Healthy Eating Week 10th-14th June 2024

The British Nutrition Foundation has organised the Healthy Eating Week for 10th-14th June 2024.  The Foundation is encouraging everyone to “Give it a go” during Healthy Eating Week. That may be eating an extra portion of fruit or vegetables a day, being more active, experimenting with a new recipe or using up leftovers.  Healthy Eating Week has five themes:

  • Have at least five a day
  • Stay hydrated
  • Move more
  • Focus on fibre
  • Reduce food waste

Toddlers and pre-school children grow and develop quickly.  So it is really important to make sure they are eating the right foods to get all the energy and nutrients they need.  It is also a great time for children to learn about food and the importance of having a healthy, varied diet.

The British Nutrition Foundation has provided a blueprint for what toddlers and pre-school children should eat – and in what quantities:

Starchy foods – 5 portions across the day of rice, pasta, potatoes, bread.  This provides energy, B vitamins, calcium and fibre.

Fruit & vegetables – 5 portions across the day, encouraging the child to have a variety of fruit and vegetables.  This provides vitamin C as well as other vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Some children may initially reject some fruit and vegetables, but do not give up offering these foods – sometimes you might need to offer them 5 -15 times before your child accepts them.

Dairy foods – 3 portions across the day of milk, cheese, yoghurts.  Full fat varieties is best for children, although semi-skimmed milk can be given to children over one year old if they are growing and developing well.  Dairy foods provide calcium, protein, fat, vitamins B12 and B2.

Protein foods – 2 portions across the day, unless the child is vegetarian or vegan in which case the Foundation suggests 3 portions across the day.  These foods include meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses; and provide protein and iron.

It is also important to make sure your child is hydrated, otherwise they may feel tired and not perform to the best of their abilities and in extreme cases may become seriously ill. Try to offer your toddler six to eight drinks per day (approximately 1 litre).  It is best to give your child water as their main drink because it does not cause tooth decay, unlike drinks containing sugar, such as fruit squashes, fruit juices, sweetened milks and fizzy drinks.