New research to explore the quality of food served at nurseries

Katy Morton
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The challenge early years settings face in providing healthy food to children in their care, is the focus of new research by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Researchers are trying to understand whether national food guidelines are being used by early years settings and if they are helpful PHOTO Adobe Stock
Researchers are trying to understand whether national food guidelines are being used by early years settings and if they are helpful PHOTO Adobe Stock

Researchers want to understand whether current voluntary early years food guidelines are useful, if they are being used and what barriers settings face in providing nutritious meals.

As part of their study, a survey has been sent to a representative sample of 3,000 nurseries across the country to be completed by either the manager or chef.

Findings will be shared with the Department of Health and Social Care.

It forms part of a larger project by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on food practices in early years settings.

Cécile Knai, professor of public health policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Faculty of Public Health and Policy (pictured), who is leading the research, said, ‘We know that early years settings are crucial to a young child's wellbeing and development, and that food and nutrition play an important role in that.

‘Our research will shed more light on the experiences of early years settings across the country. The ongoing survey is helping us understand this in more detail. A warm thank you to all who have contributed to the study so far and we look forward to sharing findings as soon as they become available.’

The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme through its core support to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Policy Innovation and Evaluation Unit.

 

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