Nutrition and Dietetics Service

The Flying Start Dietetics Team

  • Support families and children in Flying Start areas to access a healthy, affordable, nutritious diet to benefit their health and wellbeing.
  • Ensure families receive consistent and accurate nutrition information and practical support.

Why is good nutrition important for young children?

Children who eat regularly and include a wide variety of foods are more likely to enjoy good health throughout life. The Early Years is a time of rapid growth and development when it is really important to eat a balanced diet. Children who do this are more likely to be a healthy weight, have good dental health and will be less likely to develop iron deficiency anaemia or constipation. Well nourished children are less likely to develop infections and if they do they will recover quicker.
Eating a healthy varied diet together as a family helps to encourage good eating habits for life.

What Services can the Nutrition and Dietetic team provide?

  • Weaning parties.
  • Practical cooking sessions.
  • Food tasting sessions.
  • Accredited, healthy eating and cooking courses
  • Healthy eating advice and resources.
  • Information about Healthy Start vouchers and vitamins
  • Information about community food projects that sell affordable fruit and vegetables.
  • Guidance on suitable drinking cups and beakers.
  • Support childcare settings in achieving the Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award (GSHSA), and the Healthy and Sustainable Pre-School Scheme.
  • Training for Early Years Professionals.

The Cardiff Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award

What is it?

The Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award is a scheme that all childcare settings within Flying Start are part of. It supports the provision of healthy snacks and drinks. The award is only given to settings who meet the strict criteria around:

  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • The environment children eat in
  • Good food hygiene
  • Promoting healthy eating through day-to-day activities

What are healthy snacks?

Healthy snacks are lower in fat, sugar and additives; they are also higher in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Your Flying Start childcare will be able to tell you about the snacks and drinks they provide.

Why are healthy snacks important?

There is a national concern about the quantity of unhealthy snacks our young children are eating.  Providing a healthy snack is one way to ensure children are healthy and can help protect them from health problems later in life.

How can I find out more information?

Your Flying Start childcare setting will be able to provide you with further information around the scheme. They will also provide you with a copy of the Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award leaflet.

Lets Get Cooking!

Get Cooking is an 8 week course for mums, dads and carers. The sessions are informal and are run once a week for two hours each.

All the sessions involve hands-on cooking and some include activities about healthy eating and food safety.

What would I be cooking?

The course includes a range of tasty family meals such as:

  • Soup with homemade bread rolls
  • Oaty fruit crumble
  • Simple dressed salad
  • Beef chilli
  • Pasta bake or lasagne
  • Quick and easy fish cakes
  • Potato wedges
  • Fruit muffins or scones
  • Homemade burgers
  • Vegetable or chicken curry
  • And a tasty stew with steamed vegetables.

What could I gain from Get Cooking?

  • Quick, easy and tasty meal ideas that your whole family can enjoy.
  • Improved cooking skills.
  • At least 12 new recipes.
  • A free goody bag of kitchen tools e.g. a chopping board, pasta bake dish, mixing bowl, weighing scales, measuring jug and grater (if you finish the course).
  • The chance to gain an Agored Cymru award.
  • Free tasters of what you have made to take home.
  • The chance to meet other parents who live in your area.

Is there a crèche?

Yes, all Get Cooking courses have a crèche run by skilled staff.

How can I book a place on the course?

Get Cooking courses are run regularly throughout the year in Flying Start areas. If you would like a place, ask your Health Visitor or a member of Flying Start staff to complete a referral form for you OR you can contact the Flying Start Food Team yourself on 02920 351377 or e-mail

Nutrition and Dietetics Service

Parent’s comments

``I must take the opportunity to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the get cooking course. I've had the most amazing time learning new dishes and meeting lovely people. Thanks to this course I have not only learned a healthier way of cooking but after seeing how easy it can be to cook, I have now started cooking more often!.``-
``Get Cooking helped me realise how easy it is to cook healthy food that my little girl loves!``-
``I was surprised at how fast and easy it was to make some of the recipes!``-
``My son absolutely loves the fruit kebabs and apple crumble!``-

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