Getting children eating well for life means starting early. Whether you run a nursery, work in a children’s centre, look after children as a childminder or if you oversee early years education in a local authority, Action for Children are here to help you deliver great food for under-fives.
Action for Children’s Eat Better, Start Better guidance and supporting material has been developed to help early years providers and practitioners to meet the Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirement for the provision of healthy, balanced and nutritious food and drink.
This new guidance, updated in 2017 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. Following the advice in this new guidance when providing food and drink will help you to meet the nutritional requirements of young children in your care.
The new guidance and associated menus contains new information relevant to the youngest children along with the up to date standards.
Public Health England has launched their new example menus to help early years professionals plan healthy meals for children in their care. These menus can be found here
Public Health England have released guidelines to help health protection teams control outbreaks of scarlet fever in schools, nurseries and other childcare settings.
Click on the link to download the guidelines: Scarlet Fever: Managing Outbreaks in Schools and Nurseries
Healthy eating messages come alive with the new Go Golborne 5ADAY animation.
The animation brings to life the catchy song ‘5ADAY Your Way‘, written for the Royal Borough’s local campaign,Go Golborne, by local Calypso musician Alexander D Great. The campaign aims to support children and families to eat well, keep active and feel good.
The animation has been created to teach children key facts about the 5ADAY message using real-life fruit and vegetable characters. It includes top tips on how we can include enough fruit and vegetables in our daily diet and is an ideal resource to use in school assemblies, in lessons or within Children’s Centres to teach children about this key healthy eating message.
This review from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews aims to assess the effectiveness, cost effectiveness and associated adverse events of interventions designed to increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables or both amongst children aged five years and under.
Background: Consuming not enough fruit and vegetables is a considerable health burden in developed countries. Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of future chronic disease. Early childhood represents a critical period for the establishment of dietary habits. Interventions to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables in early childhood may therefore be an effective strategy in reducing this disease burden.
Review question: To assess the impact of interventions designed to increase eating of fruit or vegetables or both among children aged five years and under.
Conclusion: The evidence for effective interventions to increase eating of fruit and vegetables by children aged five and under remains sparse. Child-feeding interventions appear to increase the eating of vegetables by children (by 4.03 grams), but this conclusion is based on very low-quality evidence and is very likely to change when future research is undertaken.
For further details of this review click on the link: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Interventions for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged five years and under
Early Language Development: Needs, Provision and Intervention for Pre-School Children from Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds.
A new review of the evidence on early language development, commissioned by the EEF in partnership with Public Health England has examined the most effective ways to support young children with delays in their early language development. Researchers looked at the existing evidence to find out which interventions have the greatest potential for boosting toddlers’ language skills and reducing inequalities in outcomes.
Findings: The researchers identified a series of intervention studies which have had positive results on developing language skills. They found one of the best ways to improve early language development for this group is through training for teachers in early years settings so that they can deliver cost-effective and evidence based interventions to those children who have fallen behind. In addition to high-quality early years provision, the researchers identify interactions with parents as key. They highlight at need to promote positive interaction between parents and their children before they get to nursery at 2-3 years.
The report also stresses the need for better monitoring of children’s progress at different stages of their development, to catch those children falling behind and to identify those who need targeted, specialist support.
This evidence review will inform guidance on early years literacy teaching, due to be published later this year.
For more information and to read the review, click on the link: Early Language Development Review
This guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) covers recognising and responding to abuse and neglect in children and young people aged under 18. It covers physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.
The guideline aims to help anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and young people to spot signs of abuse and neglect and to know how to respond. It also supports practitioners who carry out assessments and provide early help and interventions to children, young people, parents and carers.
Click on the link to download this guidance document: Child Abuse and Neglect