Helping children be a healthy weight
The NHS provides online resources for families to help their children start healthy and stay healthy:
- Start4Life provides help and advice during pregnancy, birth and the early years of parenthood
- Change4Life provides help and advice for parents, to help their kids stay healthy
Check your child’s weight
The body mass index (BMI) is an easy tool you can use to check whether your child is a healthy weight. Get more information about BMI and to calculate your child’s BMI.
School height and weight checks
If your child is in reception or year 6 at school, they will have their height and weight measured by the school nursing team. You will receive a letter with their results. This letter will tell you whether they are:
- normal weight
- very overweight
If your child is overweight or very overweight, and you'd like support, find out about our Alive ‘N’ Kicking service below.
What can I do if my child is overweight?
Here are five key ways you can help your child maintain a healthy weight:
- be a good role model
- encourage at least 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of physical activity each day
- keep to child-sized portions
- eat healthy meals, drinks and snacks
- less screen time and more sleep.
Get more information on these, and tips from the NHS on how to help your child achieve a healthy weight.
Find out how to get your kids eating well, and where to get local support.
If your child is overweight or very overweight, and you would like support, find out about our Alive ‘N’ Kicking service, as well as other support services below.
Support services in Southwark to help your child lose weight
If you are concerned about your child’s weight and would like to make a change, there is a range of family support available
Family physical activity and healthy eating course - Alive ‘N’ Kicking
Alive ‘N’ Kicking is a free 12 week course designed to help whole families make healthier choices around food and exercise. It helps you make small, easy changes to lose weight and improve your health, by increasing your physical activity and eating more healthily.
Alive ‘N’ Kicking is for children (4 to 17 years) and their families that live in Southwark, who are overweight or obese. Those eligible are offered weekly sessions including nutrition workshops as well as a chance for your child to be active and social with others
If you think this is you, call the team on 0333 005 0095.
Online support to help your child lose weight
Healthy weight support at children and family centres
Our children and family centres provide a range of support to families to help them live well.
You can get advice on a range of areas including:
- breastfeeding support
- recipes on a budget
- positive meal times
- cook and eat classes
If your child is underweight
Being underweight isn't good for your child’s health. The NHS provides information on:
- underweight children aged 2 to 5
- underweight children aged 6 to 12
- underweight teen boys
- underweight teen girls
Talk to your GP if your child is underweight.
Specialist nutrition and diet support
Southwark’s nutrition and dietetics service provides support to families of children with a wide range of weight and eating conditions.
Your GP can refer you to help you to improve your child’s nutrition.
Page last updated: 13 September 2023