Healthy habits - families



Get cooking

Cooking healthy meals doesn’t have to be boring, take a look at the websites for some tasty recipes.

Get active

Children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, with 30 minutes of this outside of school.


Information and resources relating to each session of the Healthy habits programme.

"The programme helped all of us"

"Who is it for?"

"We've done it together as a family"

Family video


Check out our FAQs section below for more details and frequently asked questions about the RSG programme.

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if you’re a healthy weight. The BMI calculation for children is different to that used for adults.  For children and young people aged 2 to 18, the BMI calculation takes into account age and gender as well as height and weight.

If you want to calculate your BMI, try out the NHS healthy weight calculator making sure to click on the children’s tab.

Each programme consists of eight, one-hour sessions for parents/carers to attend with their primary-school-aged child after school. Each week we cover different themes that are all associated with having a healthy lifestyle. Every week we’ll discuss healthy eating and encourage being active through lots of fun activities and games. We also cover topics such as sleep, screen time and even have a cookery week!

Yes. We know it can be difficult with work and childcare arrangements and so we encourage the whole family to attend. We are encouraging healthy changes that can apply to the whole family and we know that parents/carers play a big part in helping children to make these changes to their lifestyle. We are happy for grandparents or other family members over 18 to attend with your child if you can’t make a session and everyone is encouraged to take part in the whole session including the games.

We’d really like families to attend each of the eight sessions. We cover different topics each week but also have a recap of some of the previous advice. We understand it can sometimes be difficult to make every session because of things like illness. We will send you a reminder text each week about your session and will encourage families to come back to the group even if you’ve missed a session.

The Healthy habits programme is 100% free and is delivered by The East Sussex School Health Service.

We don’t hold sessions in half term, Easter and Christmas holidays.  We will however, be running a virtual group during the summer holidays for families to join. We also hold information and celebration events during the summer so that families can meet the team and have a taster of what joining the Healthy habits programme is like.

The Healthy habits programme is primarily intended for primary school-aged children aged 4-11. However, we’re very aware that there are children who are making the transition into Year 7 of secondary school who may wish to attend Healthy habits in that first school term before Christmas and who have only just turned 12. We’re therefore happy to discuss this with you further. Just contact the team via our SHOP on 0300 123 4062 or email   

It’s really easy for families to self-refer into our programme via our online referral portal or by calling our service on 0300 123 4062. Schools and other professionals who may be supporting your family can also make a referral on your behalf.

A member of the school health service will get in contact with you to discuss the Healthy habits programme and may also discuss other support on offer. The Healthy habits team will advise about where the next groups are being held and whether you would like to join our waiting list if these aren’t suitable.

We can also offer some healthy lifestyle advice to support you in the meantime. Sessions run online each term and in person at different venues across the county each term. We will update families about where and when sessions are due to start. Once you have elected to join a particular group a member of the team will arrange a telephone or video-call pre-assessment with you and your child(ren) to complete some paperwork and talk through the programme in more detail.

We recommend loose comfortable clothing that is easy to move around in. We play lots of games from dodgeball to tag!

Please bring a bottle of water as we will be doing lots of activities. Please also bring asthma inhalers if you require them.

For our fully virtual programme, families can access the one hour weekly group sessions online via Microsoft Teams. Families will need access to a computer, tablet or mobile phone with internet, camera and microphone access.

““I chose to join the programme because my son’s weight is a big worry – he was weighed at school in year 6 and we were told that he was very overweight.  I want us to be a healthy family and I couldn’t understand why our youngest son was so overweight compared with the rest of the family.  It was too overwhelming for me to find out ways that we could improve his diet and lifestyle as I had been trying to do this without success for many years.

The programme has been extremely useful in getting my son to understand the importance of eating the rights things in the right proportions and has given him ownership of managing his food intake and exercise.  It has taught me how to tailor our meals as a family to give all of us a healthier diet.  We are all healthier as a result and my son is beginning to show signs of being a healthy size.

He is definitely more motivated as he has seen that the small changes he has made has made a difference.  

All of the staff involved are very approachable and knowledgeable and there is plenty of opportunity to get ideas and support throughout the programme.

My son is doing his own exercise regime every day, and is keen to get fitter. He is enjoying exercise more than he ever has done as he can see that he is getting fitter and stronger.

I am more mindful of making sure that we are all eating the right proportions of food, cutting down on carbohydrates and increasing our salad/fruit and vegetable intake.”

Join Healthy habits

Online referral portal
0300 123 4062

Schools and other professionals who may be supporting your family can also make a referral on your behalf.


East Sussex

“My son was struggling with bullying and fat shaming, the school recommended these sessions which have helped his confidence 100% and also the way he eats. I would 100% recommend this , the people are so friendly and the sessions are fun.”


East Sussex

“The information provided during the course has been really interesting and helpful, my boys are certainly more educated on all aspects of food which is allowing them to make healthier choices in their day to day life.”


East Sussex

“My son has learnt so much from nutrition, portion sizes, sleep, hydration and exercise which will all be very valuable to him as he grows. To any parent who needs a bit of support with any of these areas I really can’t recommend the programme enough.”


East Sussex

“We loved the Healthy Habits programme.  I was anxious about signing up because I felt like I had really failed my son - I could see he was unhappy about his weight, and it was affecting his ability to play with the other children at school.  He really wanted a change, but I felt overwhelmed at how to make that change and embarrassed that I needed help. The Healthy Habits team were incredibly supportive, non judgemental and clearly just wanted to help us all - there was no pressure.”

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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

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