Childcare Expo: Confidence in making nutrition choices

By Lucy Shipton, EYN Partnership Registered Dietitian

Childcare Expo was a brilliant experience for us as we got to meet early years practitioners from across the country and tell them more about what we do at The Early Years Nutrition Partnership. As a team of nutritionists and dietitians what drives us is the desire to help nurseries understand the importance of their role in establishing good habits really early on. We know that’s the ideal opportunity to teach children about good nutrition, setting them up with the independence and the skills to make healthy choices around food. Good habits established early will stay with them until they are adults, and then they will have much better health outcomes, and be at less risk of the serious diseases that we are commonly seeing now.

It was great to have conversations about how we work with nurseries and pre-schools, the delegates we spoke to were curious about how ‘hands-on help’ actually works. For us it is all about getting to know a setting and understanding what their needs are, and tailoring our package of support to be of maximum value. It’s not just looking at menus. A big part of our role is giving setting teams the confidence to manage nutrition for the children day to day, and also to help them think about how to establish good working relationships with parents.

I am working across Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex with lots of nurseries that were doing great things, but were underconfident in managing fussy eating and special dietary requirements. If that sounds like you, if you want to shout about the good work you are doing but need help enhancing your practice or feeling confident about making nutrition choices then get in touch as we would love to help you develop that confidence to do the best for the children in your care. Check out my blog on some of the changes you can make today, and then give us a call!

Lucy is a registered dietitian with 18 years’ experience in children’s nutrition. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 1997 and has been practicing as dietitian in the NHS ever since. Lucy is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Councils and is a full member of the British Dietetic Association. She has been involved in the teaching and mentoring of students and contributed to several dietetic publications as well as presenting at childhood nutrition conferences.