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Nutrition Award

As an early years setting you lay the foundation to support the health and well being of children and their families. Our Nutrition Award recognises settings who demonstrate best practice through their nutrition provision. It compliments and enhances the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the Eat Better Start Better voluntary food and drink guidelines for early years settings.

Why Choose Our Nutrition Award?

Our tiered award - Bronze, Silver and Gold – is used to improve and support nutrition practice in all Early Years settings including nurseries, children’s centres and childminders. Our award meets criteria 3- Healthy Eating, and criteria 5- Breastfeeding and Starting Solid Foods, of the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) Bronze Award:

Settings Completing Early Start Nutrition Award Only

  1. Register your setting for an online account here.
  2. Once you create a username and password, sign up to the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze for free, using your settings coupon code . If your setting already have an account, you'll follow the same process. 
  3. Once you have access to the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze, read through the introduction pages which contain useful resources and download the criteria document and code of practice checklist (word or PDF versions available)
  4. Complete the criteria document, code of practice checklist and submit your supporting evidence.
    Don't forget you will receive:
    • Support from one of our Nutritionists during a validation visit to your setting
    • Menu Planning and Food Policy training to support the completion of the Code of Practice checklist.
  5. Once you have completed the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze, you can request the Silver Award and finally the Gold award. You'll simply follow the same process of downloading and completing the relevant criteria documents.

Settings Completing Both Early Start Nutrition and Healthy Early Years London Award

  1. Register your setting for an online account here.
  2. Once you create a username and password, sign up to the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze for free, using your settings coupon code. If your setting already has an account, you'll need to follow the same process.
  3. Once you have access to the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze, read through the introduction pages which contain useful resources and download the criteria document and code of practice checklist (word or PDF versions available)
  4. Complete the criteria document, code of practice checklist and submit your supporting evidence.
    Don't forget you will receive:
    • Support from one of our Nutritionists during a validation visit to your setting
    • Menu Planning and Food Policy training to support the completion of the Code of Practice checklist.
  5. Register for a Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) award by creating an account and complete their First Steps (click here).
    • Once you are ready you can then complete the HEYL Bronze Award audit and meet all of the criteria.
    • Please note you will not need to complete Criteria 3 and 5 of the HELY Bronze. In these sections simply write ‘Achieved Early Start Nutrition Bronze Award’. You will not need to complete these sections of HEYL as they have been aligned to the Early Start Nutrition Award
  6. Once you have completed the Early Start Nutrition Award - Bronze, you can request the Silver Award and finally the Gold award. You'll simply follow the same process of downloading and completing the relevant criteria documents.

Additional Information and Top Tips

Timeline from sign up to completion of each award:

Settings complete the bronze award at different paces, however in our experience, many feel 3 to 6 months is enough time to collate all the required information.  It is important to be realistic in your timeframe:

- Giving yourself too little time could result in information being missed out

- Giving yourself too much time may result in the loss of motivation and momentum

It’s a good idea to discuss your award timeline as a team and consider busy and quieter periods over the year.

Silver and Gold are typically achieved within a similar timeframe.

How long is the Award valid for?

Each award is valid for 3 years and you will be required to complete a yearly competency review to support you in sustaining best practice. 

To keep both the Early Start Nutrition and HEYL Bronze Award, every three years the setting/childminder should submit a revised audit and code of practice checklist, alongside your supporting evidence. The same process applies for Silver and Gold, along with the required case studies.

What evidence do I need to submit?

Once you sign up to an Early Start Nutrition Award – Bronze, Silver or Gold, you will have access to examples of completed Criteria and evidence documents to support you in compiling your evidence.

Taking time to review these documents will support your setting in considering how much information to include and what evidence to collate.

Can I complete the Healthy Early Years London Award without Completing the Early Start Nutrition Award?

No. The Early Start Nutrition Award has been aligned to Criteria 3 and 5 of the HEYL award Bronze and Silver.

The Healthy Early Years London team have recommended that settings complete the Early Start Nutrition Award to showcase your commitment to improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

As part of Newham’s HEYL Quality Assurance Board it is a requirement to complete the Early Start Nutrition Award to meet Criteria 3 and 5 of HEYL.

Do I need to complete a minimum number of Early Start Nutrition Training modules to achieve the Nutrition Award?

No. It's important for staff to attend training and to plan a timeline for completion, however, there is no minimum number of training sessions for staff to complete.

We have now removed the training tiers so there is more flexibility for staff to choose the relevant course that supports your setting in improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for children and families.

The training is helpful to support your staff in understanding the key nutrition requirements that link to EYFS, Eat Better Start Better and Ofsted's review.

Benefits Of Our Nutrition Award

Personal online account to access criteria documents and a range of supporting material

Validation visit to review your mealtime environment to support your Ofsted Inspection

One to one support from an expert Registered Nutritionist

How Can I Get An Award?

Our team of expert Registered Nutritionist will support your setting to:

  • Meet the 5 key criteria areas and provide supporting evidence
  • Ensure you menus meet the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings In England
  • Improve your practice through booking a validation visit
  • Maintain standards of excellence and continue to demonstrate best practice in your setting

The 5 key criteria areas:

Criteria 1

Nutrition Training and Health Promotion

Criteria 2

Food Policy and Adapting a Baby Friendly Approach

Criteria 3

Promoting Physical Activity

Criteria 4

Encouraging Learning About Food

Criteria 5

Managing Food Allergies and Dietary Requirements

Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) Award

Our team also offers support to London Boroughs and early years settings who are working to achieve the Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) award.

We provide recommendations and support to help you achieve Criteria 3, Criteria 5 and the Code of Practice checklist for the Bronze and Silver Awards.

We have developed a local Award for Newham Council which is aligned to the nutrition elements of the HEYL award.

Our team of expert Nutritionists also provide Menu Planning and Food Policy training to support settings in completing the Code of Practice checklist and meet the Eat Better Start Better voluntary food and drink guidelines.

Contact the team to find out more.

How Has the Award Supported Early Years Settings?

Seahorses Day Nursery

Achieved the Bronze Award

“The Health Award has helped us to gain a better understanding of healthy eating as the London borough of Newham has high rates of obesity. We hope to encourage more parents to become aware of these rates and work with the nursery to eat healthily and have the right amount of physical activity in a whole family approach.”

 

Moksliukas Nursery

Working Towards the Bronze Award

Moksliukas Nursery provides a supportive baby friendly environment and have reviewed their Baby Friendly procedures around safely preparing formula milk which is displayed in the Baby Room. They now have leaflets in the Baby Room about drinks and best choices for cups for babies. They are also supporting families to breastfeeding in their nursery.

 

Rebecca Cheetham Children's Centre

Achieved the Bronze Award

Rebecca Cheetham Children’s Centre update their display boards regularly to change the topic and inform families of any updates.

Using information from nutrition training they have created display boards and have noticed parents have shown an interest and now regularly check for updates e.g. parents are making comments about not knowing the amount of sugars that is contained in some foods and drink, the foods they can try to introduce to their child when weaning rather than using rusk biscuits but healthier options e.g. boiled / blended broccoli.

 

Alphabet House Nursery

Winner of our National Smile Month Competition

Alphabet House Nursery won our National Smile Month Competition which aimed to educate children on the importance of visiting the dentist, looking after their teeth and making healthy food choices. Alphabet House did some fantastic role play activities where children practised teeth brushing and gave the nursery teddies a dental check-up.

Bronze Award

Little Butterflies provide their experience with the Bronze Award

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