You may know more than you think you do! But being sure about your child's health is not something that comes easy to everyone, particularly new parents, or something that should involve guesswork.
The Everyday Portion Planner helps remove the guesswork and will provide you with three options for children's portions – toddlers aged 1-2 years, children aged 4-11years and children aged 11-18 years. But you will still need to use your judgement to ensure you serve the right amount for your children as the serving sizes are for 'average-sized' children.
By learning more about healthy eating for children and doing all you can to serve the right amount, of the right food, each mealtime, you will be taking a huge step forward to looking after the general wellbeing of your children. This approach, plus encouraging your children to be more active on a daily basis will also help to steer your children away from becoming one of the statistics that contribute to the high child obesity levels in the UK – or will help you start tackling the issue if any of your children are already overweight. Nearly a third of children aged two to 15 are overweight or obese (Source: gov.uk).
Getting it right doesn't have to be difficult. We liked how the Change4Life programme talks about 'Me-sized' meals.
Source: Public Health England in association with the Welsh government, Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland.
Before you embark on any major changes you must consult with registered health professionals e.g. GPs or practice nurses, particularly if your child has any existing health issues or is very overweight.
Simple changes such as serving the right amount, of the right food, every day also has other benefits like helping your children to grow and develop, have more energy throughout the day and better concertation during school.
There are various sources of information you can read:
5532 a-day Perfect portions for toddler tums
Food in schools by British Nutrition Foundation – there is some useful guidance that parents can adopt in this guidance for schools.
BDA – the Association of UK Dieticians