With reference to Liz Nunn's letter (29 November-12 December), we at theSchool Food Trust are always pleased to hear from others who share ourcommitment to supporting children's health and wellbeing from birth witha healthy, balanced diet.
Good nutrition is critical in the foundation years - not only to helpprevent obesity in children, but also to help them develop good eatinghabits which will stay with them into adulthood.
We were sorry to hear of concerns about our website. As I have nowexplained to Ms Nunn on the phone, if early years practitioners visitour homepage at www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk, they will find a button for'early years' at the bottom of the page, alongside buttons for'schools', 'parents' and 'partners'. If they click on the early yearsbutton this will upload the webpage where there is a full description ofthe School Food Trust's early years programme called Eat Better, StartBetter (go to www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/eatbetterstartbetter).
However, we will use Ms Nunn's feedback as we continue to develop ourwebsite in the next few months. Further work on our early years pages iscertainly a part of our plans.
I'm pleased that she found the report from the Advisory Panel on Foodand Nutrition in Early Years so helpful. Nursery World readers mayremember that among the panel's recommendations was the development ofthe first nationally recognised, practical advice for early yearsproviders and practitioners on how to provide healthy, balanced food anddrink for young children.
We have been working with early years practitioners and national sectorrepresentatives to develop these guidelines; they have been submitted tothe Government and will be published shortly on our website.
Dr Patricia Murcavele, senior manager, research and nutrition, SchoolFood Trust
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NURSERY DIET IS A PRIORITY
It was great to hear that the training we delivered back in May was wellreceived and inspired Liz Nunn to focus on nutrition in her furtherstudies, which is a great compliment.
I also wanted to take the opportunity to ease some of her concerns. Overthe last few months I have had the pleasure of working alongside some ofthe early years advisory panel team while they produced the guidance thewebsite mentions.
I am not sure what the time-frame for making the guidance available onthe website is, but I can assure readers that it should be availablesoon.
This will sit alongside a host of other resources and tools which shouldsupport early years settings in providing good quality, healthy foodthat is appropriate for young children.
In the meantime, I would like to direct readers to our Healthy Under 5sprogramme website at www.healthyunder5s.nhs.uk. Over the last couple ofmonths we have made a lot of our resources and programme materialsavailable, so any early years setting can use them to achieve bestpractice. Readers of Nursery World will probably recognise some of themfrom the Deliver Better Nursery Food training.
We also have our Healthy Celebrations pack available for purchase. Wehave just received them and I aim to get in contact with all theinterested settings from the training about the cost of the pack veryshortly.
Emma Cronly-Dillon, dietician at SEPT Community Health Services inBedfordshire
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