Editor's view - The importance of making a difference

The early years sector's interest in and knowledge of food and nutrition for young children has certainly been on the rise recently.

The Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings launched in January 2012, the first ever such guidelines, have had a noticeable effect on both awareness and practice.

Although the guidance is not statutory, it has been taken on board by many settings, and evaluation has found that those working with the guidelines are providing better food for the children they care for.

Last week, we reported that the Children's Food Trust has launched a series of online courses for early years professionals, which should provide further support.

And look out for the next issue of Nursery World on 21 October, which will include a free Nursery Food supplement, sponsored by Kellogg's, full of advice and information about early years nutrition. There's also an interview with Tootsies, winner of our Nursery Food Award for 2013 - congratulations to them and all our other winners.

And on the theme of Award winners, we were delighted to give our Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Cathy Nutbrown, who has done so much for the early years and spoken out so elqouently about proposed policy changes. Receiving her award, Cathy told the story of a little girl on the beach trying to throw thousands of stranded starfish back into the sea. When her father said that there was no point as it wouldn't make a difference, she put another one back and said, 'Well, it made a difference to that one.'

That's a message we should all keep in mind in the current climate.

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