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Family Food First

Working with education settings to inspire children and families to lead a healthier lifestyle

Who are we?

We are a team of dietitians, nutritionists and health professionals who are passionate about healthy eating and promoting healthy lifestyles to children and families.

What do we do?

The Family Food First programme runs in nurseries, pre-schools and children’s centres in Luton. We aim to encourage best practice, and the promotion of good nutrition, oral health and physical activity. Early year’s settings achieve accreditation on the programme by providing good quality evidence that they are meeting the standards of best practice in the following areas:

Healthy policy and practice
All settings will have a food and health policy in place and will adopt practices that encourage children to eat well and move more.

Food and health education
Setting staff will have the appropriate level of knowledge and skills to promote healthy eating, physical activity and good oral health practice. Children will be able to learn about food, will be encouraged to eat healthier foods and will learn about keeping healthy.

Food provision
Settings that have their own kitchens will provide food that meets national food based standards. They will also be able to achieve higher standards of practice through the Family Food First catering award.

Working with families
Parents and carers will be supported to help make healthier choices for their children and families. Family Food First accredited settings will be a source of good quality, healthy lifestyle information and advice. Check out our guide on 10 key ways to stay healthy as a family here

Healthier communities
Settings will have a responsibility to promote healthier lifestyles in their community and will undertake activities to promote this.

Learning Outcomes for Early Years Staff

The learning outcomes detail the basic knowledge that staff who work in an accredited Family Food First setting will have in relation to healthy eating, good oral health and physical activity for young children. Participating settings will be able to access the information required to meet these learning outcomes by attending Family Food First training sessions and other recommended documents.   

Working together

The Family Food First team values the relationships that we have built with early years settings over the years. We want to provide the best service to our settings and ensure that the way we work with settings is collaborative and positive. Therefore, we have developed a working together policy that stipulates the engagement and support that you can expect from us and the engagement we expect from settings that join our programme. Position Statement on Working Together - Sept 2018

FFF approved settings register

The FFF team is dedicated to raising public awareness of early year’s settings whose practice meets our evidence based standards. These accredited settings have been formally recognized as providers of exemplary food and health education and promoters of healthy living for families within the setting and their local community. We would like to thank our settings for their continual hard work and commitment to the programme. List of accredited settings


We understand the importance of protecting children and keeping them safe from harm. Therefore, we respect the wishes of settings that do not permit the use of mobile phones whilst in their setting. Additionally, all members of the Family Food First team have undergone an enhanced DBS check and have attended Safeguarding training Level 2 & 3.

Training we currently deliver includes:

  • Nutrition Training- Discuss nutrition needs for children aged 0-5 years, fussy eating management and healthy celebrations. For settings on our programme, this is free and provided in house.
  • Physical activity- Explore purposeful physical play, government recommendations, fundamental movement skills, physical literacy and physical activity promotion. For settings on our programme, this is free and provided in house.
  • Starting solids- Covers when to start (developmental signs), foods to encourage, foods to avoid and exploring textures. For settings on our programme, this is free and provided in house.
  • Catering training- This has been designed for settings on our programme that are cook onsite. The training includes salt & sugar management, understanding food labels, understanding child portion sizes and recipe ideas & adaptions.


Contact the Family Food First team

Family Food First
Nutrition and Dietetic Service
Dunstable Health Centre
Priory Gardens

Tel: 01582 707400

Check us out on social media

 Like us on Facebook           Facebook - FamilyFoodFirst1 
 Twitter - transparent background          Twitter @FamilyFoodFirst


Additional links and information

The Family Food First team have developed a number of resources to support early years settings in achieving accreditation on the programme. There are also a number of parent information leaflets which cover healthy eating and drinking habits, these can be ordered through the Nutrition & Dietetic service.  

Please send completed forms to please send to:  Family Food First, Nutrition and Dietetic Service, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust,  Dunstable Health Centre, Priory Gardens, Dunstable, LU6 3SU.

Resource-list-and-ordering-form - April 2018

Working-with-Families-Feedback-Template - April 2018

Family Food First Standards and Guidance - July 2019

Healthy celebrations pack
This document has been designed to support pre-schools, nurseries, children’s centres and primary schools in providing healthier food and activities for celebrations and community events. Please contact the team for a copy.

Family Food First recipes
Please download one of the healthy family recipes – great for making with children: Recipe Book

Helpful links

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The staff are wonderful; the receptionists were polite and efficient, the nurses I have seen, were incredible.