Improving Children's Diets
We work to ensure all children have access to a healthy and nutritious diet.
About this Pillar
Why we want this
We know how important diet is to set children on a path of good health essential for their development and wellbeing. However, far too many children don’t get the diets they need, and lower-income households are disproportionately impacted. Evidence shows young people in the UK are eating too much saturated fat, sugars and salt and too little fibre, fruit and veg. Conditions such as diabetes and obesity are increasingly affecting children – diseases normally associated with adult life. Healthier foods are often not affordable for families on low incomes, and households with children are at higher risk of food insecurity than the general population.
We are seeking to ensure every child across the UK can access and afford a healthy diet, and that the policy landscape and food system support all children to eat well. We do this by working with young people directly as well as civil society, academia, policy makers and businesses to drive improvements in children’s food policy and practice across the UK, informed by evidence and lived experience.
What we are asking
At a national level, we want to see the adoption of a range of policy and business recommendations to ensure that pregnant women, infants and school children have access to a healthy diet, with a focus on supporting the most underprivileged to eat well. We want to ensure that the experiences and perspectives of children and young people who are faced with food inequalities in their daily lives are reflected in policy thinking and decision-making.
How we are helping
We support policy-making by generating robust data and evidence on children’s food security, and advocating for improvements to Government structures that support children across the UK to eat well.
Our Young Food Ambassadors campaign for Government action to reduce children’s food insecurity and inequalities in childhood obesity, by working on our youth-led Children’s Right2Food campaign.
We collaborate with a wide range of civil society and business to make a case for change. We lead the End Child Food Poverty coalition, which advocates for improvements to children’s food programmes.
We work with young leaders from around the world to ensure that youth priorities for the food system are heard in our Act4Food Act4Change international work.
We are conducting an in-depth study on early years food and nutrition to identify what policy action is needed to improve obesity levels on entry to primary school.
We generate youth-led events to give young activists a platform for engaging with policy-makers and create impactful communications that are evidence-driven and profile real-life experiences of young people.
Research & Evidence
Explore the Key Pillars of our work
Our mission is changing food policy and business practice to ensure everyone, across our nations, can afford and access a healthy diet.
Improving children’s diets
Too many children live in households experiencing food poverty in the UK. These families often rely on a cheap, poor-quality food which means that child hunger and obesity often coexist. We work to ensure all children can access a healthy diet.
Increasing vegetable consumption
Despite decades of the 5-a-day campaign, consumption of veg remains well below recommended amounts, with children and low income groups eating the least. We work with over 100 businesses and cities to change the environment so that veg is more available, affordable and accessible.
Influencing food policy
To address the health and climate crises, policy needs to support major dietary shifts – 30% more fruit and vegetables, 50% more fibre, 25% less HFSS food and 30% less meat by 2032. We support leaders to transform food systems.
Inspiring change in food businesses and investment
5 out of 11 supermarkets now have targets for healthier food sales. 2 have targets for fruit or vegetable sales and 2 report on sales of animal vs plant proteins. We help make the food industry more transparent so that investors and policy makers can spot the leaders and the laggards.