Baby being supported to stand by adult
Practitioners doing group work
Families at HENRY group programme
How HENRY supports a healthy start in life

HENRY is the UK’s leading healthy start provider. We offer a range of flexible family support and practitioner training services which support all aspects of child development. This holistic approach and our commitment to quality has led to commissions from more than 70 local authorities and the strongest evidence base for any UK early years healthy start programme.

The HENRY approach

HENRY adopts a unique and holistic approach to working with families underpinned by the evidence on risk and protective factors for early nutrition, child obesity and child development.

We integrate proven behaviour change models into a supportive and effective approach that increases parental confidence and their ability to provide a healthy start for their child. This ‘HENRY approach’ brings together support for parenting efficacy, family emotional wellbeing and behaviour change with information about nutrition, physical activity, oral health and more. Parents supported by HENRY make statistically significant lifestyle changes and independent clinical trials show these changes are sustained at follow-up.

Read more about the HENRY approach

Support for all aspects of child development

The breadth and holistic nature of the HENRY approach supports not only improved nutrition and healthy weight, but all aspects of wider early child development including social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive – therefore contributing to school readiness. This is why many commissioners use HENRY as a key parenting pathway.

Learn more about how we support child development

Improving practitioner effectiveness through training

Evidence consistently shows that improving the skills, knowledge and confidence of all practitioners working directly with families is vital to ensuring effective support for a healthy start in life. HENRY has trained over 12,000 health and early years practitioners and offers a range of flexible, well-established, effective and evidence-based training programmes, as well as bespoke training tailored to local need.

Read more about our practitioner training

Effective family support services

HENRY provides a wide range of family and antenatal programmes to support a healthy start in life – covering nutrition, infant feeding, speech & language, oral health, parenting, emotional wellbeing and healthy weight. Services include our evidence-based Healthy Families programme, a cooking skills programme, a range of subject-specific workshops, drop-in sessions and 1-to-1 support.

Find out more about our family support services

Community engagement and capacity development

HENRY embeds a local healthy start culture by equipping families and communities with the skills and knowledge to increase local awareness of the importance of a healthy start, capacity to provide it and to support long term lifestyle changes. We have a range of successful models including volunteer-led services which build on community assets and capacity.

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Resources for parents and practitioners

HENRY family support and practitioner training services are always developed hand-in-hand with high quality, visual resources that are accessible to families across a range of community and language groups. We consult widely with parents and practitioners and we get excellent feedback on the quality and impact of our resources. Examples include top tips, recipes, activity ideas, videos, charts, and books.

Buy HENRY resources

Flexible delivery models

Our family support services can be commissioned for direct delivery by HENRY, or through training your own local practitioners to deliver HENRY programmes and services. We also offer a popular ‘blended’ model with HENRY practitioners and local staff working together to deliver HENRY services. We can start with direct delivery and then train local practitioners to take on full local delivery as we step back. We can even train up local practitioners to deliver HENRY practitioner training.

Read more about our delivery models

Positive changes included increased parenting confidence, healthier food consumption in both parents and children, changes in family eating behaviour and increased physical activity

TA Willis et al, The impact of HENRY on parenting and family lifestyle

Parents doing group work
Improving practitioner effectiveness

Our evidence-based training for health and early years practitioners

boy in stripey top
Why a healthy start matters

The foundations for virtually every aspect of human development are laid in early childhood

child with red pepper
Why choose HENRY

Our services are evidence-based, effective, flexible, responsive and innovative

toddlers playing with toys
Value for money and return on investment

Investing in early years services improves outcomes for babies and children