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Healthy Choice Award Early Years Settings

The Healthy Choice Award is a joint initiative from the Food Partnership and Brighton & Hove City Council, which looks at meals and snacks offered in breakfast clubs, nurseries and residential care homes. 

Working together, the aim is to award settings which serve varied, nutritious and age appropriate menus. 

Further recognition is given through the Healthy Choice Award Gold - to those settings working towards nine key sustainability standards.

The gold award encourages local, sustainable and higher welfare where it is available, affordable and appropriate. 

What it's about

The Healthy Choice Award is a city-wide scheme which officially recognises 'good food' practice.  It's the only scheme like it in Brighton & Hove.  If your setting is committed to serving good food, then why not apply?

We will offer you free nutrition advice and information, helping review your menus and make recommendations. The process will help you become more confident creating menus and serving food - that is both tasty, as well as nutritious.

Once awarded, you will be given a certificate to display and can use the Healthy Choice Award logo in your publicity – showing your commitment to good food.

Going for gold

The highest level of the award is Healthy Choice Award Gold which is given to Early Years settings that meet both nutritional and sustainability standards. These important sustainability criteria have been identified as a supplementary stage of the Healthy Choice Award. Encouragement is given to champion local, sustainable and higher welfare (e.g. Freedom Food or Organic) food where available, affordable and appropriate.

Again, help in on hand if you need advice – we can help put you in touch with local suppliers and give you relevant information and guidance.

The gold award is encouraged but not compulsory and is likely to take between 6-12 months to complete.

How does it work?

  1. Register your interest by contacting Jo Lewin, Community Nutritionist, email: , tel: 01273 431717.
  2. The Community Nutrition Team will check hygiene standards with BHCC Food Safety Team. This is a compulsory part of the award. If you have not had a Food Safety Inspection, please contact the Food Safety Team, email: .
  3. Download form & guidance information below.
  4. Send completed application form to Jo Lewin. 
  5. Jo will help you review menus and make recommendations. She'll arrange a visit where necessary in order to achieve the award.
  6. Brighton & Hove Food Partnership issues award certificate.

Standards are set by industry, government nutritional guidance and best practice.

Application forms

Download the Essential Guide

Download Early Years Application form

Download Application form for snacks only

Award Renewals

You will be asked to renew your Healthy Choice Award every 18 months.

We will contact you when your award is due to renewal and ask for: 

  •  An up to date menu
  •  The date of last inspection and food hygiene score
  •  A copy of the Food Policy

 Training & Further Support

Nurseries are encouraged to take advantage of the further support and training we offer.

We offer bespoke courses for Children's Centres and Early Years Settings run by a registered Dietitian or Nutritionist. Topics include: Introducing Solids, Fussy Eating and Eatwell for Toddlers. Further details can be found in our brochure.  

NOTE: The criteria for the Healthy Choice Award are intended for general catering, not for children or adults with special diets as assessed by a GP, dietitian or nutritional support team.