Nutritional Guidance for Early Years: food choices for children aged 1-5 years in early education and childcare settings

Nutritional guidance for early education and childcare settings for children aged 1-5

"Scotland has a poor record on children's oral health and the Scottish Executive and the dental profession are working hard to tackle the problem. But dental services cannot tackle the problem alone. A healthy diet and learning good food and oral hygiene habits will play a key part in improving our children's oral health. Early education and childcare settings have an important role to play in this. I therefore support this guidance and the contribution it will make to promoting our children's oral health."

Ray Watkins, Chief Dental Officer, Scottish Executive

"City of Edinburgh Council Children and Families Department believes firmly in the importance of diet and nutrition for the future health and wellbeing our youngest children. We will be working with colleagues in a range of agencies to incorporate the use of these guidelines into the delivery of our Health Strategy for children."

Roy Jobson, Director, Children and Families Department, City of Edinburgh Council

"Scottish Childminding Association welcomes the publication of the Nutritional Guidance for Early Years as a tool to enhance registered childminders understanding of the need to provide appropriate healthy meals to children in their care. This resource complements Adventures in Foodland, introduced to our membership last year. Registered childminders have an important role to play in encouraging and introducing healthy choices within their childcare setting. The key task will be accessing training opportunities for childminders to allow them to turn this guidance into practice."

Elizabeth Murdoch, Head of Childminding Practice Development, SCMA

"The Care Commission fully supports the Scottish Executive's healthy eating initiative. We intend to help encourage healthy eating through our inspection programme for next year. We will ask childcare providers and childminders whether they have the guidance and how they are using it. We will encourage service providers to improve practice by using the guidelines. We will report on what we find."

Ronnie Hill, Director of Children's Services Regulation, Care Commission


The Scottish Executive is committed to ensuring that every child in Scotland has the best possible start in life. Making sure that our youngest children have healthy, nutritious diets is an important part of that commitment. We know that many early years settings already work hard to provide healthy food to the children in their care. This guidance will help them do that.

Improving the country's diet is a key part of making people in Scotland healthier. Encouraging young children to eat healthily not only helps their growth and development as children, it also establishes good eating habits for life. We want to help young children to enjoy a healthy diet, and nurseries, childminders and other childcare providers have a major role to play in this.

We would like to thank all the colleagues, from a range of professional backgrounds, who provided their views and advice in the consultation process. In particular we wish to thank the Working Group for all their expertise, hard work and enthusiasm.

Robert Brown Signature

Lewis Macdonald Signature

Robert Brown

Lewis Macdonald

Back to top