School pupils and their families are reaping the rewards of a fun programme called ALFIE that champions healthy food and physical activity.
Nearly a third of children in England aged between two and 15 years old are overweight or obese, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Children and young people are generally becoming overweight earlier and staying overweight for longer.
However, the Active Living Fun food In Ealing (ALFIE) programme is doing all it can to tackle that statistic locally by supporting families with children aged between five and 13 who have been identified as being above a healthy weight..
It is now back in full swing with face-to-face sessions after being interrupted by COVID-19 for two years, when it had to largely move online.
ALFIE runs fun and interactive workshops that focus on healthy eating and nutrition, including cooking clubs; alongside physical activities that help improve fitness and build confidence.
The focus is on motivating children and the whole family to explore healthier lifestyle choices together and showing them how even making small changes can make a big difference.
It is organised by the NHS and commissioned by Ealing Council.
The workshops cover topics such as food groups, portion sizes and label reading. Children and families can also take part in physical activities such as multi-sports, junior gym and HIIT classes.
Programmes take place across the borough and are open to children aged five–13 years old who live in the borough or go to school here – and who are above the ’91st centile’ in terms of body mass index (if you are unsure you can use the NHS’s BMI healthy weight calculator).
All programmes are free of charge to families; but all children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information or to join a programme, find out more on the Ealing Families Directory website and click on ‘health and wellbeing’ and search for NHS ALFIE, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org