Healthy eating and weight

Introduction to healthy eating and weight

Being a healthy weight is important for good health and a healthy weight usually means being within a set range that compares your weight to your height. A healthy weight is calculated using a body mass index (BMI) score in adults and a BMI centile in children.

To find out your BMI, NHS choices has an easy to use calculator.

Eating a healthy balanced diet not only helps us look and feel good, it helps us to stay healthy. Benefits include:

  • increased energy and stamina
  • improved sleep and concentration
  • a positive impact on your mood and well-being
  • helps you to maintain a healthy body weight
  • lowers your risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease and cancer

If you are an adult and want to access local support to achieve a healthy weight please visit the Weight Worries section of the Active North Tyneside website.

Good Youth Move (GYM) is a free 10 week gym or exercise programme for young people aged between 14-17 years. Sessions take place at all Contours Gyms and each attendee will receive a full induction, exercise programme and nutritional pack. To access support for those aged 14-17 visit the Good Youth Move (GYM) section of the Active North Tyneside website .

If you would like to access weight management support for children please visit the Healthy4Life section of the Active North Tyneside website.

Eatwell guide

It is important to eat a balanced diet and eating fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet to help individuals to stay healthy. The government recommends one way of achieving a healthy diet is to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, which is easier than you think.


Salt, sugar and food labels

Even food that doesn't taste salty can have lots of salt inside and a diet that is high in salt can cause raised blood pressure, which currently affects more than one third of adults in the UK.

Consuming too many foods and drinks high in sugar can lead to weight gain and related health problems, as well as tooth decay. Cut down by eating fewer sugary foods, such as sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary drinks.

Many food products in the UK have a pack label and most are using the new consistent format, developed by the UK government.

Traffic light colours are given to indicate whether a product is high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) in fat, saturates, sugars and salt.



Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first six months (26 weeks) of your baby's life. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits. Breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby and protects a baby from infections and disease.

There is very good evidence that breastfeeding has a significant impact upon the short and long term health of women and infants.

For further myth busting information about breastfeeding visit the NHS Choices website.

Weaning: introducing solid foods to your baby

Your baby should only have breastmilk or formula milk before the baby is 6 months.  Once your baby is 6 months old it is time to introduce them to a range of healthy nutritious food.  For information and support on when and how to introduce your baby to solids please go to the Start4Life website.

Free vouchers every week for pregnant women, new mums and young children in very low income families!

If you are eligible to Healthy Start Vouchers and live in North Tyneside you can drop into any Children Centre for further support to access Free Vouchers:-

Healthy Start

Healthy Start is a UK-wide public health scheme that provides free vouchers every week for pregnant women, new mums and young children in very low-income families.

Healthy Start vouchers can be used to buy milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk as well as free vitamins.

Pregnant or have children under the age of four? You could qualify if you're on benefits, or if you're pregnant and under 18.

Applying for Healthy Start is easy:

  • Ask your midwife or health visitor for one.
  • Call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 and asking them to send one to you by post.
  • Complete the form online, print it off to check and sign

Healthy eating and young people

Defining children as overweight or obese is a complex process, given that children of different ages and sexes grow and develop at different rates.

  • This means that a different method is used for children than for adults
  • BMI is calculated by dividing their weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres), and for children, this is then compared to a reference sample of measurements gathered in 1990, which takes age sex into account

To find out about a child’s healthy weight NHS choices has an easy to use calculator.

It’s important that children have the right size portion of food for their age, and it’s healthier to serve them a child sized portion and if they’re still hungry, let them ask for more.

Around 30% of the sugar in kids' diets comes from sugary drinks, such as fizzy pop, juice drinks, squashes, cordials, energy drinks and juice.

Find out more and download the Sugar Smart app.

Free recipes and Information about child size portions can be accessed from the Eating Well Recipe Book below:

Related documents

Local information and support

For further information about local opportunities and initiatives please go to the Active North Tyneside website.

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