Better Care

Help your child to a healthier start!

Places are available on a weight management course that is improving the lives of children across the city.

The First Steps and Next Steps programmes are free, fun and interactive sessions designed to help  parents and carers who may be worried about their child’s weight make healthier food choices and be more active.

The First Steps Programme offers group sessions as well as individual appointments for parents of children from school reception age (4/5) up to 11 years old.

The six-week programme provides information on healthy eating and exercise, as well as tips and ideas on how to motivate children and their families to make healthy lifestyle choices.

healthy children

First Steps also provides parents with information on local physical activity opportunities. Programmes are available at locations across Birmingham and are run by trained children’s weight management advisors. Sessions are held mainly during the day, with some Saturday courses available.

Next Steps is designed for young people aged between 12 and 16 and includes physical activity sessions, as well as group learning on how to manage eating behaviour, and individual support. The programme is 12 weeks with sessions taking place after school.

The programmes are open to children across the city and may be of particular interest to parents who:

  • have received a letter saying that their child is overweight after they have been weighed and measured by the school nurse.
  • may have noticed their child has put on a bit of weight
  • are worried about their child’s weight and would like new ideas to help your family make healthier choices.

Eleanor McGee, public health nutrition lead at Birmingham Community Healthcare said: “Birmingham has many wonderful cuisines reflecting the diversity of our communities.

“In every culture, there are healthy food habits and not so healthy ones. We look at everything in these courses, from the amount of hidden sugar and fat in popular snack and drinks, to tactics for managing your own eating behaviour.

“Eating habits are established in childhood, and being overweight can contribute to serious health conditions in adult life so it is important that childhood weight problems are not dismissed.”

Programme manager Adam Williams added: "Last year, nine out of 10 children who completed our programmes either lost weight, or stopped gaining weight.”

The courses are free and open to any children whose parents are registered with a Birmingham GP, and whose child has a body mass index (BMI) above the 91st percentile.

Parents who are not sure what their child’s BMI is can contact the specialist team at Birmingham Community Nutrition for help.

Enquiries and referrals are welcomed from any health professional or family member on 0121 446 1021.