Eat Well Start Well

What is the Award?

The Eat Well Start Well award has been developed to support Early Years care providers to ensure that the food they offer provides appropriate amounts of energy and nutrients and encourages children to make healthy choices.

Food choices made for, and by, children are very important for their health, well-being and development.

  • Over 1 in 5 children are either overweight or obese by the time they join Reception class in primary school
  • Type II diabetes, which usually appears in adulthood, is starting to be seen among some overweight children
  • Dental health is poor in many young children
  • More than 1 in 4 young children may be at risk of iron deficiency which is linked to slower intellectual development and poor behaviour in the longer term

Who can apply?

The Eat Well Start Well award is open to any Early Years setting in Surrey where at least one meal a day is served (e.g. private, voluntary and independent nurseries, local authority maintained nurseries and preschool nurseries).

What are the benefits of the Eat Well Start Well award?

Benefits for children in your care:

  • Ensures they get the right amount of energy and nutrients needed to support growth, development, health and well-being
  • Ensures they do not consume too many calories, which may lead to overweight or obesity
  • Encourages children to eat a wide variety of foods
  • Helps them to develop good eating habits which lead to healthier lives both in childhood and adulthood, reducing risk of obesity and disease, such as heart disease
  • Provides them with safe food which meets their individual needs

Benefits for you as an Early Years care provider:

  • Provides you with practical advice on menus, recipes and cooking methods
  • An award which shows parents/carers that your establishment has gained approval and they can trust that you provide good nutrition for their children
  • Provides learning opportunities for staff – menu planning skills, advice on how to support children to eat well etc.
  • A certificate which can be displayed and used as part of marketing your nursery
  • Nutrition information fact sheets to give to parents/carers
  • Promotion on the Healthy Surrey website

How can you achieve the Award?

To achieve the award you must meet the criteria set out in the Assessment form which enables you to first self-assess, and then be assessed by a visiting officer.

Once you have completed the Assessment form, please send by email to the address below and you will be contacted to arrange a visit at your premises. We will then carry out the formal assessment with you and provide you with advice. Our aim is to support you to achieve the award.

If you are successful at assessment, you will be given the Eat Well Start Well award. This runs for two years before it requires reassessment. If you do not meet the criteria we will discuss with you changes you can make. You can then reapply.

Who to contact?

The Eat Well Start Well award has been developed by Surrey Public Health and Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards.

For more information about the award or to obtain an Assessment form please email