Health tip texts for parents

PARENTS of pupils at two Ilkeston schools will receive text messages offering advice on healthy meals for their children.

Chaucer Junior School and Dallimore Primary School are taking part in a NHS pilot scheme aiming to encourage children and their families to live a healthier lifestyle.

Each text message will offer health tips, nutritional advice and information about local leisure activities.

They will be sent out to the parents of 720 schoolchildren across the county once a month for six months from February.

Headteacher at Chaucer Junior School, Anna Upton, said: “We’re keen to build on the success of our previous Health Promoting Schools (HPS) awards.

“The texting scheme will help to provide useful tips for our families and promote healthy eating.”

Rachel Crowther, headteacher at Dallimore Primary School in Kirk Hallam, said: “At Dallimore we are hoping this will have a positive impact on the life of our children both in and out of school and we are looking forward to hearing how families have benefited from the text messages and links to activities within the Ilkeston area.”

NHS Derbyshire County is the only primary care trust in the East Midlands chosen to trial the programme, being run as part of the national Change4Life scheme.

Families that take part in the scheme will be rewarded with free leisure passes.

Jane Hicken, programme leader for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen by the government to lead the East Midlands in this life-changing initiative.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to use innovative new ways to encourage families to take those all important steps towards improving physical activity levels and a healthier diet.”

One mum, collecting her daughter from Chaucer Juniors, said: “I think it’s a good idea, it’s not like your phone will be going off all the time or like you’re being told what to do.

“Just advice and information and stuff is a good idea.

“Schools encourage children to be healthy so why not involve their parents as well.”

Jane Hicken added: “Too much body fat leads to cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease so we need to do all we can to change people’s behaviour for the better.

“All the goals and advice we’re giving people is straightforward and achieveable, and by drawing the whole family in we want to motivate hundreds of people in Derbyshire towards a better, healthier life.”