Free courses aim to help families have a healthier future

Published: Tuesday, 2nd January 2018

Families are being encouraged to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle as they welcome in the New Year.

The latest Public Health England (PHE) Change4Life campaign encourages parents to take control of their children’s snacking and to “look for 100 calorie snacks, 2 a day max” to limit the intake of sugar. The campaign provides information on healthier snacks and will offer parents special offers on a range of products, including fruit and vegetables at selected supermarkets.

As part of the campaign, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s public health department has a number of free programmes coming up that aim to help people to make healthier choices.

Active Families provides families with the opportunity to learn more about healthy eating, the importance of being active and the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle for the whole family. Active Family sessions will start on January 15 at schools in the central, south and north of the city. 

For more information or to book a place, call 0800 464 0699,

Email Active Families  

Book a place online

The Cook and Eat programme supports local residents to better understand what healthy eating is and offers healthy recipe ideas as well as the opportunity to practise cooking healthy meals and increase confidence in cooking from scratch on a budget. 

Cook and Eat has already helped dozens of families locally, with more than 80 per cent of participants having reduced their intake of unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks since signing up. New Cook and Eat sessions will begin from January 8.

For more information about Cook and Eat, call 0800 464 0699

Email Cook And Eat  

Find out more about Cook And Eat Well courses

Groundwork West Midlands website 

Health experts at the city council have a number of tips to help people to become healthier. These include:

  • Mealtimes aren’t a race – take your time when eating.  It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to know it’s full.
  • Distraction is a great way to avoid unnecessary calories. Try reading, playing a game, or visiting one of the city’s leisure centres for some physical activity 
  • Make a jump start to your weekly physical activity by building some into your day – a family walk at the park, a cycle ride or just a kick about in the garden all helps.
  • Try adding an extra five to ten minutes of activity into your day – maybe a brisk walk at lunchtime or after dinner?  You’ll hardly notice the time and will feel much better. More tips online 
  • Try using a smaller plate and fill up on extra veg or salad. For more tips and advice go to One You.

PHE’s improved Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app can also show people how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in their food to help make healthier choices easier. It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. 

Download the app

Councillor Ann James, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Improving the health of residents is a huge priority for the authority, and what better time for us to encourage people to make healthier lifestyle choices than at the start of a new year?

“The Active Families and Cook and Eat programmes are excellent examples of how we are providing support and advice to local families to make these choices, in order to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

“These courses are free and are a great way to make small changes that can have a huge impact on people’s lives. I would encourage anyone who is interested to take a positive step forward towards a healthier lifestyle, and sign up.”