The new voluntary guidelines, from the School Food Trust, follow a report which said that some young children at preschool level were being given food better suited nutritionally to adults.
Although it is acknowledged that excellent care is given by many child care providers it is suggested that the nutritional needs of children may be being over looked.
The findings from the report showed that some children were being given food containing too much salt and sugar and too little energy in the form of essential carbohydrate and fat. Sometimes their diets lacked basic fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre and were also often found lacking in essential minerals like iron and zinc.
The report said that as a result, more than 1 in 5 children were now classed as overweight or even obese when they started school.
The School Food Trust said the new voluntary guidelines were a nationally recognised source of information on food for young children, aimed at nurseries, childminders and other providers of services for preschoolers.
The advice covers a range of information on what food young children should eat, including help for fussy eaters, healthy and nutritionally balanced recipes and even examples of appropriate portion sizes.
A healthy diet is crucial in giving children the best start in life. If you are currently employed or are interested in working in a Child Care capacity, NCC Home Learning provide a selection of distance learning courses which will assist you in fulfilling the nutritional requirements of young children.
To view the full range of home study Child Care and Teaching courses visit the Child Care and Teaching Faculty here!