Child Health

Physical activity

Children need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day for good health, this can be several short 5 or 10 minute bursts of activity throughout the day. Ball games, chasing games, riding a bike, skipping, swimming and dancing are great. Walking or cycling short distances instead of using the car or bus is a great way to be active together as a family.

Find out the amount and types of physical activity recommended for under-5s

Find out the amount and types of physical activity recommended for children and young people aged 5 to 18

Join Change4LifeĀ for free and your child will get their own personalised activity plan full of good ideas for getting moving.

Health eating

You can check if your child is a healthy weight here.

Encourage healthy meals including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Discourage sugary and high-fat things like sweets, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks.

Make sure portions are the right size – avoid giving the same portions to children as you would to adults. It is better to give a small portion and give more if your child is still hungry. Try not to make your child finish everything on their plate.


Children need more sleep than you may think. Sleep is very important for brain development. Prioritise their sleep just as much as their diet and exercise. See these sleep tips for teenagers.

agesleep requirement
1 week16-17 hours
4 weeks14-16 hours
6 months14 hours
12 months13 hours
2-4 years12-13 hours
5-7 years11 hours
8-11 years10-11 hours
12-13 years9-10 hours
14-16 years9 hours

Download this useful booklet :

Teaching children to take tablets