Why early years nutrition is so important

The early years of a child’s life really matter when it comes to lifelong health. What they eat, and the habits they develop around food when they’re young, set the pattern for the rest of their lives.

Nurturing their growing understanding of food

Sadly, one in five children in the UK start school overweight or obese*. By encouraging healthy food and eating habits early on, we can encourage and steer children towards the right behaviours, setting them up for healthier futures.

*Health and Social Care Information Centre. National Child Measurement Programme – England, 2014-15 report. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19109

Hands-on help

The Early Years Nutrition Partnership (EYN Partnership) is working to improve the future health outcomes of young children by setting a standard for nutrition practice in early years settings.

Unique and central to EYN Partnership is the provision of tailored ‘hands-on’ help for early years settings, delivered by a network of nutrition professionals (Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians) with experience in the early years. The EYN Partnership nutrition professionals will work alongside settings to improve their nutrition practice, supporting them on their journey.

EYN Partnership resources have been developed using the expertise of the British Nutrition Foundation and the Pre-school Learning Alliance with guidance from the EYN Partnership Expert Panel.

Our aim is to provide parents and carers of children under five with access to hands-on help from a nutrition professional. This will be through their early years setting, or through reliable, evidence-based information and tools available online.

The programme has begun in six regions of England including; Manchester, the Midlands, Bristol/South Gloucestershire, North London and Surrey. The programme will continue to extend its geographical reach as it grows. If you’re a parent you can sign-up for more information here. If you’re an early years setting with a firm belief in the importance of good nutrition, register here to find out more. 

Meet the nutrition professionals

Our team of nutrition professionals all have experience in and a passion for early years nutrition. By bringing their skills and expertise directly into early years settings, they can provide face-to-face advice, hands-on practical guidance and access to a wealth of information, training and resources. The nutrition professionals will work side by side with early years settings to improve their nutrition practice. You can find out more here.

Meet the EYN Partnership expert panel

Our independent panel of internationally recognised experts has been selected to bring advice and guidance across a wide range of topics from behavioural psychology to children’s nutrition and obesity. Their role is to provide assurance that the information the EYN Partnership provides or guides you towards reflects current policy and practice.