks, fruit juice, cordials, and squash can be a big source of sugar and calories, so it’s best to limit these.
• Swap white carbohydrates like bread or pasta for wholegrain versions and leave the skins on potatoes.
• Limit the amount of processed meat (e.g. ham, sausages) you eat as these contain added salt and fats. Choose lean meat, fish, eggs or pulses for a healthier source of protein.
• Watch out for foods that have a lot of added sugar. Things like sweets, biscuits and breakfast cereals contain lots of sugar, but not many nutrients. Fruit is great for a sweet snack without added sugar.
What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start is a national scheme to improve health. You could qualify if you're on low income or benefits and are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under the age of four. You also qualify if you're pregnant and under 18.
Your midwife, health visitor or other health professional can support you to sign up. You will be sent vouchers for cow’s milk, fresh/frozen fruit and vegetables and first infant formula milk. These can be used in local shops or supermarkets. You will also receive vouchers to exchange in pharmacies for:
- Women’s vitamins (contain Vitamin C, D and Folic Acid) - available from week 10 of pregnancy up to baby’s first birthday
- Children’s Vitamins (contain Vitamin A, C and D) – from ages 6 months to 4 years
For families who are not eligible for the scheme, all Norfolk Lloyds Pharmacies sell Healthy Start vitamins at a cheaper price than branded vitamins.
For more information on the scheme and a list of shops accepting vouchers *Click Here*
Who Can Help?
If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support then you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.