Parents and children across Warwickshire are learning the benefits of healthy eating thanks to the Smart Start funded ‘Food for Life’ programme. The programme has worked with ten nurseries and three children’s centres, offering guidance on how they can provide good food and make healthy, tasty, sustainable meals.
The programme has transformed the way nurseries think. One nursery has changed its menus and now sources ingredients to meet the FFL food quality standards and the children are perfectly happy with the changed foods. They have also expanded and developed the school garden to enable a cohesive approach all-year-round.
The Food for Life programme will continue its work with nurseries and children’s centres to help them to engage with children and parents, staff and the wider community to create a powerful voice for long-term change. The programme will look at how settings meet and exceed national standards for mealtimes and provide/promote healthy food and drink throughout their provision of care.
Programme Officer for Food for Life, Helene Heath said: “The programme has achieved some amazing results. The Smart Start funding helped us to support ten nurseries and three children’s centres, all of which are now working towards achieving a better balance of providing healthy, tasty and sustainable meals for their settings.
“We are hopeful that, in the long term, this will have an impact on children’s health, improve educational results, support local enterprise and tackle inequalities in local communities. All this from just one programme and a little Smart Start support!”
Another Smart Start funded community project, ‘Little Green Fingers,’ which trains staff to educate parents about the benefits of fruit and vegetables, also met with a lot of success.
Feedback included: “Our staff have been inspired by the course and are ready to put everything into practice. We are confident they will make a huge difference to the way our parents shop, cook and plan their meals and snacks.”
Helen King, Deputy Director of Public Health said “Both Smart Start funded programmes have made fantastic progress in engaging both staff and children in healthy eating. This is a great way to improve the health and educational outcomes for children in Warwickshire to give them the best start in life.”
For more information on the Smart Start programme please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/smartstart, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 413788