Nutrition and The Restorative Parenting Programme
The Halliwell Homes Nutrition Programme aims to improve and enhance the life chances, life experience and enjoyment of life of all the children who live in Halliwell residential homes. This will be achieved through supporting the Restorative Parenting Programme by ensuring each residential home provides a positive food environment for every child.
The Nutrition Programme comprises the following elements:
- A Nutritionist as part of the clinical team to support to the residential team with any specific nutritional concerns.
- Nutritionist led one to one, key worker and group cooking sessions with children to engage children in nutrition and cooking.
- Training in nutrition and its importance for looked after children to all residential staff.
- Cooking skills training for all staff to build confidence in cooking healthy food for and with children.
- Specific management training regarding processes for therapeutic mealtimes.
- Reporting and monitoring food intake in residential homes
Due to past neglect, looked after children often have greater physical and mental health needs. Problematic eating behaviours and complicated relationships with food, as well as with those who provide the food are common. Despite this, the importance of diet is often overlooked or considered a separate subject to psychological trauma, challenging behaviour, and recovery. All too often, food is considered just a basic need and fuel source.
The Halliwell Nutrition Programme aims to unlock the potential of food to improve all aspects of life for looked after children. By engaging children in choices about food and the process of cooking healthy meals the nutrition programme helps to improve children’s health whilst nurturing better relationships between carer and child. By providing a healthy environment to share cooking and eating meals our children learn valuable social and life skills to allow them to thrive into adolescence and adulthood. Our comprehensive training combines nutrition and cooking skills, with sector-specific strategies on eating behaviours and emerging evidence in the fields of nutrition, such as the link between the microbiome, mood and mental health. This allows our staff to be confident discussing nutrition, health and cooking with children.
The benefits of a positive food environment cover multiple aspects of children’s lived experience and have the potential to improve a range outcome.