By Charlotte McDonagh

THURROCK Council has rolled out an initiative aimed at encouraging healthy eating among children.

Eat Better, Start Better is a programme run by the Children’s Food Trust which teaches children about balanced diet.

The introduction of the scheme came after figures released last November found that a quarter of Thurrock’s 10-year-olds are obese.

The council said it was working hard to tackle the problem of obesity and develop healthy weight strategies.

The authority’s early years and public health teams, who are both specialists in health and social care for children, have taken this scheme out to children in the borough in recent weeks.

More than 35 healthy cooking sessions and 14 community food activities have been held so dar to provide 431 parents and carers with advice on food rights and wrongs.

Councillor Rice said: “So far the programme has increased food, nutrition and healthy cooking knowledge, skills and confidence as well as improving healthier food provision for children.

“It is essential our youngest residents get the best possible start and that good nutritional habits are formed at the earliest stage in a child’s life. This will help ensure better health throughout life.”

It is hoped the programme can grow in the coming months. A volunteer event will be held in April for anyone who would like to help Thurrock’s youngsters live a more healthy lifestyle.

To register, email


THE Children’s Food Trust, who run the Eat Better, Start Better programme issue the following advice when it comes to healthy eating for children:

*provide children with a variety of starchy foods as snacks across the week (e.g. rice, pasta, noodles, potatoes)

*water and milk are the only drinks that should be drunk between meals

*sweets and sweet foods e.g. cakes should be avoided between meals

*a portion of fruit and veg should be eaten with breakfast every day

*choose breakfast cereals with low or medium sugar content

*eat oily fish as a dinner at least once every 3 weeks