Family programmes

HENRY’s family programme – Healthy Families: Right from the Start with HENRY – is an evidence-based child obesity prevention programme. It works with parents and carers of 0-to-5 year olds to help them develop a healthier and more active lifestyle for the whole family.

The HENRY programme has the strongest evidence-base of any UK early years child obesity prevention scheme and more than 5,000 families across England and Wales have now joined a HENRY programme. Read more about the evidence-base for HENRY.

The HENRY programme has also been awarded the CANparent Quality Mark meaning that it can be relied on by parents to make a positive difference, is recommended by other parents, is evidence based and is monitored and evaluated.

How do we support parents and carers of young children?

Building relationships based on trust and respect and doing things with families rather than to them or for them is central to everything we do. We adopt a strength-based and solution-focused approach to help parents give babies and young children the best start in life by focusing on factors known to be associated with later obesity. These are:

• Parenting skills

• Eating patterns and behaviour

• Healthy eating

• Physical activity

• Emotional well-being

How does it work?

There are two different formats of Healthy Families: Right from the Start with HENRY.
Together, these family programmes provide both universal and targeted support for families of babies and young children:

  • The HENRY Group Programme An 8-week programme for parents and carers of babies and young children to give them the tools and skills they need to provide a healthy family lifestyle. Click here for more information.
  • The HENRY 1-to-1 Programme A structured, targeted one-to-one intervention for families with babies or young children at particular risk of obesity or who are already overweight, using an outcomes-based support tool. Click here for more information.

Referral is determined locally, but there is usually a mix of self-referral and professional referral onto group programmes. Find a HENRY programme near you.

Contact us to discuss how to begin provision of HENRY family programmes locally.

Healthy Families: Right from the Start with HENRY fully complies with NICE guidance PH47 on the core components of weight management and lifestyle programmes.

What difference do HENRY family programmes make?

Extensive independent evaluation and peer-reviewed research studies overwhelmingly demonstrate the sustained positive impact HENRY interventions have on family lifestyle and child well-being:

  • More responsive parenting and higher quality parent-child interactions
  • Increased parenting efficacy – with a clear link between parents’ greater ability to encourage good behaviour and set limits and healthy lifestyle changes in the family in relation to screen time, mealtimes and snacks
  • Healthier and more active families evidenced by:

◊ Healthier eating for the whole family – more fresh fruit and vegetables, fewer cakes, biscuits and sweets

◊ Positive changes to family meals – eating home-cooked food together more often, fewer take-aways

◊ More sociable mealtimes, with less eating in front of the television

◊ Children who enjoy active play and learning

◊ Young children who are more able to manage their feelings and behaviour – and so start school emotionally prepared and ready to learn

Read more about the evidence-base for HENRY