Healthy School's Newsletter, Primary School, March 2016
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Primary School edition, March 2016

Newsletters are back! 

Hello and welcome to the Spring Edition of Healthy School Newsletters. It has been some time since the last one, but the 14th edition is finally here! In this newsletter you will find updates on all things food, health and well-being. From tasty recipes and physical activity ideas, to keeping you informed about all the great progress that schools across Kingston are achieving through the Mayor's Healthy School London award scheme. If you would like any more information call us, the Kingston Public Health team, on 0800 028 8694 (freephone) or 020 8547 6815 and we'll be happy to help. Alternatively, you can email us at 

Nutrition: Nutrition and Hydration week, 14th - 21st March 2016


Did you know 14th-21st March is national Nutrition and Hydration week? It’s a great opportunity for you to look at how much fluid you and your family are having. Two thirds of our bodies are made up of water, and infants and young children have a higher proportion of body water than adults, meaning it’s even more important to ensure they are keeping hydrated. Children often forget to drink enough and so do some adults! To remind them, water should be available throughout the day, and parents, carers, and school staff should encourage children to drink at every opportunity. A lack of fluid can result in tiredness, headaches and the inability to perform at your best for all of us.

You are likely to have seen in the media how much sugar is in many soft drinks, particularly those marketed at children. This week is the perfect opportunity to look not just at how much you are and your family are drinking, but also what they drink. Change4Life have some great apps to inform you on how to get sugar smart with food and and drink. 

Top tips 
  1. Aim for 6-8 cups (250ml - 300ml per cup) every day.
  2. Plain water and milk (semi skimmed and skimmed) are the only tooth friendly drinks as they have no added sugar and unlike many drinks, are not too acidic which can damage teeth too. 
  3. Some foods, especially fruits, vegetables, soups and stews, can contribute up to 20% of our fluid intake.
  4. See the Nutrition Foundation website for more ideas on healthy drinks and foods, which count towards our fluid intake.

Recipe ideas: Savoury Flapjacks

Stuck for tasty snack ideas for the kids Lunch box?  With all the media coverage on sugar, we have steered well clear of sweet options. Here are our savoury flapjacks, adapted from Children's Food trust. 
Equipment Ingredients Method
Weighing scales
 Square baking tin (approx.  20 x 20cm)
 Baking parchment OR greaseproof paper
 Chopping board
 Sharp knife
 Mixing spoon
 Large mixing bowl
 Small bowl
 Oven gloves
 Large sharp knife
3 medium carrots (approx. 175g grated)
150g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese
150g porridge oats
1 medium egg
Pinch dried herbs
Black pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan or gas mark 4.
  2. Line the baking tin with the baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
  3. Peel and grate the carrots and weigh out 175g.
  4. Grate the cheese.
  5. Weigh the oats into a large mixing bowl and add the carrots and cheese.
  6. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the herbs and black pepper (if using). Beat with a fork to break up the egg and add to the large bowl.
  7. Mix everything together then spoon into the prepared tin, pushing the mixture well into the corners and levelling the top.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until turning golden.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before removing and cutting into 9 squares with a sharp knife.
Competition time! 

Whether you are delivering Chef's Club or another cooking programme in your school, or if you cook and bake at home, we want to know more about the foods you love to cook and eat!  Public Health would you like to share your healthy food creations with us. The most creative, and easy to follow will feature here in the summer newsletter.

The aim is to have recipes that are  low in sugar, fat and salt and high in fruit and vegetables to increase your fibre intake. If you have a recipe you would love to share, email us on H and don't forget to send us photos! 
Physical Activity: The Daily Mile
The Daily Mile is simple, quick, inclusive and free – why not bring it to your school today?
It has long been known that physical activity is an important part of healthy development. Being inactive can increase the risk of ill health, even in early childhood. Children who are active are healthier, happier, perform better at school and have a more positive outlook emotionally and socially. 

The Daily Mile introduces daily physical activity into children’s lives with the minimum of fuss. It's founder (Headteacher Elaine Wyllie) came up with the idea when she discovered that a group of children were exhausted when asked to run around the playing field....they only got half way!  The children recognised they were unfit and wanted to do something about it.  After a month of running for just 15 minutes each day, the results were remarkable and so the Daily Mile was born.  Nearly four years later, the children are physically fit, more focused in the classroom, more confident and resilient.

The Daily Mile is completely free and introduces daily exercise into children’s lives with the minimum of fuss. Raise it with your child’s teacher/head teacher and in turn, staff can contact Public Health for more information on 0208 547 6817 or e mail:
Weight matters - Factor Programmes in Kingston 
The results from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) are out. This is a national scheme where children in Reception and Year 6 have their weight and height measured, so that their individual Body Mass Index (BMI) can be calculated. From their BMI, health care professionals are able to assess whether a child is a healthy weight or indeed under or overweight. Being over or underweight has a number of ill health consequences, which is why we want to do all we can to support children and their families achieve a healthier weight for their age and height. 

The majority of children in Kingston are doing better than their London peers, however, we still see a doubling of overweight and obesity when we look at children in Year 6 compared to children in reception. This means, children are getting heavier as they get older. 

There are many many causes for overweight, which is why it is so hard to get everyone to a healthy weight. However, there are still lots of things you can do as a family to ensure your child has the best start in life. Here in Kingston we run, a variety of healthy lifestyle and weight management sessions for children and their families. Please see details below: 
For more information, contact the Public Health Team on email - or call on details below. 

