Healthy lifestyles

Healthy lifestyles

Looking after their health

What they eat
Make sure your child eats a good variety of foods in sensible amounts - balance is the key. Make mealtimes fun and make time to sit down to eat and to enjoy food together as a family. Setting a good example is one of the best ways of encouraging healthy eating habits early in life.

Food is used in our bodies to create energy. If we do not use it we get fat. Encourage your children to be as active as possible. You and your child can get plenty of exercise by walking to the shops or to school or playing sports.

Lack of sleep can affect your mood and ability to function at work or as a parent. The same is true of children. Lack of sleep can impact on your child’s behaviour and achievement at school.

If you smoke you should protect your child from secondhand smoke. This will reduce the risk of them becoming ill. Contact your GP or local free stop smoking service who can help you kick this damaging habit for good.

Look after your child’s teeth and take them to visit the dentist regularly. Children are especially at risk from tooth decay because of the sugary things they eat - avoid sugary foods and drinks.

  • Use a toothpaste with 1350-1500 ppm fluoride or above (see tube).

  • Brush twice daily, especially at night.

  • Spit don’t rinse after brushing.

Looking after hearing
Younger children are using headphones with iPods and DVD players. Set volume controls and make sure they do not use them for long periods of time.


  • Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

  • If you eat more calories than your body burns, you will put on weight.

  • Stop smoking and protect your children from secondhand smoke.

  • Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and exercise.

  • Obesity (being very overweight) is becoming more common in children.

Eyesight check

It is recommended that children have regular eye tests at least once every two years. These tests can be done at a high street opticians and are free for all children under 16 years old (and those under 19 years old in full-time education). Speak to your GP or school nurse if you have any concerns about your child's vision at any stage.

National Child Measurement Programme

As part of the National Child Measurement Programme, children are weighed and measured at school. The information is used by the NHS to plan and provide better health services for children. Your local NHS may send your child's results to you.


Too much saturated fat, salt and sugar are bad for the body. Prevent ill health by balancing your lifestyle. Stop smoking.


A healthy person should eat a balanced diet, be active, sleep well, have sufficient energy and generally feel that they enjoy life.


Ask your school nurse or GP for diet, exercise and general advice on a healthy lifestyle.