Nutrition Skills For Life™

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NUTRITION SKILLS FOR LIFE™ formerly the Increased Dietetic Capacity Grant Scheme is a programme of quality assured nutrition skills training and initiatives developed and co-ordinated by dietitians working in the NHS in Wales. The programme aims to support a wide range of community workers, including those from health, social care and third sector organisations to promote healthy eating and incorporate food and nutrition skills into their work.

The programme aims to reach community groups who may not have the confidence to prepare and eat a healthy balanced diet. By training those who work closely with, and understand the needs of local people, the programme successfully supports communities across Wales to learn more about healthy eating.

There are two key aspects to the programme; nutrition skills training for community workers and healthy eating initiatives with community groups. For community workers, Agored Cymru accredited Level 2 Community Food and Nutrition Skills training enables participants to develop the competencies required to promote key healthy eating messages focusing on the Eatwell Plate. It also teaches practical skills such as budgeting, shopping for healthy foods, understanding food labels and how to adapt recipes. This course is attended by those who plan to deliver healthy eating initiatives such as practical cooking skills or community weight management programmes as part of their work. There are three further nutrition skills training courses, one for those working with children in their early years and two designed for staff working with vulnerable older adults (see table 1).

The second aspect, development of healthy eating initiatives with community groups, includes supporting those who have completed the Level 2 Agored Cymru Community Food and Nutrition Skills Course to plan, implement and evaluate healthy eating initiatives with communities they work with. This can include delivery of accredited Level 1 courses. To deliver Level 1 accredited courses the Agored Cymru Introduction to Assessment training is also completed. Learning and teaching resources have been developed for all NUTRITION SKILLS FOR LIFE™ training programmes to provide a standardised, consistent approach to delivery and assessment. The resources are available from Public Health Dietitians in Wales.

Table 1. Level 2 Nutrition skills training courses for community workers

Course

Aim

Intended Participants

Level 2 Community Food and Nutrition Skills Course (3 credits) To equip participants with the nutrition knowledge and skills to cascade evidence based, consistent food and nutrition messages to community groups they work with.
Those intending to deliver Level 1 accredited courses.
Those intending to deliver Foodwise for Life community weight management programmes.
A range of staff working with community groups e.g. Leisure centre, Communities First and Families First staff, teachers and teaching assistants, youth workers, foster carers.
Level 2 Community Food and Nutrition Skills for the Early Years (2 credits) To equip early years practitioners with the nutrition knowledge and skills to cascade evidence based, consistent food and nutrition messages to children and families and improve food and drink provision in their setting
Early years practitioners in Flying Start, Families First and Early Years settings.
Those participating in the Healthy and Sustainable Pre Schools scheme.
Level 2 Food and Nutrition Skills for Those Providing Care (1 credit)
 
Level 2 Improving Food and Nutrition Care (1 credit)
To equip staff working with vulnerable older adults with the nutrition knowledge and skills to improve food and drink provision for those in their care and prevent malnutrition Care home nursing and catering staff, community carers, and voluntary organisations.

Community workers completing the Community Food and Nutrition Skills for the Early Years course are supported to implement improvements to food and drink provision for children in early years settings. Those completing ‘Food and Nutrition Skills for Those Providing Care’ and ‘Improving Food and Nutrition Care’ are supported to enhance food and drink provision in care homes.

 

The training supports other All-Wales initiatives including the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Scheme, Healthy and Sustainable Pre School Scheme, Implementation of Appetite for Life and the Nutrition in Community Settings Pathway.
 
Evaluation of the programme has demonstrated successes at both community and individual levels. At the community level healthier food and drink options are provided in many community settings e.g. nurseries, playgroups, schools, youth, leisure and community centres. Those working with older adults report improved food provision in care settings.
 
For individuals, having an opportunity to learn about healthy eating and develop practical cooking skills has led to changes in their food related behaviour. Other important benefits of the programme for individuals are that it provides people with an opportunity to gain a qualification, often the first they have ever achieved, which can encourage an interest in further learning and potential future employment. It also offers valuable opportunities to socialise and meet other people and empowers people to find solutions to food related issues such as food access and availability.
 
To find out more about NUTRITION SKILLS FOR LIFE™ in each health board area in Wales please contact the following Registered Dietitians.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB, Rhian Marston Rhian.Marston@wales.nhs.uk  or Elizabeth Williams Elizabetha.williams@wales.nhs.uk
Aneurin Bevan HB, Caroline Bovey: Caroline.Bovey@wales.nhs.uk
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB, Public Health Dietitians: BCU.PublicHealthDietitians@wales.nhs.uk
Cardiff and Vale UHB, Emma Holmes: Emma.Holmes@wales.nhs.uk 
Cwm Taf HB, Shelley Wyer: shelley.wyer@wales.nhs.uk 
Hywel Dda HB, Janet Bouchier: janet.bouchier@wales.nhs.uk
Powys HB, Rhiain Murphy: Rhiain.murphy@wales.nhs.uk 

 

 

Nutrition Skills for Life

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