A Senior Lecturer in Child Health at the University of Northampton has contributed to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report which calls for Ofsted to regularly inspect food and nutrition in early years settings.
‘Food in School and the Teaching of Food’ recommends Ofsted regularly inspects food and nutrition in nurseries to help to reduce childhood obesity and promote health.
The report also recommends that a new specific nutritional standard for the Early Years Teacher qualification is introduced, and that early years workers are given training to enable them to help families provide children with appropriate evidence-based food and nutrition advice.
Sharon Smith, Senior Lecturer in Child Health and Early Years at the University and a member of the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood, said: “Evidence-based food and nutrition advice should be integral to all early years qualifications and degree courses.
“All Early Years students at the University of Northampton study a child health module which incorporates a holistic approach to child health including nutrition.
“Establishing good eating patterns in the early years has a positive and long-term impact on later health outcomes – early years settings are a hub of opportunity to provide this.”
The report can be viewed online.