Action for Children and the British Dietetics Association (BDA) are to pick up the baton on improving child health through food by continuing some of the work of the Children’s Food Trust, as the charity closes its doors this week.
Action for Children will be leading on Eat Better, Start Better – the Trust developed programme designed to help improve children’s food in early years settings – and the charity will be the guardians of the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England.
BDA will be the new home of Let’s Get Cooking, the Children’s Food Trust’s network of school and community based clubs developed to help children and their families gain the skills and knowledge to cook healthy meals from scratch. The BDA will also take on the Trust’s Learning Network – an e-learning platform with 18 courses related to improving food for children.
Linda Cregan, CEO, Children’s Food Trust said: “Over the last 11 years, with the commitment and passion of an amazing team, we have worked tirelessly to get children eating well. We have shared the skills, knowledge and confidence to cook from scratch, helping anyone who provides food for children to do a great job and encouraging industry to help families make better food choices.
“I am really proud of what we have achieved and pleased that the good work we started will continue in some way thanks to Action for Children and the BDA. This is a sad time for all of us at the Trust, but I know our staff will be heartened and reassured that we are leaving our legacy in safe hands.”
Action for Children is the national charity that helps disadvantaged children from across the UK. Providing a wide range of frontline support services the charity has seen the impact that poor diet can have. Sue Robb from Action for Children said: “We are extremely proud and very excited to be taking over Eat Better, Start Better from the Children’s Food Trust, which has revolutionised the way the early years sector thinks about and prepares meals for children. Good food has a vital role to play in nutrition and child development, as well as bringing families together to prepare and eat healthy meals, starting habits that will last a lifetime.”
The BDA is the only body in the UK representing the whole of the dietetic workforce. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9,000 members. With a membership committed to improving health through diet, Let’s Get Cooking is a great vehicle for growing their impact. Andy Burman, CEO, BDA said: “This is the time to acknowledge the amazing achievements of the Children’s Food Trust and for us to show our commitment to continuing the excellent work completed so far. Our relationship with food has never been more important and the BDA is determined to lead the way through the resources and opportunities now open to us.
“Ensuring a sustainable legacy for Let’s Get Cooking and the Learning Network may take some time, and we would urge colleagues to be patient. We will be working very hard to make this transition as smooth as possible, and look forward to meeting with partners soon and working together to build on the great success of the CFT.”
After 11 years of dedicated work and affecting genuine change the Children’s Food Trust closes on 30 September 2017. The frameworks the Trust has put in place in schools and early years settings, have given over 11 million children have access to better food. More than three million people have benefited from the Let’s Get Cooking programme, gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to cook nutritious food from scratch. Linda Cregan, CEO, Children’s Food Trust concludes: “We still face a crisis in child health: now, more than ever, work in this area is vital. I am confident that both Action for Children and the BDA will take up the battle to fight for every child’s right to nutritious food and inspire better food habits in future generations.”