For information on nutritional support during and after pregnancy, including local breastfeeding programmes and Healthy Start vitamins and food voucher schemes, please see the ‘Children and young people’ JSNA chapter.

Get Hackney Healthy is a local programme to promote healthy lifestyles in families and young people. There are several projects aimed at the 0-5 age group and their parents and carers, including several interventions to improve food and dietary behaviours. Locally produced guidance is available for early years settings to promote healthy weight. 2

HENRY (Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young) is an eight week group programme for parents of young children in Children’s Centres across Hackney and the City. It accepts referrals from parents or carers with children under five years of age who are keen to develop their skills to provide a healthy lifestyle for their family. It provides support with:

  • parenting skills
  • eating patterns and behaviour
  • physical activity
  • emotional wellbeing.

In 2014/15, 104 families competed the HENRY program and all reported they were more likely to make healthy changes to their lifestyle.

Local Children’s Centres also provide complementary feeding support for families, with the support of a dietitian.

In addition, a locally delivered Eat Better Start Better programme is being rolled out in Hackney to improve food choices in early years settings (see Box 5 for details).

Box 5: Case study – Eat Better Start Better in Hackney

60 of Hackney’s 177 early years settings are participating in the Eat Better Start Better programme. The first two years of the programme have seen some promising results, including:

  • improving the diets of 2,200 children
  • increasing fruit and vegetable intake for over 1,000 children
  • increasing the variety of fruit and vegetables for over 1,500 children
  • increasing oily fish consumption for over 600 children
  • increasing consumption of whole grains for over 1,000 children
  • reducing salt intake for almost 500 children
  • reducing consumption of high fat/high sugar snacks for over 900 children.


  1. London Borough of Hackney, “Children’s Centre Healthy Living Guidance,” London Borough of Hackney, London, 2016.
  2. London Borough of Hackney, “Children’s Centre Healthy Living Guidance,” London Borough of Hackney, London, 2016.