An update from our in house Nutritionist:

The Nutrition Programme is designed to primarily increase the staff’s knowledge of nutrition and to train staff to produce healthy meals and snacks for children and other staff in the homes.

As the Nutritionist for Halliwell Homes, I support the Restorative Parenting approach to trauma treatment by increasing staff’s awareness of the links between nutritional intake and health, both mental and physical. I promote the physical and mental health and developmental growth of the children by providing opportunity for optimal nutrition across the homes.  I create these opportunities by designing, implementing, and teaching nutrition and healthy wellbeing techniques and programmes across the business.

I also consult with residential teams identifying children who have specific nutritional concerns providing them with advice and a Nutrition plan to support the child.

Throughout 2023 I have planned and will deliver lots of educational sessions with children and staff at the residential homes. These will include cooking skills workshops for the children and staff, healthy baking sessions, gardening projects, games and activities around a balanced lifestyle and portion sizes whilst assessing, interpreting and evaluating outcomes of the Nutrition Programme.

The Food Champions initiative will also be launched early 2023. The Food Champions will work alongside me from within the homes to ensure children and staff are provided with healthy nutritious meals and snacks every day. They will also have extra training with me to enhance their cooking skills and knowledge around how the food we eat effects all aspects of our health.

I also continually work on different projects including research to develop and deliver training to residential staff about healthy eating and nutrition for looked after children and its effect on recovery from trauma. I am currently researching gut health and it’s direct links with mental health, hormone synthesis and behaviours. I am also organising training for staff around basic cooking skills and healthy lifestyle reference materials including keywork sessions for residential homes alongside an index to measure and track changes in children’s diet eating behaviours whilst resident with Halliwell Homes.

Christa Dodd