The Nursery Nutrition Programme programme is designed to equip nursery staff with the knowledge required to provide healthy, balanced and nutritious food in the nursery setting, and importantly understand the differences between nutrition for children under five years of age and healthy eating messages for older children and adults.
Improve the health and food offer for the children in your area by training nursery catering staff to understand their nutritional needs.
Liverpool First for Health and Wellbeing Partnership identified a need to offer support in food and nutrition to early years settings across the city. Health Equalities Group were commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the existing practice, knowledge and food provision in Liverpool nurseries.
The evaluation report made a number of recommendations including a requirement for support on healthy eating and nutrition at a policy, knowledge and training level for nurseries. Nutritional analysis of food provision showed that all sample menus were not fully compliant with the nutrient based standards produced by the Caroline Walker Trust.
The report went on to recommend that the support provided to nurseries should address concerns relating to both menu planning and ingredients used in food provision, giving nursery staff the skills and knowledge to implement changes to improve food provision for under 5's. These recommendations led to the development of the Liverpool Nursery Nutrition programme. This programme was designed to enable nursery staff and caterers to increase their knowledge and skills in early years nutrition and to provide dedicated resources to assist nurseries in the provision of nutritionally balanced diets.
The Food and Nutrition in Early Years course was developed to bridge the gap in training and support for nursery staff that was previously identified in the 2010 review of nursery food provision in Liverpool. It aimed to equip nursery staff with the knowledge required to provide healthy, balanced and nutritious food in the nursery setting, and importantly understand the differences between nutrition for children under five years of age and healthy eating messages for older children and adults. Nurseries seemed to be implementing adult nutritional guidelines through lack of awareness of differences in nutritional needs of younger children.
Overall the training was well received by participants and the content was thought to be suitable. The training was free for nurseries to attend, however there were no funds available to cover staff time out of the nursery. The evaluation report stated that nurseries showed great commitment to improving nutrition in their settings by taking time out to attend a 30 hour course.