Creating Positive Relationships with Food in Early Years Settings


We all know the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ and anyone who listens to their body can tell you that eating a healthy balanced diet not only affects your body but also your mind. Children’s bodies are no different, what goes in has an effect on what comes out - both physically and mentally. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to get children leading a healthy lifestyle from the beginning and one of the places this can be reinforced is within the child’s care setting.

Early years practitioners play a key role in developing relationships children have with food. From trying new foods that children might not have the opportunity to enjoy at home to getting hands-on with fruits and vegetables to see for themselves how they feel, smell and taste, there are many ways learning about food can be introduce to children.

One of the risky areas that carers and parents both face is food too often becoming weapons or rewards. Dr Emma Haycraft, senior lecturer at Loughborough University and Jill Wheatcroft from Riverside Cares have looked at this risky area. They will be presenting their findings during a free hour long workshop at Childcare Expo London this March along with providing some evidence–based tips for childcare professionals to help children develop and maintain healthy eating behaviours.

The two day event will also host founder of ‘I know why it’s yum, Mum!’ Natasha Gavin as she leads a workshop on Friday 6th March. Natasha, also known as The Rainbow Fairy, will be joined by Nanny of the Year 2013 Paula Vekony as they pass on some practical techniques to make vegetables fun, not fearful and show early years practitioners how to add a bit of magic to fruit.

These sessions along with four more hands-on workshops are free for early year’s professionals to attend at Childcare Expo London. The exhibition is located at Olympia on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th March and will also host an educational seminar programme alongside stalls showcasing 1000s of products and services from dedicated early year’s suppliers. For more information about Childcare Expo and to register for your free tickets please visit childcareexpo.co.uk.

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