Training and evaluation

Course 1: The Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early years Settings in England.

This one day course (6 learning hours) is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health. If you’re a health or early years professional supporting childcare providers, or an early years practitioner, it will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to help them understand and use the guidelines, and evaluate their impact.

Your day includes a combination of information about basic nutrition for under-fives and the guidelines, practical activities on menu planning, portion sizes and reading food labels, and opportunities for discussion and questions.

More than 1,500 professionals have engaged in this training so far and almost all say they’d recommend it.

  • “This has been an excellent day with a good balance of practical activity and information giving.”
  • “Excellent professional training, knowledgeable approachable trainers. A very enjoyable day that has given me a lot to think about.”

Course 2: Healthy food and cooking for families

This two-day practical course with optional one-day follow up is for childminders and staff from nurseries or children’s centres. It will get you confident on using the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England, and give you the skills and knowledge you need to set up and run cooking sessions with families.

Don’t expect death by powerpoint: for a lot of this course you’ll be hands-on, covering basic nutrition, food safety and hygiene, food preparation and handling, making healthy low-cost family meals and adapting recipes for children under five.

All of the childcare staff who’ve tried this say they’d recommend it.

  • “I am planning a five week joint session cooking basic foods and planning menus. I am also planning to be more creative with my cooking at home-very inspiring!”
  • The help and advice on this course was fantastic – so helpful with everything covered so well”
  • “Highly recommended!”

Course 3: The Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England, and running food activities with children

If you work in a nursery or children’s centre, or as a childminder, this one-day course will give you even more knowledge, skills and confidence on using the guidelines, delivering great food for under-fives and running food activities with young children.

Information, practical sessions on menu planning, portion sizes and reading food labels are mixed with practical food preparation sessions to give new ideas and inspiration.

  • Very helpful.Every childminder should do it”.
  • “Great mixture of practical and work activities. Trainers were very knowledgeable and gave a lot of advice. Resources and hand-outs were excellent and will be used a lot.”
  • “Fantastic training with so much useful information that has really made an impact”

Let’s Get Cooking demonstrator training course

This two day course was for those wishing to set up a cooking club for children, young people or families. Accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, it gave the practical skills and knowledge needed to teach cookery to children and young people, inspiring them to cook, choose and eat healthy, tasty food.

With an emphasis on practical, hands-on learning, the course included demonstration practice and tips on setting up cooking sessions at any location.


Bespoke training

The Children’s Food Trust tailored training packages to suit people’s needs. We did this recently with Hull City Council, who were looking for a training day with both technical and practical elements to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of nursery cooks across the city.

“This training is an important part of our strategy to address obesity and healthy eating in childhood.  It had been identified that there are no set standards for employment as a nursery cook and nutritional knowledge varied widely.  The Children’s Food Trust training targeted this gap and gave the attendees the knowledge and tools to design, plan and implement nutritionally sound menus suitable for young children.  Our Quality Improvements Team have confirmed that standards have been raised and good practice is being widely adopted.” Hull City Council Food Project Manager.

Half-day or 2-hr interactive workshops also introduced practitioners to the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England, increasing awareness of how to provide healthy, balanced and nutritious food and drink for children aged one to four years, and an overview of practical tools available to support them to follow best practice in their approach to food.

Evaluation and awards

The Children’s Food Trust offered an evaluation service to measure and assess the impact of work to improve early years nutrition.

Caterers had their menus checked by Children’s Food Trust nutritionists to make sure they hit the mark for children.

Many early years settings (nursery, children centre, pre-school, childminder) joined our excellence award scheme to show off their commitment to helping children eat well. The scheme covered the whole food experience offered for children – from menus and food policies to dining environments, staff training on food and how to get children cooking.