Families living in the Swaffham area are being invited to attend fun-packed, drop-in sessions to promote healthy eating for children under five.

The Healthy Bites for Breakfast project is the brainchild of Health Visitors Julie Prior and Emma Barham from Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCH&C) NHS Trust. The aim is to help parents encourage their children to eat a balanced and nutritional breakfast in the mornings to give them the very best start for the day ahead, and give them a better chance at learning.

The free drop-in sessions will take place in four local preschool settings in July, and the children will be provided with healthy breakfast bags, containing fresh, healthy produce generously donated by Waitrose, Tesco and Asda, in Swaffham.

The team, who will be joined by staff from the Swaffham Children’s Centre, will offer parents information, resources and food based activities to start thinking about healthy food options for their children. They will also run a competition as part of the project asking parents to recommend their favourite healthy recipe and will offer a prize for the best one.

Julie Prior explained that the project is part of the Building Community Capacity initiative, which encourages health visitors to use their expertise to help families with children under five take part in activities which will boost their health and wellbeing.

“Breakfast is the most essential meal of the day and by promoting healthy eating at a young age we hope that children will make smart choices with their diets. Helping children make these choices even when they are this young can really make a long term difference to their lifetime eating habits, as they try different foods and get used to them early on,” she said.

She explained that they launched the project by sending out a number of questionnaires to local parents regarding their confidence in offering healthy choices to their children at breakfast and lunchtimes.

“Their responses helped us gauge whether they had good knowledge, or where they needed a bit more support in some places to offer even better choices.

“We then designed the drop-in sessions to help parents learn more about the foods which would most help their child concentrate and stay fuller for longer, and avoid snacking on foods such as chocolate and crisps,” she said.

Anyone with a child aged up to five years old in the Swaffham area is welcome to join the fun drop-in sessions, which are being held on:

Tuesday, July 8th 2014 at Swaffham preschool, Brandon Road, Swaffham, 8.30am – 9.30am, and then at Marham Village Preschool, School Lane, Marham, between 2.00pm-3.00pm.

Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at Sporle Preschool, The Street, Sporle, 8.30am – 9.30am, and then at Little Oaks Nursery, School Road, Necton, 11.30am -12.30pm.

For further information parents can call the Swaffham Health Visiting team on 01760 726554.


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