Healthy eating for toddlers3rd March 2008
A national programme to tackle toddlers' eating habits and fight obesity is to be offered to families nationwide.
The "Mini-Mend" scheme is designed to help children aged between two and four years. Parents will be taught how to give their children healthy portions and to encourage them to try different foods.
Public health nutritionist Julia Wolman, from the organisation, explained: "It is family-based and about changing the whole family's behaviour. The main focus is around encouraging healthy eating and giving a wide choice of fruit and vegetables and discouraging sedentary activity."
She added that the scheme was designed as a preventative measure so that families could feed their children in the right way and act to stop future weight issues.
Nearly 30% of children in the UK fall into the overweight or obese category.
Health workers on the scheme will have the power to speak to doctors about children whose weights they are concerned about.
Mini-Mend is an offshoot of Mend (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition.....Do it!) which targets children who are obese, from the ages of eight to 12.
Five pilot programmes demonstrated positive results - children took more exercise, watched less television and tried different type of food.
Mini-Mend provides families with a chance to try out dishes they may not have tasted before, in order to encourage children to eat a greater range of food and not become fussy eaters.
Families can also try cooking together as part of the scheme, to get children to feel they can play a part in preparing meals.
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Title: Healthy eating for toddlers
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5837
Date Added: 3rd Mar 2008