Eating and physical activity habits are established at a young age and can influence a child's habits as an adult. We all need food for our bodies to work, however if we eat more food than our body needs we will become overweight due to laying down excess fat.
Think about portion sizes
It is important to be aware of portion sizes when thinking about a healthy diet. Children have much smaller tummies than adults so they do not need the same size meal as grown-ups. Physical activity and exercise can be helpful to help maintain a healthy weight alongside healthy eating.
5 a day
It is recommended that children and young people should have 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fibre which are essential for bodies to remain healthy and to prevent diseases in later life. For information on 5 a day visit the NHS Choices website or the Change for Life website.
Having a school lunch is an easy way to ensure that a child has a healthy balanced meal that complies with the government's current nutritional standards. It is also a good time for pupils to spend time eating and socialising with their friends at the lunch tables.
Free school meals are available for children whose parents/carers are in receipt of certain benefits. Ask at your child’s school for more details.
It is important for children to drink around 6 – 8 drinks per day to ensure that they are properly hydrated. Water based drinks are best. Research has shown that children who are able to drink water during the school day have found that they have fewer headaches, are more relaxed and are more able to concentrate. It also helps reduce daytime wetting, bed wetting and constipation.