Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage


Early years
May 2009


Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage shows you how to provide a strong foundation for the future learning and development of the children in your care, covering all aspects of nutrition, exercise, emotional wellbeing and staying safe, specifically written for early years settings.


Good habits learned when young tend to stay for life. As an early years practitioner you are in a unique position to influence the lives of the children in your care during this crucial early period. Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage will guide you through the processes of:

  • making healthy living a part of the vision and values of your setting
  • ensuring that all the policies and organisation of the setting promote healthy living
  • providing suitable experiences for young children to enable them to understand what healthy living entails
  • helping children to take responsibility for their own personal health and wellbeing
  • helping parents to understand what healthy living involves and how they can support their own children
  • acting as good role models for having a healthy lifestyle.

Summary of contents

Leading a healthy lifestyle is important for us all. Being physically active, having a healthy diet, taking sensible precautions to ensure our own safety and recognising the importance of good mental health all play an important part in determining our overall health and wellbeing.

A healthy lifestyle can:

  •     reduce the risk of developing life-threatening diseases
  •     increase the enjoyment we get from life
  •     help us to live to an active and healthy old age.

Instil the good habits your children need to ensure a long life of health and enjoyment with Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Healthy living is a holistic approach encompassing every aspect of life. For simplicity’s sake, Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage looks at four broad themes. These are:

  •     exercise – the contribution exercise makes to good physical and mental health and how exercise affects the body
  •     healthy eating – a review of what we need to eat and why; the importance of mealtimes; what constitutes a balanced diet; and basic food hygiene information
  •     staying safe – the importance of complying with statutory requirements for safeguarding children; the benefits of risk and challenge; basic safety information
  •     emotional wellbeing – the important area of supporting young children’s emotional, personal and social development.

For each of these themes the handbook contains:

  •     information to support the development of your setting’s policies and procedures
  •     an introduction to the human body and how it works, in order to provide the scientific background knowledge needed to authoritatively promote healthy living
  •     a range of activities to use as starting points to build young children’s understanding of a healthy lifestyle
  •     a set of booklets for parents providing some essential background information along with ideas for them to use with their children at home
  •     a set of PowerPoint presentations for you to use with your staff during training sessions.

Healthy living and national guidelines
Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage supports the policy documents, statutory frameworks and guidance materials that define the way in which early year’s services in this country are provided, including:

  •     Every Child Matters
  •     the Children’s Plan
  •     Children’s Health Strategy
  •     Sure Start children’s centre services
  •     early years foundation stage (EYFS)
  •     Ofsted registration and inspection criteria
  •     special educational needs (SEN) code of practice
  •     National Healthy Schools initiative
  •     common core of skills and knowledge
  •     national occupational standards for children’s care, learning and development
  •     early years professional status standards
  •     Learning through Landscapes core values
  •     national quality improvement network principles.

Chapter breakdown

The four aspects of healthy living
The structure of Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Section 1: Healthy living in context
The importance of promoting healthy living
Healthy living and national guidelines
Every Child Matters
The Children’s Plan: Building brighter futures
Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures
Sure Start Children’s Centre services
Early Years Foundation Stage framework
Ofsted registration and inspection criteria
Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice
National Healthy Schools Programme
Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s Workforce
National Occupational Standards for Children’s Care, Learning and Development
Early Years Professional Status Standards
Shared vision and values for outdoor play
National Quality Improvement Network principles
Putting healthy living into practice
Auditing current provision
A healthy living policy

Section 2: Ideas and activities for children
2.1 Ideas and activities for babies under one year old
2.2 Ideas and activities for one and two year olds
2.3 Ideas and activities for three to five year olds

Section 3: Information for parents
Parents’ booklets: babies under one year old
Parents’ booklets: one and two year olds
Parents’ booklets: three to five year olds

Section 4: Background knowledge for practitioners
4.1 Exercise
4.2 Healthy eating
4.3 Staying safe
4.4 Emotional wellbeing

Section 5: Professional development resources
Outlines of presentations on the CD-Rom

Section 6: Sources of information
ealthy living in context
Healthy eating
Staying safe
Emotional wellbeing
Books for children
Songs and rhymes


Print: Includes PowerPoint presentations to use for staff training

eBook: 1 x PDF and 7 x PowerPoint presentations, all deliverd in a single ZIP file.


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