New app to help parents take control of their children’s diets

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Change4Life has launched the Be Food Smart app to help parents take control of their children’s diets.

North Lincolnshire Council is encouraging local parents to use the app to help reduce their children’s sugar, saturated fat and salt intake.

The national Be Food Smart roadshow will visit North Lincolnshire on Tuesday 21 February, to help people with any technological issues and to provide live demonstrations.

According to Public Health England, many children consume half the daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell rings. The recommended daily intake of sugar is between five and six cubes for children. Many are consuming the equivalent of almost three cubes at breakfast time. By the end of the day, many have consumed the equivalent of more than 15 cubes of sugar.

Becoming overweight or obese and developing tooth decay are problems associated with eating and drinking too much sugar. It is very easy to do when sugary cereals, drinks and spreads are easily accessible.

Sweets, chocolates, biscuits, muffins, pastries and soft drinks consumed throughout the day are also contributing to an unhealthy diet and the associated health issues. The Change4Life, Be Food Smart, app aims to help parents make healthier choices for themselves and their children.

The free app works by scanning the barcode of products and highlighting the sugar, saturated fat and salt levels, so parents can compare brands and varieties to make an informed decision. It includes food detective activities and mini missions for the whole family, to make healthy eating even more enjoyable. Visit the Change4Life website, www.nhs.uk/change4life, or your app store to download the Be Food Smart app.

The national Be Food Smart roadshow will visit the Morrisons supermarket in Scunthorpe on Tuesday 21 February from 9am to 5pm. Shoppers will be shown how to download the app, if they haven’t already, and the team will provide live demonstrations to show people how it works.

For local support with achieving a healthy weight, contact the Get Going programme on 07702 275246. It is a programme for four to 16 year olds who are above a healthy weight. The team will work with you on a one-to-one basis over 12 weeks, providing support and advice on eating a healthy, balance diet and doing physical activity.

Councillor Carl Sherwood, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing at North Lincolnshire Council said: “In North Lincolnshire, 23 per cent of our four to five year olds and thirty-seven percent of our 10 to 11 year olds are overweight or obese. We need to reduce these numbers so that our children can continue to enjoy long, healthy lives.

“Food and drink labels can be very confusing. The Be Food Smart app helps to break through this confusion in a fun and visually appealing way, simply by using the camera on your smart phone. It helps people to make a quick decision on a healthier option during the chaos of family life.

“Pop along to the roadshow at Morrisons on 21 February for help with the app, or contact the Get Going programme to help your family achieve and sustain a healthier weight.”