Healthy eating

A healthy diet (growth and development, and Oral health) is important at any age but it is particularly important for young children. Healthy food and good nutrition provide essential requirements for growth and development and can have a lifelong impact on overall health including oral health.

A healthy diet, based on the Food Standards Agency Eatwell plate is a diet based on starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, with some meat fish and alternatives, some milk and dairy foods, and a small amount of food and drink high in fat and/or sugar. Healthy eating should be promoted and encouraged to all pre-pregnant, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children.

Emphasising healthy eating and healthy choices with children and with their parents and carers can help establish healthy habits for life. Early childhood is a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for healthy eating and a time when parents may be open to considering healthier choices for the whole family. It is important that early years practitioners consider nutrition a topic that can be influenced in many different settings including childcare settings, nursery and school.