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Being healthy and active

As your child continues to grow their size and shape will alter. Ideally your child should maintain a healthy weight for their height as they get older. Staying a healthy weight can be challenging whether you’re a child, young person or adult.

In the United Kingdom (UK) it has been identified that children are increasingly becoming heavier. Being overweight can have significant implications for a child, young person or adult. Being overweight as a child/young person increases the chances of being overweight into adulthood. Children can experience bullying and low self-esteem related to being overweight, and are more at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Being underweight might mean your child is not getting enough calories from what they eat. You should discuss this with a health professional.

If you are concerned that your child is deliberately missing meals, limiting their food intake or binge eating, you should discuss this with a healthcare professional.

If your child is a fussy eater or only eats a few foods and you are worried about this, you can speak to us for more advice.

What you can do to help

  • As a parent/carer you can role model healthy lifestyle choices and activities.
  • Encourage a healthy diet and review portion sizes
  • Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.
  • Check the label on packaged foods. Choose foods lower in fat, salt and sugar. Reduce daily sugar intake from food and drinks and swap sugary snacks for more healthy alternatives. Refer to Eat well plate.
  • Drink plenty of fluids - the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day. Water, lower-fat milks and lower-sugar or sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.
  • Increase daily activities like walking or cycling to school, guidance around other types of activity can be found here:
  • Reduce time sitting watching television or using computers, tablets and mobile telephones.
  • Taking part in physical activities as a family can help your child to feel positive and confident about exercise. Tips and advice about being active for the whole family can be found here:
  • Do not be afraid to talk to your child/young person about their weight. Conversations about sensitive topics are always difficult and must be balanced. Some helpful tips and advice in how to start a conversation can be found at:
  • As part of the National Child Measurement Programme, children are weighed and measured at school. Children in reception (ages 4 and 5) or year 6 (ages 10 and 11). As a parent/carer you will receive a letter with more information from your local council before your child is measured.

Who can help?

If you’re worried about your child’s development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Need more information?

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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