There was a time when most people led lives that kept them at a healthy weight. children walked or cycled to and from school every day and played out for hours on end outside of that time. Meals were home-cooked and there was always a vegetable on the plate. Eating 'junk food' was rare as were sugary soft drinks and snacks.
Today, our children experience a very different lifestyle. Walking isn't always possible, particularly in our rural communities. 'Screen time' often replaces physical activity, especially 'playing out'. Parents are busier than ever and families eat fewer home-cooked meals and often lack skills and confidence to cook from scratch. Fast food and snacking between meals is now common. Partly as a result, we have become increasingly overweight as a nation with implications for our health and our health services. .
Our current generation of children and young people are the first ever to have a life expectancy 5 years less than that of their parents. So it's time to make a change to our food and physical activity habits, and early years settings have an important role to play in helping children lead healthier lives.