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Helping children, young people and their families thrive

Eating well

Eating well benefits people of all ages, but it is especially important for your little ones. Encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet early on in life is important and will help them to make healthier choices as they become adults.

The food they eat is particularly important for their growth and developing brains. Preparing healthy meals together is a great way to spend quality time as children love cooking and are more likely to eat things they’ve helped create.

Fresh fruit and veg vouchers

If it's tricky to buy more fruit and veg on your budget we can help. Working with our partner, the Alexandra Rose Charity, we distribute vouchers to spend on fresh fruit and veg at North End Road market. The vouchers are worth £3 per child, every week (or double if the child is aged under 12 months). And, if you need some inspiration in the kitchen, our cook and eat classes get the whole family involved in the action. Find our more by contacting Masbro, Melcombe and Fulham Central family centres.

Eating well
Eating well
Eating well

What is healthy eating?

There are several food groups and it’s important that your child gets the right amounts of each in their diet. The Eatwell Guide recommends:

  • eat 5 A Day
  • base meals on 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, eaten in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids

Please note that the Eatwell Guide does not apply to children under the age of two because they have different nutritional needs.

Eating well

Pick-up free vitamins

Vitamin D is an essential daily vitamin for children’s growth and development. Healthy Start vitamins containing Vitamin D are freely available for pregnant women and children aged under five. You can pick up your free Healthy Start vitamins at your local family centre.

Top tips for a healthier lifestyle

Eat together 
Eat as a family. It's a great way to catch up on what has happened during the day. 
 
No TV 
Eat at the table, with no TV or screens - make meal time, family time. 

Get active
Alongside healthy eating children need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day to maintain a healthy weight and keep a heart healthy, it will reduce their risk of serious illness and strengthen muscles and bones.

Eating well
Eating well
Eating well

Reduce portions 
Huge portions of food are overwhelming, so serve up small ones, they can always have more. A serving counts as a handful, for a child it would be a child-sized one.  

Limit snacks
Many snacks are full of the things that are bad for us, sugar, salt, fat and too many calories. So try and keep an eye on how many your children are having.

Stay calm 
It's normal for children to reject food. Encourage them to try different things and if they don't like it take it away, you can always try on another day. 

Brain development
And, of course, mealtimes can be a great time to have the conversations or face-to-face interactions that all children need to help them develop the healthy brains they need to thrive. Find out more about brain development.

Eating well
Need to talk

Need to talk?

If you would like to talk to one of our local Family Support workers to see how we can help, pop into one of our family centres, email contact@family-support.org.uk or phone 020 8753 6070.

We're here to help with tailored support for you and your family - just ask!

Houra from Masbro

Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child or young person, please call our team on 020 8753 6600.

If you are worried that a child or young person is at immediate risk, please contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or help@nspcc.org.uk or call the police on 999

Remember Childline is always there for any young person online and on the phone anytime. If you are worried about yourself or a friend they are there for you.