Resource: Food Matters – Good practice guide for nurseries and other childcare settings

Nurseries, childminders and other early learning and childcare settings can make a huge difference in supporting youngsters to eat well and enjoy well balanced and nutritious food.

Eating well is essential for children in their early years as it can bring a host of health, social and educational benefits. And early learning and childcare settings across the sector are well placed to support children and families to explore and connect positively with food.

And now the Care Inspectorate has launched Food Matters, a resource full of good practice examples of how to support children and families to develop a positive relationship with healthy eating.

Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, Peter Macleod said: “This resource celebrates the many ways in which early learning and childcare settings are supporting children to have positive eating experiences and enjoy well-balanced, nutritious food.

“The Care Inspectorate wants to help make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and this resource is intended to be practical, inspirational and support improvement across all early learning and childcare care services that children experience. We want to see all care services ensure children are offered well-balanced, minimally processed, nutritious and appetising meals that include
fresh fruit and vegetables.

“We have worked alongside the sector to enable providers, practitioners and families to tell their own stories of how they are supporting children to eat well and enjoy good food every day. This resource compliments, and should be used alongside, NHS Health Scotland’s Setting the Table, the nutritional guidance and food standards for the sector.

The resource was launched at Cornton Nursery in Stirling who feature in the resource and have introduced some innovative plans to encourage youngsters to develop positive relationships with healthy foods.

Kate O’Neill, head of the nursery said: “Cornton Nursery community are delighted to be part of the launch of Food Matters.

“With almost one in four children in Scotland living in poverty, it is essential that services like ours who support children and families, are responsive to their individual health and wellbeing needs.

“This document is a wonderful example of how early years providers can embrace food into their curriculum delivery, in order to ensure children and families thrive and achieve.”

Download Food Matters here.