All children deserve the healthy food they need to grow, learn and thrive. But not all children have access to a healthy diet. Chef Academy was developed to combat this. We train chefs from Early Years settings to be experts in child nutrition and to help children, staff and parents build healthy habits for life.

We want to learn more about how we grow the Early Years Chef Academy and be a catalyst for driving change in Early Years settings and beyond. This final impact report focuses on the six cohorts of chefs that have participated in the Early Years Chef Academy training up to April 2023.

Download the report     Download the summary infographic


"Chef Academy is an excellent way for qualified and unqualified chefs to receive appropriate training for nursery settings."

Chef, LEYF Nursery

"[The chef] has learnt so much from doing the course and what she has learnt, she has implemented in the setting… I’d say she’s gone above and beyond what she has been taught. She has just taken it to another level. What she has been taught has been fantastic, but she has then taken it on board and implemented it, which is really lovely."

Nursery Manager at participating nursery

"You want someone who understands what the nutritional value of different foods are to help [the children’s] development, to help [the children] grow, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well because food has such an impact on all aspects of your health as a person. I think it is really important."

Parent at participating nursery

Key findings

  •  Chefs found the training useful and worthwhile
  •  Chefs reported improved understanding around child nutrition
  • Chefs reported improved confidence in encouraging healthy choices
  • Chefs felt the training had improved their status
  • Chefs were interacting more with children, other staff, and parents around healthy eating
  • Expected improvements to children’s diets have started to materialise



"My son is definitely more open to trying more food now."

Parent in participating nursery
Children exploring different fruits with the nursery

Early Years Chef Academy

We train chefs and teachers to be experts in child nutrition and to help children, staff and parents build healthy habits for life.

Children eating a meal in the nursery

Food and nutrition

Healthy eating and nutrition are a priority at LEYF.

Staff and Child playing with playdough

Advocacy and campaigns

We use experience gained from decades of working in Early Years to shape our service and lobby for changes.