The Children’s Food Trust has welcomed the news that five areas in England have been awarded a share of £215 million from the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start’ programme, which aims to improve the development and nutrition of more than 60,000 babies and children.
Children aged up to three years old from disadvantaged areas of Blackpool, Bradford, Lambeth, Nottingham and Southend are set to benefit from health projects, with each area receiving between £36million and £50million each.
The project aims to support children’s social, emotional, language and communication development as well as ensuring they have a healthy diet. This is done through a range of activities such as supporting new parents to cook nutritious meals for their children, encouraging play that promotes learning, such as reading, and role play. It also gives parents the opportunity to access advice on how children with mental or physical disabilities can overcome everyday obstacles.
Dr Patricia Mucavele, Head of Nutrition at the Children’s Food Trust, has welcomed the news saying it’s a significant investment for our nation’s health and wellbeing. She said: “We know from our own Eat Better Start Better programme, helping young children to eat well through the education and training of early years staff, health professionals and parents, that the early years are vital in developing healthy eating habits.
“By providing the same training to early years and health staff we can ensure they deliver consistent messages about healthy eating, and help parents and children gain a clearer understanding about what makes a nutritious meal. We also know that providing parents with the skills, information and knowledge to cook from scratch empowers parents to make better choices about their children’s diets.
“Feedback from the 32 local authorities across England who took part in the Trust’s programme highlights the fact that childcare settings are in a strong position to inspire families to improve their diet and bring about real change.
“At the Children’s Food Trust we really support A Better Start and are looking forward to working with one of the successful areas, Southend , who have been awarded £40 million to deliver a project led by the Pre-School Learning Alliance.”
To find out more about Better Start visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/betterstart and to find out more about the Children’s Food Trust’s Eat Better, Start Better programme visit http://www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/pre-school/eat-better-start-better