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Impact of The Children’s Act 2014 on Child Healthy Eating

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2359 words Published: 17th Oct 2017

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The Children’s Act 2014

In 2003 a government initiative was launched in England and Wales. ECM (every child matters) was in response to the death of Victoria Climbie.

Victoria Climbie was an eight years old girl who was tortured and murdered by her guardians. Victoria didn’t have a healthy lifestyle which led to her tragic death. A public enquiry was led and major changes had taken place in child protection policies. Although her guardians were charged, new laws would mean there would be no repetition in the future.

The five points for every child matters.

  1. Stay safe
  2. Health
  3. Enjoy and achieve
  4. Economic well being
  5. Positive construction

ECM covers those with disabilities (up to the age of 24), children and young adults (up to the age of 19.)

A healthy lifestyle is making one’s own life happy. Its not just eating healthy food and exercising but includes mental and social wellbeing. A healthy lifestyle is very important for both adults and children. If parents eat, sleep and live healthy then the children will acquire the same habits which undoubtedly will lead a child to grow up healthy and happy. It is also the right of every child to be able to live a healthy lifestyle in order for them to achieve positive outcomes in their future.

In order for a person to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic illness, they should aim to eat healthy food, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy BMI.


For healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and preschool being physically active is very important for their health and to prevent illnesses.

Exercising is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle for both children and adults, if parents integrate into their own lives this will then follow through to the future generations.


Encourage babies from birth to play on the floor, this will lead to head movements, pulling, pushing and movements of body and limbs, and this is a good form of daily exercise. (CDC)


Three hours is the recommended time, for children who walk on their own as daily exercise. Rolling around, running and skipping are activities they could do, better still to encourage children, to play ball games, chasing and climbing frames because these activities are best for this age group.

Parents should avoid taking cars to school and encourage children to walk as a daily exercise. Other effective methods like swimming, parks or general cleaning can be done as a family. (Web MD)

BMI (body mass index)

BMI is a way of seeing if your weight is appropriate for your height. Generally the higher you’re BMI the risk of medical illnesses is also higher.

BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight, it could be someone is just slim, but if due to poor diet and nutrients it can lead to illnesses such as anaemia, bone thinning and infertility

18.5-24.9 is normal; you are having the right amount of calories for your activities

25-29.9 is overweight this could increase developing stroke, CHD, diabetes

The way to calculate BMI is by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in square metre.

57 / (1.3x1.3) =33.73 overweight

Weight height squared BMI

40/ (1.5x1.5) =17.78 underweight

Adults and children have different charts to work out BMI, as in adults there is no difference in males and females but in children there is. (Bupa)

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is the third element of a healthy lifestyle. Meals should include food from all the different food groups so adults and children have an intake of all the different nutrients, vitamins and minerals for all around goodness.

At meal times children observing the parents eat healthy food, will want the children to share and explore the same food. As parents are the main carers of children from birth, naturally the same eating habits will appear in the child.


rice, pasta, potatoes

Other starchy foods

Energy, fibre vitamins. Iron

Effective bowel function


Milk, meat, fish, eggs, cheese

Protein, zinc iron, B vitamins

Repair and growth of the body cells. Healthy bones

Fruit and vegetables

All fresh fruit and vegetables, peas ,beans, sweet corn

Vitamins A,C &E, foliate and fibre

Excellent source of fibre, assist with a healthy weight


(unsaturated) olives, sunflower oil, salmon, fresh tuna, nuts


Lowering cholesterol


(saturated)crisps, oil, lard, chips, sweets

Vitamin A&D

Essential Fatty acids, energy



Sugar, jam. honey, juice

Vitamin A&D



Fat has two categories saturated and unsaturated, saturated fat can lead to coronary heart disease, it increases cholesterol. Unsaturated fat is more beneficial as it lowers cholesterol in the blood.

Sugary foods such as chocolates, fizzy drinks should be eaten less frequently and less in quantity as it could lead to weight gain and tooth decay.

An unhealthy lifestyle can cause many illnesses.

Chronic illness is a long term illness which usually cannot be reversed, it means having to adjust to the illness which may cause disruption to one’s life. Many things will change i.e. the way we live our life and how we relate to others. A chronic illness can make life stressful.