A look at the News Headlines

New Alcohol guidance

You have probably seen the news headlines around alcohol intakes. In case you missed it, or wanted some clarification on what it means to you, read on.

What is the guidance? Men and woman are recommended to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol. This equals 6 pints of average strength beer a week. Previously men could drink up to 21 units but we now know this is not safe. Another change is for women during pregnancy. Previously, guidance was unclear on how much women could have and when. Now the guidance reflects the understanding that no level of alcohol is safe to drink in pregnancy.  The government now recommend women to abstain from drinking throughout pregnancy (or as soon as you discover you are pregnant).  

Why the change? The links between alcohol and cancer were not fully understood in the original guidelines which came out over 20 years ago. Now we know that risks associated with drinking alcohol start from any level of regular drinking and increase with the amount being drunk. There is no evidence to support the benefit of drinking alcohol for health for the majority of people*.

What are the risks? Drinking alcohol increases risk of death from cancers (including mouth, throat and breast cancers), heart disease and liver disease but also increases the risk of injury caused from drinking.
For more information on the new guidelines, go to drink aware's website.  To see how much you are drinking, why not look at our 
E-Checker . 

For specialist alcohol support (whether in relation to your own drinking or someone else’s) contact Kingston Well-being Service on 020 8274 3051 or visit Kingston well-being service website

*evidence suggests women over 55 may have a small benefit for heart health, when they limit their intake was to around 5 units a week.
One You Campaign 
On the way to a better you 

Our day-to-day choices can be more unhealthy than we think. But how often do we stop and think about how these choices will shape our health, both now and in the future?

This month saw the launch of ‘One You’, Public Health England's campaign to help you avoid future illness caused by modern day life. The One You website has lots of helpful information to support you in making changes to get healthier, whatever your motivation. 

Where to start? Take the short quiz about your lifestyle to help you identify where you can make simple adjustments to reduce stress, give you more energy and improve your general health and wellbeing.
Mental Health - simple things can have big a positive changes
Learning to be more aware does wonders for our wellbeing; we just need to stop and take notice. Try to give yourself a bit of head space at least once a day and take a few minutes to just be in the moment.

Notice and appreciate good things around you every day, big or small, even dandelions, the smell of coffee, children laughing. If we don’t spend any time doing things we enjoy, we can become irritable and unhappy.

For more ideas about how to start noticing the world around to improve your mental health go to Kingston Health and Welbeing webpage. 
Healthy School London (HSL) Update:
Healthy School London (HSL) is a London wide initiative helping schools to refresh, revive and re-establish the healthy environments they have worked hard to develop in recent years. Schools are awarded, bronze, silver and gold when they can evidence their commitment and achievement in many areas of health and wellbeing – from nutrition and exercise, to mental health and PSHE. Achieving an award is something which should be celebrated by the whole school community!  

Across London we have 43 of schools signed up, with 18 achieving bronze award and 3 silver awards which is fantastic. There looks like we should have some golds awards hopefully emerging next term. However, we want to do even better and ensure all children across Kingston have a fair chance at being happy and healthy. HSL is a great way to create a school environment where this can happen. For more information and to see how your child(ren)’s school are doing, visit the Healthy School London website.  
Congratulation to St Johns Church of England Primary School, who achieved their Bronze award at the end of last year (Photo above). Burlington Primary school have recently achieved their bronze award and will be awarded with their certificate at the next HSL event which takes place on Tuesday 22nd March 2016. Well done both! To see where your child's school is, view the HSL website here.
Staff updates:
Dates for your diary

What: Healthy School Local Event
Date: Tuesday 22nd March; Time: 12.30-4pm
Where: King Charles Centre, Surbiton
Who for: Teachers and HSL leads; but parents do feel welcome to talk to your school to find out about the progress being made, 
Food Growing Schools 

London will be running two large school conferences in March and April 2016. Topics include:
  • Meeting new Ofsted and curriculum guidelines using foodgrowing
  • Planning and constructing your growing space all in
  • Food growing and enterprise... and more!
This full day school gardening workshops, is led by London’s school food growing experts. The conference will be repeated at two venues:
  • North London Conference - Tues 15 March 2016, Argyle Primary, Camden
  • South London Conference - Mon 11 April 2016, John Ruskin Primary, Southwark
For more details and to book, please visit Food Growing school websit

Growathon challange is on!

Join 10,000 young london growers for the biggest school food growing challengage of the year. Feed your city: grow one thing, and tell a friend today! Pass it on!

For more information go to 
Food Growing Schools London. 
Volunteers wanted in Kingston: Bumps and Buggy walkers in Kingston
We are looking for volunteers to deliver our short easy health walks for parents and carers with babies and/or toddlers in buggies or slings. If you would like to enjoy a little time during your day talking with other parents in local surroundings while getting some exercise in the fresh air, please get in touch and speak to one of our team for more details on the number below:

Walks are an hour, running once per week in a local park or venue in Kingston.  Volunteers will be given free resources, training and on-going support.

For more information on joining the walks and/or leading the walks, please call 0208 547 6666 or email
Looking for information on something specific around healthy lifestyles? You might not be the only one, contact us and we can include an article on it next time. Call 0800 028 6894 or 020 8547 6815, or email
Kingston Public Health 
Lead Editor: Yasmine Cumberbatch, Community Food Project Worker and Healthy School Borough Lead, 

Supporting Editor: Ravneet Phalora, Public Health Dietitian 

Kingston Public Health Team
Guildhall 1, High Street, 

Telephone number: 0800 028 8694 or 020 8547 6815