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NHS Health Scotland Launches Healthy Eating Guidance for Children

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NHS Health Scotland Launches Healthy Eating Guidance for Children

NHS Health Scotland Launches Healthy Eating Guidance for Children
January 12
08:10 2015

NHS Health Scotland, the organisation in charge of administering and promoting the Scottish Government’s healthyliving award, has today launched Setting the Table, a revised nutritional food standards guidance for early-years childcare providers in Scotland.

Developed to help meet the Scottish Government’s National Care Standards: Early Education and Childcare up to the age of 16 (2009), The guidance also highlights the importance of nutrition in the early years, and the role that childcare providers have in shaping both current and future eating patterns in young children.

Expanded to include the needs of infants from birth to one year, the booklet offers advice on topics such as breastfeeding, formula feeding, weaning, and menu planning for babies.  It also includes food, snack and drink guidance for children age 1-5 years, including the importance of good nutrition, food standards, providing breakfast, pack lunches, snack guidance, sample menus and recipes.

Acting Minister for Children, Fiona McLeod, said: ‘The early years are some of the most important of a child’s life, and supporting childcare providers allows us to ensure Scotland’s children get the best start in life.

‘We know that eating habits developed in the early years frequently last into adulthood, so childcare providers have an early opportunity to support the development of positive food habits from a very early age.’

Fiona Bayne, Senior Health Improvement Programme Officer (Maternal and Infant Nutrition) at NHS Health Scotland, added: ‘Providing food which meets the nutritional needs of young children is crucial to their development.

Early years is identified as an important time to reduce health inequalities, and providing healthy and nutritionally balanced meals and snacks in childcare settings is hugely important in meeting the needs of vulnerable families.

‘Some children in full-time care will receive as much as 90% of their daily food within a childcare setting and up to 40% for those who attend part-time.’

Setting the Table is being distributed to all childcare providers in Scotland.   It is also available to download from the NHS Health Scotland website.

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