Healthy eating in early years settings
This theme will support settings to raise awareness of healthy eating and good eating habits within existing practice and promote, educate and encourage families to provide healthy, nutritious food within the home.
Children's eating habits are formed early in life, and therefore their early years are a crucial time to support them to develop these. Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables can also help us address the climate and nature emergency. Eating meat less often and choosing meat that is produced in the UK to higher welfare standards (e.g. red tractor) can reduce carbon emissions and support a healthy diet. Choosing seasonal fruit and vegetables is great for people and the planet.
If you pledge, this is what you are committing to do
- Promote healthy eating messages in the setting and with staff and families.
- Provide children in the setting with 'healthy, balanced and nutritious' food, snacks and meals.
- Train staff to ensure they can provide healthy eating messages to children and their families.
- Promote and display the Healthy Start Voucher scheme in the setting and with families.
- Commit to engaging and working with external partner and agencies.
Training and resources
You can access the training and resources below to support you in promoting healthy eating and improving eating habits, and to support you in achieving the pledge.
The information and training section has AllergyWise training and there is an accredited module for pre school carers and early years. Training is free (a certificate on completion is available for £5)
Visit the Aanaphylaxis for more information.
Eat Better Start Better Train the Trainer training (free)
The Eat Better Start Better training is a one-day train the trainer course which will support settings to meet nutritional requirements for young children in their care. The training reflects the government's dietary recommendations for children aged 6 months to 5 years and sets out the food and drink guidelines for early years settings in England.
For more information on how to access a place please contact us.
Level 2 Understanding Nutrition & Weight Management (free)
The level 2 understanding nutrition and weight management is a two-day course aimed at practitioners wanting to develop their knowledge further around nutrition and weight management.
For more information on how to access a place please contact Wellbeing for Life - see for Wellbeing for Life: training opportunities information.
- Allergy UK
- NHS: The Eat Well Guide
- Eat Better, Start Better
- NHS: About Better Health
- NHS: Change4Life food facts
- NHS: Change4Life recipes
- Gov.uk: Example menus for early years settings in England
- Child Feeding Guide: tips and tools
- Infant and Toddler forum
- NHS: Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)
- County Durham Food Charter
- Food Durham
- Gov.uk: food safety
- Better Health Start for Life Weaning
- Healthy Start
- Healthy Start Vouchers – How to apply
- Better Health Food Scanner
- Food Foundation: New data show 4 million children in households affected by food insecurity
- Pacey: Spotlight on nutrition
- The Trussell Trust: Stop UK hunger
- Gov.uk: Check benefits and financial support you can get
- Your Local Pantry
- Gov.uk: Childcare you can get help paying for
- First Steps Nutrition Trust
- Weight Concern: Fighting obesity with knowledge
- BBC Food: Collections
- Simply Veg
- Early years
- 03000 268 917
Our address is:
- Early Years Workforce Development Team
- Children and Young People's Services
- County Hall
- County Durham
- DH1 5UJ