Health chiefs in Wolverhampton are urging young families in the city to make some simple changes to their school time routines - which could make a big difference to their health.

Public Health England is today (Friday 16 August, 2013) launching Smart Restart, a major new Change4Life campaign that aims to make the start of the new school year an opportunity to establish healthier habits.

It wants families to introduce healthy changes to their school time routines - such as walking to school, incorporating short bursts of extra activity into the day and making sure children eat a healthy lunch at school.

Families who sign up to the campaign will be supported through a 6 week engagement and incentive programme to help them to stick to their chosen healthy change all the way through to half term.

The 5 Smart Restart changes families can choose from are:

· Stretch your legs - encouraging families to swap regular car or bus journeys for walking, scooting or cycling

· 10 minute moves - incorporating extra 10 minute activities into kids' routines to help build to the goal of at least 60 active minutes a day

· Screen time switch - encouraging limiting screen time and swapping time in front of the TV, tablet or computer for something active

· Beat the treats - encouraging families to swap unhealthy treats for healthier alternatives

· Super lunches - help keep kids going through the school day with ideas for quick and tasty lunches.

Ann Hoskins, Public Health England's Director for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Families tell us that they sometimes slip into unhealthier habits during the summer holidays, such as spending too much time in front of the TV or computer, or indulging in too many treats."

"The new school year is an opportunity for them to press the restart button and choose and sustain healthier habits for the year ahead. People are much more likely to establish a healthy new routine if they make one small change at a time - and Smart Restart will make this simple, fun and easy to achieve."

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "Taking 5 Smart Restart steps to change can make a huge difference to our children's lives by providing a range of goals for families to work towards."

Smart Restart is being backed by a multi-media advertising campaign including TV adverts by Aardman Animations which show mum 'reshaping' her kids to get them ready for the new term, and dad walking them to school.

To find out more about Smart Restart, search for "Change4Life" online.

  • released: Friday 16 August, 2013