Guest Blog: Eat Smart Sheffield

Guest Blog: Eat Smart Sheffield

In our latest guest blog, we hear from Lisa Aldwinckle from Learn Sheffield to find out more about their ‘Eat Smart Sheffield’ project, aiming to support pupils, their families and the wider community to adopt healthier eating behaivours.

Learn Sheffield has been commissioned by Sheffield City Council to develop and deliver a Whole School & Settings Approach to Food and Nutrition Programme. Named ‘Eat Smart Sheffield’, this 5-year programme focusses on encouraging and supporting pupils, their families and the wider community to adopt healthier eating behaviours.

The programme works with all primary and secondary schools across the city, as well as some additional settings including Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units, and has two main aims:

  • To give schools the tools they need to make long term changes to their food culture and their curriculum to support healthy behaviours
  • To give pupils and their families the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to cook, grow and enjoy good quality affordable food, as well as increasing understanding of food sources and sustainability

The programme will ultimately contribute to reducing both childhood obesity and child tooth decay in the 20% most deprived areas of the city.

In order to achieve these aims we are working with a number of key partners including Food for Life.  A Soil Association programme, Food for Life has a proven track record working with schools and additional settings to transform their food culture; it has a network of over 4,500 schools across England.   The ambition is that this collaboration – alongside that of other relevant initiatives including Live Lighter Sheffield (weight management) and ‘Sheffield is Sweet Enough’ (sugar reduction)- will help Sheffield make lasting and sustainable changes to the way we think about food, our environment and our health. We also wrote a guest blog for Food Active about our ‘Sheffield is Sweet Enough’ campaign which you can check out here.

As part of the Eat Smart Sheffield programme, all schools can expect a vast array of resources, support and guidance including:

  • Access to a variety of Food for Life resources including evaluation tools, training and awards
  • Links to relevant local and national food organisations and healthy eating campaigns
  • Data dashboard with national, city-wide and local area public health data
  • Ability to share learning and best practice with other schools

In addition, each year a small number of targeted schools will receive a more intensive support package with a higher level of intervention including, for example:

  • Help to set up and facilitate a ‘School Nutrition Action Group’ with bespoke School Action Plan
  • Additional data collection and analysis resulting in informed support
  • Set up support for Gardening and/or Cooking Clubs
  • Food for Life priority training

So far, over 50 schools in Sheffield have engaged with the programme, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, great progress is being made to ensure the children and their families in our city are equipped to make good food choices for a healthier, longer life.

For more information about Eat Smart Sheffield, please check out our website –

And follow us on social media:

Twitter – @eatsmartsheff

Instagram – @eatsmartsheffield

Facebook – @eatsmartsheff

Main contact: Lisa Aldwinckle, Eat Smart Sheffield Programme Manager –

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