Include children in selecting the food you buy and preparing food as often as you can. Name the food you eat, talk about how and where it grows. Try growing some fruit and vegetable in your garden or on a window ledge so that your child understands where food comes from. They may be more likely to try new foods if they have helped you to grow it.
If you child refuses food remove it without fuss.
Children from 1-4 years old need to eat well to establish good eating patterns. Good eating patterns ensure they grow and develop appropriately, and protect their teeth. Eating a healthy diet and having lots of activity will ensure they have a healthy body weight when they begin school. Try to avoid processed foods as these are often higher in sugar, salt and fat.
The Change4Life Sugar Smart app is designed to show quickly and easily how much sugar is in the food and drink you’re having. Just scan the barcode and see how much sugar it contains.
Fruit and vegetables should make up over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Try to include a variety of different colours. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.
Base your family meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain where possible. Starchy food should make up just over a third of the food we eat.
Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are good sources of protein and some vitamins, and they’re also an important source of calcium, which helps to keep our bones strong.
Eat beans, pulses, fish, eggs meat and other protein. Aim for at least two portions of fish every week- one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel.
If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, the UK Welfare Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like milk or fruit. It aims to improve the health of pregnant women, infants, children and their families on benefits or low incomes.
If you qualify, you’ll get vouchers worth £3.10 each to spend on:
You can also get free vitamin supplements.
For more information about Healthy Start, see http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/