The Infant & Toddler Forum welcomes Childhood Obesity Plan

The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) welcomes the government’s announcement today to reduce sugar content in food and drink by 20%, and to introduce a sugar levy.

Judy More, paediatric dietitian and ITF member, said: “Sugary food and drinks can have a detrimental effect on children’s health. When eaten too frequently they cause tooth decay and add excess calories increasing the likelihood of overweight and obesity.  Young children naturally like sweet food and drinks but it is a parent’s responsibility to offer children a balanced diet with a limit on sugary food and drinks. Reducing sugar intake by cutting out sugary drinks is an easy way to do this. We welcome any development that supports parents to better manage sugar consumption in their young children’s diets, makes them aware of the importance of doing so, and helps them put this into action.

“While the ITF supports these plans, we are however disappointed that the government has missed the opportunity to introduce other, more far-reaching measures in the fight against childhood obesity.

“For toddlers, advice such as the Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers, on what food to offer, what behaviour to encourage, suitable portion sizes and how best to manage mealtimes, supports all families to take small steps towards a healthier life.”

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Further Reading

  • Katie Fox, Primary School Teacher   Due to coronavirus, playgroups and nurseries are shut and those children due to start school in a few months will be out of routine and away from friends. It is understandable that many parents are worried about getting their children ready for September. Children learn and progress at different rates so there are no set criteria on what they need to be able to know or do when they first start nursery, but if they have had some experience learning at home it could help to make it a smoother transition. Turn taking games, imaginative play, reading, and developing fine and gross motor skills can promote independence, build confidence and help develop simple skills.
  • Dr Gill Harris, Consultant Paediatric Clinical Psychologist Dr Maddy Harris, Clinical Psychologist   In times of crisis – such as the one we are currently living in – parents may find that the normal stresses of everyday life are magnified and additional worries and concerns emerge. Knowing how to cope may prove difficult, but an approach which has widely been discussed in the media and on social media is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).The premise of ACT is that fears and anxieties are seen as real and cannot be ‘challenged’ away, unlike with cognitive behavioural therapy. By concentrating on our actions we are able to work past our fears. This method may help those struggling with this new chaotic routine we find ourselves in. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with our top tips on how to apply this intervention.
  • Lucy Upton, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist   As social distancing policies are put in place, and schools and nurseries shut their doors indefinitely, keeping your toddlers entertained and active for hours on end during COVID-19 may seem daunting and at times virtually impossible! Parents and carers have been thrown into a cozy and chaotic ‘new normal’ and may wonder how they can meet the recommended three hours a day of physical activity for under-fives who are walking. But do not panic, the Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help make sure you have plenty of ideas to keep your toddler happy and entertained whilst encouraging physical activity.