How the Early Years Nutrition Partnership helps nurseries and pre-schools to demonstrate a commitment to wellbeing?
5th June 2017
EYN Partnership Nutrition Development Manager
Through our work at the Early Years Nutrition Partnership we have met lots of early years practitioners, and it has been fantastic to see that so many people working in this field have a real belief and understanding of why young children need to eat well in order to form healthy habits for the future. With such a high proportion of young children now in formalised childcare for at least some of their week, early years practitioners are perfectly placed to help encourage healthy attitudes to food. However, a number of practitioners have told us that they do not have the training or the confidence in decision making about nutrition in their nursery.
It is a bit of a minefield. Not only do you have the different cultural needs of children within your setting, but you also have allergies to deal with, parental views towards food, and a fair bit of confusion about what is right and what is wrong.
The EYN Partnership has set out to help you overcome the nutrition challenges you face in your nursery or pre-school. We have a team of registered nutritionists and dietitians working up and down the country providing face to face, hands-on help to early years settings to help you achieve accreditation with our Quality Mark, which is designed to recognise good practice in food and nutrition.
This means that we are able to coach you through the changes you need to make, and can help you look at your menus through the lens of specific early years nutrition guidelines.
We help you learn about the four main food groups:
- Starchy carbohydrates
- Fruit and vegetables
- Dairy and alternatives
- Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins.
We help you think about which foods should be encouraged and which should be restricted, how often to provide foods from different groups, how to encourage variety in the types of foods provided, and how to determine portion sizes.
We also help you look at your food environment, how you work with parents, and how you approach educating the children, and their families, on food and health.
We will soon have you on your way to achieving the EYN Partnership Quality Mark which you will be able to proudly display to parents to show them just how much you value the health and wellbeing of the children in your care.
Come and talk to our team at Childcare Expo Manchester – we are looking forward to meeting you and helping you think about how you can prioritise nutrition and make a real difference to the children in your care! And if you want more information about the EYN Partnership have a look on our website here and our YouTube channel here.