Subscribe to our newsletter

5 Simple Ways to Promote Healthy Eating For Your Early Years Staff Team

June 14, 2021
4 minute read

For many people, healthy eating can seem like a chore. When you combine a world filled with meal deals, fast food drive-thru’s and ready-made meals, with our super busy lives, it’s easier to grab something pre-made than make a nutritious packed lunch.

For early years practitioners, working long hours may leave them with little energy or time to make food for themselves to take to the nursery the next day. It is no doubt an easier option to pick up a Greggs as they drive past on their journey to work. The only issue is, the foods which are most convenient for us are, for the majority of the time, the least good for us...

The benefits of a healthy diet are almost endless: Reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, improved  brain function, the list goes on. For early years practitioners, having a balanced diet is particularly important for improving concentration, energy levels and mood, all of which are the ingredients to a productive team of practitioners to deliver excellent care for our children.

If you are an early years leader who knows it is time to get your team on track but isn’t sure where to begin, we have 5 Top tips to get you started!

1. Offer Healthy Alternatives

Towards the end of the day, it is likely your staff may be feeling sluggish and tired, desperate for a snack to give them energy. Instead of buying cookies and cakes for the staffroom, why not opt for a less sugary option? Fruit and cereal bars may be a better alternative as they are far more healthy and just as easy to grab, yet still have that sweet taste staff may be craving. Cutting the bad stuff out altogether may not be a popular choice, but providing alternatives can make people think twice.

Small changes to the food provided to your staff will have many long – term benefits without them even realising. If your staff enjoy a can of coke on their lunch break, try filling the staffroom cupboards with sugar-free fizzy drinks instead. Chances are, they won’t even notice the swap!

2. Educate your staff

Making sure your staff are aware of healthy eating campaigns can make a huge difference, especially if there’s a challenge involved – we all love a little healthy competition. Posters in the staffroom, reminding them of initiatives such as “Five a Day” and Change4Life will ensure information is easily seen. If your nursery participates in national campaigns or awareness weeks for promoting healthy eating, don’t just limit this education to the children, but get your staff involved too. Making sure information is circulated around staff, via email or leaflets, on a regular basis, is a good way to spread the word. Think about your staff meetings – are there some healthier options for staff alongside the pizza delivery?

3. Make it easy

If making a healthy choice seems too much like hard work, your staff may lack the time or inclination to go out of their way to find an alternative. There are simple things you could do to encourage healthier eating for staff on their lunch break. For instance, you could ensure you have the right equipment and crockery for them to be able to store and prep their own lunch, such as a microwave and fridge. This prevents staff resorting to running to the Café over the road for a bacon sandwich.

4. Consider Where Staff have their Lunch Break

Creating an environment where staff feel able to take the full length of their designated lunch breaks is something that is often overlooked, even though we all know it is important. However this is easily achieved by giving your staff an appointed lunch break room or somewhere outside to eat which is away from the children’s areas. A proper break gives practitioners the chance to relax, get some fresh air and have the time to enjoy a leisurely healthy lunch if they so wish. A little exercise and a chance to recharge the batteries with a proper meal will help to avoid an afternoon slump. You, too could improve your eating habits by getting out of the office to eat your lunch, and taking some time away from your computer screen.

So there you have it- 4 simple yet effective changes that you can make as a leader to improve the opportunities for your staff to make healthy choices at meal times. If you enjoyed this blog, you won’t want to miss our other resources on our website which are sponsored by Apetito. Check out your resources here

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram