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The Children’s Food Trust has launched a new national award for nurseries that promotes healthy eating and good nutrition to children.
The charity launched its first ever annual accreditation scheme at its annual conference.
The new award will be open to any early years setting or school, which can show it is taking an integrated approach, to offering healthy food and drink for children.
Linda Cregan, chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust said: “Our award offers an easy way to spot those which really are doing a fantastic job on food, and the reassurance that they have the thumbs-up from experts.”
She added: “Anyone can say that they provide good food for children, but do they really deliver? Parents and carers so often ask what they should be looking for in the meals that their school or nursery provides, and on their approach to helping children learn about food.”
To receive the award, nurseries will have to show how they meet criteria on food policies and healthy menus. They will also have to demonstrate that staff encourage children to have good eating habits and give children opportunities to learn to cook.
Those wishing to apply for the award will complete an initial self-assessment free of charge, followed by a face-to-face assessment once they are ready to proceed and join the scheme. The assessor will look at a mealtime and talk to catering staff and children in the school or early years setting. Nurseries achieving the award will be able to use the award logo and will be named on the Children’s Food Trust website as an award holder, along with having access to information, news and resources throughout the year.
The Old School House Nursery in Cambridgeshire has already received the Children’s Food Trust award.
Nursery owner Linda Baston-Pitt, has found having the award has been invaluable. She said: “It’s reassurance for parents that their child is eating well when they’re with us and that we’re committed to helping their child get off to a great start with food, supporting their growth and development.”
For more information, visit www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/award