We appreciate that mealtimes can be challenging. The Food in Care programme came about because evidence indicates that children in or with experience of the care system have greater health needs (both mental and physiological) and are likely to suffer from more chronic health conditions than others of the same age outside the care system.

Many children and young people come into care with a poor nutritional status. They often have food anxieties (such as overeating or hoarding food) which can be linked to early experiences of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Food has a major role in a child or young person’s health and well-being. Decisions about how food is provided and consumed has a fundamental impact on the relationships and dynamics within a care setting; healthy eating habits throughout the life course will reduce the risk of health problems in later life. It is important that the food and eating patterns to which young people are exposed to promote positive relationships with food and good nutrition. Physical activity also plays a huge role in the health and well-being of children and young people, enhancing their quality of life and self-esteem.

The Food in Care resource has been produced for carers and other professionals to fill the existing gap and support them in their unique role. Foster and residential care settings act as the primary home environment for children and young people and can increase their life chances through healthy behaviours in childhood and later life.

We believe this resource can make a real difference to the care that is provided, with real, practical tips and advice. You can visit the website and download the pack at http://www.foodincare.org.uk/