One thing we do know is that a balanced diet made up of all the main important food groups is recognised as being the healthiest way to eat. A balanced diet contains the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to maintain good health. Combined with being active, a balanced diet can help families to maintain a healthy weight which in the long term can reduce the risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health. In the short term, a balanced diet not only helps children to grow strong and healthy but can go a long way to help things like mood, sleep, concentration, energy levels and even behaviour.
In the last 20 years we have seen a rise in childhood obesity and now almost 30% of 10 & 11 year-old children are classified as overweight. As a result, the Government have invested money to help understand and reduce children's weight.
The National Child Measurement Programme
Every year in England, children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). The NCMP provides information to help build an understanding of national and local trends in child weight. The information is used within the local authority and NHS to help plan the services that support healthy weight and lifestyles in the area.
For more information go to: National Child Measurement Programme
Universal Infant Free School Meals
The Children and Families Act in 2014 placed a legal duty on all state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, to offer a free school lunch to all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 from September 2014. The Government made this decision because a good lunch makes an enormous difference to children’s health, development and ability to learn. It is also important that children develop good healthy eating habits to combat the rising problem of childhood obesity.
Change 4 Life Campaign
Change4Life - Change4Life aims to help families improve their diet and increase their levels of exercise. They also produce guidance and activities that schools can use to promote children and young people eating well and being active during school holidays on their specially designed School Zone pages.