Residents encouraged to eat well from a young age

Merton Council has welcomed the increased focus on children’s health following the release of the Government’s Healthy weight, healthy lives strategy and the School Food Trust’s study on school lunches.

The council has appointed a Food in Schools Nutritionist to educate students and their parents on the importance of a balanced diet and exercise.

As part of his work, David Tchilingirian has held lessons with year 6 pupils on the amount of fat, salt and sugar in snack foods.

Students were required to measure the quantities in their foods and carefully consider the results.

David also works with parents, showing them how to make a balanced packed lunch and giving them tips to help their kids eat healthy meals.

He says: “In the London Borough of Merton, we are ready to meet the challenge of helping families achieve optimum health. In our schools, lunches are consistently healthy and meet the Government Food Based Standards. School communities are creating food policies and children are being encouraged to snack more healthily at their clubs.”

Merton Council also works with the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust (PCT) to improve the health and well being of residents.

It provides training on obesity and weight management for people who work with and advise children and young people.

In addition, the PCT’s school nurses give advice to local school children on healthy eating, exercise and weight management.

Cabinet member for School Standards and Youth Engagement, Councillor Oonagh Moulton, says: “Merton Council is putting the needs of residents first and making sure everyone has the information they need to choose a healthy lifestyle. We are working with students and parents to ensure good nutrition and exercise are promoted from an early age and the same messages are reinforced both at school and at home.”