Common chronic illnesses

  • Stroke-this is when blood supply has cut off to the part of the brain, necessary oxygen doesn’t reach the brain. Cancer-there are over two hundred types of cancer and it effect different body parts, cancerous cells can grow and reproduce uncontrollably destroying healthy tissues around organs and other parts of the body.
  • Diabetes-there are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is when body doesn’t produce any insulin at all and type 2 when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Type 2 is usually found in older people. Not following the dietary rules can lead to eye problems and foot ulcers and more illnesses.
  • Coronary heart disease- coronary arteries are blocked by fattening substances which stop the blood flowing to the heart, this can be caused by high saturated diet and smoking, it’s the biggest killer in the UK.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension),-Around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure, blood is pressed against the walls of your arteries to pump around the body, if pressure is high that means there is a great strain on the arteries. If treatment is not done this could lead to stroke or heart disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (coped)-this is when the airways have narrowed causing the person not being able to breath, most likely cause can be smoking although fumes dust and air can cause this but very rare.(NHS)

A number of risk factors can be the root to the above diseases

  • Physical inactivity: We need to encourage the young to be active.
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet: high amounts of saturated fat, sugar and salt can be harmful.
  • Large consumption of alcohol

An unhealthy lifestyle is more likely to increase chronic illness, a person may have family history and so may be born into it, some illnesses are particularly to age gender or ethnic groups, nevertheless treatment and advice can be given to decrease the symptoms by following the healthy lifestyle

Inactivity can lead to poor health and chronic illnesses. Obesity in children is on the increase over the years. Unhealthy food in addition to inactivity has been a cause of this, there has been a fourfold increase in children and teenagers with obesity related illnesses.

Surveys in England conclude that 3 in 2-15year olds are overweight

Highest levels of obesity were found in older children, and those children with higher level of obesity lacked in physical exercise. Therefore exercise from young can reduce and reverse chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.(BBC)

Children who are obese from a young age or have parents that are overweight will result in being overweight when older. The worst diet is known to be in the poorer families as they have less variety in healthy food because food which has high saturated fat and salt will be cheaper. (Faculty of public Health)

Activities for young children

Creative Activities

Activities can be done both indoors and outdoors. Other than physical activities, activities which bring out the imagination of children should also be encouraged, a crayon or a pen can write stories and draw pictures, these pictures can tell a lot of what children are thinking and feeling thus enhancing good emotional well being for children.

Needle work and cookery are also good ways of making children active, i.e. baking pizza, using different vegetables and vibrant coloured vegetables like green pepper, red pepper and sweet corn. Meals including different vegetables like a Sunday meal or a plate of fresh and different fruits, ranging in colours and shapes will bring the attention of the child making eating times healthy plus encouraging family time.(Childrenssociety)

Activities done as a family will also be a positive step towards a good well being

Physical Activities

In today’s world, internet, games and mobiles has made children inactive, sitting doesn’t burn of food. Physical activity whether in the form of exercise or play is vital for children to grow up healthy, mental well being is also important.

Depending on age, children under 5 should have at least 3 hours of physical play daily, as long as they can walk unaided. Children over 5 should have at least 1 hour of exercise daily.

Parents should make time for walks and playing in the garden, maybe even extending visits to the local parks, forest and cities. Older children would most likely prefer football, basketball and dance as all these include other children. This will help increase confidence and support social well being.

Local councils and libraries offer quite a lot of activities and ideas for children.

  • Well being
  • Wellbeing means the quality of life; there are many factors to determine wellbeing i.e. Income, background, health and education. Well being also cover how a person’s life is emotionally, physically and socially as well as many other things.
  • The root to wellbeing is the home, looking at whether parents are happy, confident and able to tackle everyday tasks and problems as well as providing a loving home.
  • Arguments and confrontation should be avoided in the as this can be detrimental to a Childs well being.
  • Routines and consistency doesn’t mean strict but gives a sense of stability, responsibility and safety to the child. Children will learn through trial and error, let the child learn through their own actions and mistakes and should they be punished make it clear as to what the punishment is for, but consistency in rules has to be there.(wiki How)
  • Taking time out to engage in conversation with children is vital; they need to be listened to by a parent or even an older loved one. The child will open up to any problems or difficulty because the love and attention is there leading to a good emotional well being.(wiki How)
  • A child care centre is where a child is happy and comfortable to be able to open up about feelings of happiness or sadness leading to show any signs of difficulties or problems, this should be evaluated on a regular basis. The carer needs to make the sure the environment produces this atmosphere of safety, love and care and encourages trust.
  • Places like school, nurseries and playgroup run number of sessions to help and support parents raising families. Parenting can be hard and at times, stressful. Just as it’s important for children to have a good wellbeing it is also important for parents.
  • Parents can also open up here, talking to staff and relating to other parents that attend, this will help any anxieties, stress or problems there may be.
  • These are trained staff who are experts in this field. The centres are nationwide, some are free and are provided by the government to support families some charge money.
  • A healthy lifestyle is very important for a happy and content life, both mental and physical well being is important.

Reference list (Online web Resources)

  1. BBC.
  2. BUPA.
  3. Childrenssociety.
  4. CDC Healthy Living.
  5. Faculty Of Public Health.
  6. NHS
  7. WEBMD
  8. Wiki How


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