Welcome to our special edition SUGAR SMART September newsletter! SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by Sustain that aims to help organisations reduce the amount of sugar we all consume. Anyone can pledge to become SUGAR SMART – this includes Early Years settings!

This September is 'SUGAR SMART September'. We are asking Early Years settings to get involved to help us share this important message with families to give every child the  best start in life.

How do I join in?

Visit the SUGAR SMART website to sign up. Once you sign up you will receive a ‘Sugar Smart UK: registration confirmation’ email. Your account is now active and you can explore the Sugar Smart website and pledge your SUGAR SMART actions!

You can choose from 13 pledges to work towards. Pick at least 3 pledges to become an official SUGAR SMART setting. We have given you some ideas of how to work towards your pledges below.
Step by step guide to SUGAR SMART

How will you get involved?

Stock healthier food and drink
Set a SUGAR SMART challenge
Promote sugar-free packed lunches
Make a SUGAR SMART recipe
Spread the word
Get accredited
Promote water
Sign up to a healthy workplace scheme
Have a SUGAR SMART quiz

Stock healthier food and drink

It is important that in your setting you are offering healthy and nutritious food, whether this is as part of a full menu or just snacks, and that you communicate this to the parents and carers. There are a number of excellent resources that can help and guide you to produce your menu and meet the Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings.

For training on how to plan SUGAR SMART menus, book onto our Eating Well for Under 5s course via the training directory or complete the Early Start Nutrition online menu planning training.

Download our example menu and recipes

Set a SUGAR SMART challenge

Challenge staff, parents and children to give up sugary drinks for a set period of time in a ‘Fizz Free’ challenge. Encourage them to drink two litres of water a day instead. Download our water challenge record book and get started today!
Promote your challenge with this Fizz Free poster.
Download our water challenge record book

Promote sugar-free packed lunches

A healthy lunch box will give kids the energy and nutrients they need to grow, develop and learn. It is important to support parents to create healthy lunches without sugar.

Check out the following resources to help spread the sugar-free lunch box message:
Easy lunch box ideas photos (example above)
Early Start Nutrition top tips for lunch boxes
Healthy lunch box leaflet 

Visit Change4Life for more packed lunch ideas

Make a Sugar Smart recipe

Sharing healthy low sugar recipes with parents and carers is an excellent way to encourage better meal choices in the home.  These Choc Cherry Popcorn Cakes are an easy, surprisingly low sugar, recipe to make.

Click here to source more excellent recipe ideas from Change4Life to use and share.

Choc Cherry Popcorn Cakes recipe

Spread the word

Spread the word and promote Sugar Smart in your setting by designing a display to promote easy sugar swaps. We love this fantastic example (right) by Tami Mundy.

You can use our Sugar Swaps resource to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in foods promoted to young children. Get the children involved in weighing out the sugar to generate healthy eating discussions. 

Download our SUGAR SMART display kit

Get accredited

Getting your setting accredited by an external organisation helps to ensure that the food and drink you serve is healthy. If you are not part of our Healthy Under 5s programme, why not sign up today?! Our free programme supports Early Years providers to be active promoters of heath and wellbeing.

Download application form

Promote water

Since children are still growing, there is all the more need to keep the body hydrated so that it functions properly. Installing water points and promoting drinking water as the number one drink will positively impact children’s health.  A loss of 2% of body fluids causes a 20% reduction in performance in both physical and mental activities. Aim to offer only water and milk during the day in your setting.

Have a SUGAR SMART quiz

Run a quiz with surprising facts about sugar in everyday food and drink. You could challenge parents to complete the quiz below with their children and bring back there completed answer sheet.


Sign up to a healthy workplace scheme

Having a healthy and productive workforce should be every organisation’s ambition. Register on the Healthy Workplace website to access free support to improve and promote the health and wellbeing of your most valuable asset – your staff! The Healthy Workplace team can provide health checks, stress managements courses, discounted gym memberships and lots more. You can even go for an award if you wish, but there is no pressure to do this!

Register as a Healthy Workplace
We want to celebrate the great Sugar Smart activities you have done in your settings this September. We would like to invite you to post your story with a picture on our Healthy Under 5s Facebook page or email us and we can share it for you so we can spread the Sugar Smart message far!
Healthy Cornwall
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