Development of HM Government example menus for early years’ settings in England

MUCAVELE, P, WALL, Claire and WHITING, L (2020). Development of HM Government example menus for early years’ settings in England. Nutrition Bulletin.

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Early childhood is a critical time for growth and development, but diets of young children in England are not fully in line with dietary recommendations, and childhood obesity is a national and international concern. The importance of early years’ settings in promoting healthy food choices and helping to prevent obesity has been highlighted, and the extension in entitlement to funded early education and childcare in England over recent years provides an opportunity to encourage more children to develop good eating habits. Food provision in early years’ settings is required to be ‘healthy, balanced and nutritious’, and voluntary food and drink guidelines were published in 2012 to support settings in England to meet this requirement. However, since these guidelines were developed, revised dietary reference values for energy, sugars and dietary fibre have been published. As part of the government's Childhood obesity: A plan for action, Public Health England commissioned the Children's Food Trust to produce example menus for early years’ settings, to support provision of meals and snacks meeting current dietary recommendations. A multi‐sectoral external reference group was convened and advised on the protocol for developing two seasonal example menus, including revising the underpinning nutrient framework for 1‐ to 4‐year‐olds, and developing an appropriate framework for infants aged 6–12 months, as previous menus did not cater for this age group. This article describes the process of developing the example menus and associated guidance, which have since been published by HM Government, and offers recommendations for effective implementation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0908 Food Sciences; Nutrition & Dietetics
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 15:39
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2021 01:18

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