Try to encourage a wide variety of foods but give children portions that they can manage – 'me-size meals' – go to nhs.uk/change4life for more details. To help your child maintain a healthy weight encourage a healthy, varied diet, plenty of physical activity and limit the amount of foods, snacks and drinks that are high in calories.
Breakfast is really important for children as it gives them energy and helps them concentrate for the day.
Something like a boiled egg with wholemeal toast is a great start to the day. If your children like cereal, try to avoid ones that are very sugary. Add chopped fresh fruit to their bowl for natural sweetness and added vitamins!
Eating habits in childhood can influence eating patterns in later life so it’s important that children do not develop a taste for salty foods. Children aged 4-6 years should have no more than 3g of salt a day, those aged 7-10 years should have no more than 5g a day and children aged 11 and over no more than 6g a day.
Try swapping salty snacks for dried fruit, yogurt, rice cakes, bitesize pieces of uncooked broccoli, carrot sticks, strips of yellow pepper or grapes with crackers and cubes of cheese.
Don't fill them up with snacks. Some families find it useful to have a limit of two a day.
Set your children a challenge to hunt for healthy foods when you're shopping in store.
And if they say they're full, they probably are. Don't force them to finish their plate.