Parents urged to swap sugary snacks for healthy treats and improve child diet habits

Parents urged to swap sugary snacks for healthy treats and improve child diet habits

A campaign has been launched by Public Health England to encourage parents to cut sugar from their children’s meals and replace them with healthier snacks.

‘Sugar Swap’ tips have been added to the Change4Life website that suggests replacing ice cream and soft drinks with sugar-free alternatives.

The campaign launched following a recent survey amongst Netmums users who were polled on their views on sugar. The results highlight that nearly half (47%) of mums surveyed think their family has too much sugar in their diets and two-thirds of mums (67%) are worried about the amount of sugar their children consume.

Eating and drinking too much sugar means extra calories, which causes fat to build up inside the body. This can lead to heart disease, some cancers or type 2 diabetes later in life.

Children who are overweight or obese when they are young are far more likely to become overweight or obese adults. A recently published report highlighted that approximately one in five children aged four to five and one in three children aged 10 to 11 is overweight or obese.

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "Reducing sugar intake is important for the health of our children both now and in the future. We are all eating too much sugar and the impact this has on our health is evident.

"This campaign is about taking small steps to address this. We know from past campaigns that making simple swaps works and makes a real difference."

Visit the Change4Life Sugar Swaps page at and sign up for a free information pack that includes:

Free Sugar Swaps guide to eating less sugar, shopping pad, swap cards and stickers

Money off vouchers to make buying Sugar Swaps cheaper

Handy weekly emails and texts packed with tips, advice and fun ideas to help you swap.

More information

The DRWF leaflet A healthy diet and diabetes can be read at: