In order to stay motivated to continue positive behaviours, it's important to recognise the benefits. This can be challenging with young children, but encouraging them to help with cooking can help them to begin to understand the value of making nutritious food choices
Research shows us that it's never too early to start talking about and instilling healthy eating behaviours in our young children. For example the foods eaten by a mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as the foods introduced during weaning, can all have a significant impact on a child's food preferences later on in life.
These days all we seem to hear is how we should be slashing the amount of sugar in our diets, and while it's easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest 'sugar free' diet - as a dietitian, it worries me that most people are still very confused about sugar
As free childcare is extended, nurseries and pre-school settings provide an increasingly vital route to help get children off to the best start with food and nutrition. So what should hot meals and packed lunches be specifically based around, and which guidelines should parents and nurseries follow?
I went to meet a Child-Minding Association in Northamptonshire with over 8oo registered Child-Minders providing essential care for up to 24,000 children. They are also responsible for an innovative project to set standards of excellence in Food and Nutrition for Early Years Home Child-Care.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.
We all spend a lot of time worrying about what we feed young children, but do we know enough about how much or what they should be drinking? Water makes up about two-thirds of a healthy child's body weight: - slightly more than an adult's. As we know, most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water. We also need water to carry nutrients around our body and get rid of waste. In short water is essential for our life.
Good nutrition contributes to healthy growth and development, as well as to chronic disease prevention. It promotes positive behaviour among children and impacts concentration and learning abilities.
I find the most compelling element of this investment is that it is there to explore [and hopefully find] what methods actually works and learn from those. Inevitably, other geographic areas can copy the good stuff instead of wasting money reinventing the wheel.
The focus of this year's World Breastfeeding Week (1st - 7th August) is breastfeeding support. And with 21% of mothers feeling