Healthy Eating and Oral Health

Healthy Eating

The food we eat directly impacts our health. A healthy diet reduces our risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. A healthy diet in childhood can help protect against these in later life. There is growing evidence that nutrition also impacts on behaviour, concentration and achievement.

In 2017/18, 22.4% Reception-aged children were overweight or obese. This is higher than the South East regional average. This increases to 30.6% of children overweight or obese in Year 6. This means that more children are becoming overweight and obese during primary school. Being overweight or obese as a child can be harmful for both physical and mental health, body image and self-esteem. Obesity in childhood is very likely to continue into adolescence and adulthood, becoming a life-long issue. A whole school approach to health can help promote healthy habits to children and their families.

National Guidance

Discover Hampshire’s NCMP data, explore district, regional and England rates

Learn more about the National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP)

Promoting a healthier weight for children, young people and families: consistent messaging resources from Public Health England

Child Weight Management: Short conversations with families Public Health England’s practical advice and tools to support health and care professionals to have conversations about supporting child healthy weight with their families

Promoting a healthier weight for children, young people and families: consistent messaging. A guide from Public Health England’s All Our Health resources. Contains a section specifically for under 5s to help staff raise awareness and motivate children and families to achieve or maintain a healthier weight

Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary schools thematic review into what actions schools are taking to reduce childhood obesity by OFSTED

Standards for School Food in England guidance on the standards for planning and providing food in schools by the Department of Education

The School Food Plan 17 actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.

Advice and resources

Food support offer:

School fruit and vegetable scheme for school children aged 4 to 6

School milk scheme for children. Free milk for under 5s. Subsidised milk for children aged 5-11 years.

Hampshire Free School Meals

Hampshire County Council Catering Service (HC3S) including Food to Flourish Classroom Resources for teachers, parents and carers.

A Toolkit for Lunchtimes in Hampshire. Created by HC3S and the previous Healthy Schools team, but still relevant now.

Teaching support:

Eatwell Guide How to teach the food groups

Sugar Smart ideas and resources to become a Sugar Smart setting

Public Health England Schoolzone healthy eating ideas

Welcome to the Snackingtons online interactive activities to teach children about healthy eating

Food - a fact of life (FFL) free resources for teaching young people aged 3-16 years about where food comes from, cooking and healthy eating

Countryside Classrooms find resources, places to visit and school support relating to the themes of food, farming and the natural environment

Food teaching in primary schools: knowledge and skills framework guidance from Public Health England

For parents/carers:

5 a day and Your Family NHS Choices advice on incorporating fruits and veggies every day

Change4Life food swaps, food scanner app, healthy snacks and tips from NHS and healthier lunchbox ideas

Free e-learning

Teaching food in primary: the why, what and how by the British Nutrition Foundation

This course covers:

  • Module 1: Food in schools;
  • Module 2: Food origins;
  • Module 3: Healthy eating;
  • Module 4: Nutrition;
  • Module 5: Applied nutrition;
  • Module 6: Food safety;
  • Module 7: Cooking;
  • Module 8: Teaching.

The course will take approximately 5-7 hours to complete but does not have to be completed all at once. You can complete the course at your own pace – there is no time limit.  

If you teach in a primary school in England, or are a trainee teacher, you can register for free access to this course. To register, click here

Oral Health

Tooth decay is the most common reason that 5 - 9 year olds are admitted to hospital. Public Health England reports an average of three days of school missed and 38% of children with tooth decay experiencing sleepless nights due to pain.

National Guidance

Health matters: child dental health Guidance from Public Health England

NHS Children’s Teeth guidance

Advice and resources

Teaching support:

Keeping our Teeth Healthy science lesson resources for KS1 and KS2 from the PHE Schoolzone

Oral Health Foundation Dental Buddy Key Stage 1  and Key Stage 2 resources and lesson plans

Order your Top Tips for Teeth resources from the Public Health England resource centre

For parents/carers:

Change4Life has information on lower sugar drinks, snacks and the sugar calculator

A quick guide to a healthy mouth in children factsheet by Public Health England gives a summary of the simple steps that parents, carers and children can take every day to protect and improve their oral health

Dental Hygiene advice from Wessex Healthier Together

Free e-learning

Children's Oral Health Advice This short module provides information and advice about children’s oral health. It is aimed at parents, expectant mothers, early years healthcare workers, teachers, nurses, GPs and the public. Delivered by e-Learning for Health.