Practical tools for early years settings

Early years code of practice for food and drink

Displaying our code of practice for food and drink is one of the best ways to show families, staff and visitors that you follow national best practice.

The code of practice has seven principles including:

  1. having a food policy
  2. communicating with families about their child’s diet
  3. planning varied menus for snacks and meals in advance
  4. planning meals and snacks to meet the new national food and drink guidelines
  5. catering for the dietary requirements of all children
  6. having a positive and welcoming eating environment to encourage children to eat well
  7. ensuring staff are appropriately trained.

Personalise the code of practice by downloading it and inserting the name of your setting and photos of children and activities.

Code of practice checklist

Use this two-page checklist to see how you’re doing on food and drink at the moment. It will help you find out whether you are following the seven principles in the code of practice, and to record any actions you need to take to improve. You can use the completed checklist as evidence for parents, quality improvement schemes and for external inspections like Ofsted.

Menu planning checklist

Use this to check whether your food and drink follows the guidelines for each meal and snack, and check that the ingredients and products you use are appropriate for young children.

You can use this checklist each time a new menu is planned and introduced.

Step-by-step guide to developing a food policy, and example template food policy

Having a food policy will help everyone at your setting understand your approach. Use this step-by-step guide to develop your policy.