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Professional Resources

Eating Well

Schools can have a powerful role in supporting children and young people to eat well. They can provide children and young people with education on why we need to make healthy food choices. School 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.

The least affluent children are 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.

Childhood obesity rates at an all time high. Around 1 in 10 British 5 year olds are now obese, rising to 1 in 5 by age 11.

(NHS Digital, 2021)

Obesity harms children

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.


Supporting Long Term Change

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.

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.

Dive Deeper

In School

  • Find out about the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme.
  • 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. They have child friendly materials as well as lesson plans about eating well and moving more. 
  • Try the Change4life food scanner app on apple or android. These are 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.

Reception Year Resources

  • Find out about the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme.
  • Access the Change4Life resources. They have child friendly materials as well as lesson plans about eating well and moving more. 
  • Try the Change4life food scanner app on apple or android. These are an easy and visual way for children to look at the nutritional content of their favourite foods.

Downloadable Resources

E-Learning

'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

 Key Stage 1 Resources

Inspiration for the Whole School 

English Resources

Maths Resources

Science Resources

Additional Resources

E-Learning

'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

 

Key Stage 2 Resources

Inspiration for the Whole School 

English Resources

Maths Resources

Science Resources

E-Learning

'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

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

Additional Resources

Support For Families

  • 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.
  • If school children from low income families have siblings under 4 they may be eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme.

How Can Norfolk & Waveney Children & Young People's Health Services Help?

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