Food and nutrition

Diet: not exactly a word to get excited about, but a child’s diet plays a massive part in shaping the adult that they’ll turn out to be.  The eating habits they develop now may stay with them for life, so it makes sense to get them trying a healthy mix of foods now, to avoid problems later.

Time and cost are two issues that affect what we give our children to eat, but healthy food doesn’t mean expensive ingredients, and it shouldn’t take hours to prepare.

Read on to discover how you can help your family Be Your Best through what’s on their plates.

Nutrition and tips on diet

What’s the ideal diet? - NHS EatWell guide

We probably all know about the whole ‘5 lots of fruit and veg a day’ target. Not always possible (as anyone who’s tried giving sprouts to a toddler might agree), but what counts towards it? And what else should we be aiming for?  Find out here – and more besides.

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What size plate? - Portion sizes for toddlers

It’s all too easy to overestimate how much children need to eat. Children aged under 4 need much smaller amounts than adults or teens. Get them into the right amount now, and it’ll be easier for them to monitor their own intake when they’re older.

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Calories for children aged 7-10 – NHS calorie guide

Most of us really don’t think about the amount of calories we eat (or drink), but with this guide and help from the next link you can get an idea of your kids’ energy intake. There’s also info there on steps to take if your child is overweight.

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Traffic lights: not just for road safety – A quick video on food labels

Just because a food claims to have lots of good things in it, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Watch this 20 second video from Change4Life on what to look for. (If you’re part of the full BYB programme you’ll get the chance to take a tour of a supermarket and learn even more.)

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Handy food apps

Let your kids be a food detective – Change4Life food scanner app

Children love using this free app which lets them discover just what’s in the food in your cupboard, or on supermarket shelves. Downloadable for Android or Apple.

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Breakfast recipes between 5 and 30 minutes

OK, we get that most parents can’t take half an hour to make breakfast for the family (unless they have insomnia) but this page offers more options than a bowl of cereal packed full of sugar. Find weekend treats – some can also double up as lunch.

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Healthier lunchbox ideas

It’s just so easy to get into the habit of giving the family the same old things for lunch. Swap crisps for plain popcorn. Add a little salad to their sandwiches. Ban the cereal bars. Just try mixing it up once in a while using some of the ideas here.

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Tasty dinners for the family

Cheat’s pizza anyone? From chilli to good old spag bol, or even old favourites like roast dinner or (meat free) cottage pie, the ideas here are guaranteed to have you drooling over your keyboard. And they’re all healthy!

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Healthy snacks ("100 calories max")

Sometimes, children (or mums and dads) do need a snack between meals - particularly if they’re trying out some of our ways to be active . But it’s really important to have no more than two packaged snacks as an absolute max, and they should be lower calorie. What does that mean?: Find out on this page

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Quick Links

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