About the Award


This award is for Early Years Foundation Stage pupils (ages 3-5) and is written by teachers for early years practitioners/teachers. It is designed around the popular children’s book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle and has been developed and launched by The Food Teacher™.

This award is mapped to the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (2021), more specifically to the Managing Self Early Learning Goal within Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) and also incorporates other areas of learning and development such as Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Cook at home recipes are also included to engage parents/carers.

It also links to Ofsted’s new Common Inspection Framework by ‘Creating a culture and ethos of healthy eating’ (2022) as it supports pupils to gain knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy and make informed decisions about healthy eating.

The award is a ‘Mini Muncher Challenge’, which can be delivered across 5 sessions (every day over a single week or once a week over a 5 week period) with 50 minutes of planned teaching time each session. Children learn basic, age appropriate chef skills, food hygiene and safety, nutrition, the benefits of choosing healthy snacks and staying hydrated. Make at home recipes are also included to engage parents/carers. During each session, the children create a different snack e.g. a celery caterpillar or watermelon pizza.

Once signed up, early years practitioners/ teachers get full access to the website which includes teaching videos with chef, radio presenter and best-selling author Patti Sloley, lesson plans, assessment guidance, resources, optional additional activity ideas and weblinks. They also receive five A3 colour printed posters, stickers for each child after each session, medals of achievement for each child and copies of The Food Teacher™ award-winning ‘No Kitchen Cookery for Primary Schools and Now we’re cooking! Delivering the National Curriculum through Food.

No heat is required throughout the challenge and only minimal equipment such as a blender, colander, 4 knives, 4 chopping boards, a water jug, bowls, plates, cups and cutlery is required.

Feedback from both early years practitioners/ teachers and pupils has been outstanding, specifically around pupil engagement, motivation and practical hands on experience.

Nutrikids book covers

Nutrikids endorses and supports the Youngest Chef of the Year award. The Nutrikids set of books is a fantastic collection of storybooks designed to help teach children about healthy eating, which complement the Youngest Chef award. They each contain a relatable children’s story, nutritional info, recipes, grow your own and foods facts.

The Nutrikids books can be purchased with exclusive discounts for Nurseries/Schools as:

Educational activity sheets linked to each book can also be downloaded FREE at Nutrikids.


You can also purchase a pack of 2 UK Seasonal Fruit and Veg Guide, which is a perfect all year resource in the classroom, lovingly created by illustrator ICatRose. In this beautifully colourful visual guide, you will find a selection of the most common fruits and vegetables grown in the UK and a few favourites imported from Europe. Each month, you can turn a page and see what delicious ingredients are in season and ready to be tasted! Sold at an exclusive price for Schools/Nurseries.


The award is also supported by the College of Medicine and Integrated Health and accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (2019-2024).

“The children are loving the sessions especially the practical elements. The stickers also help us to inform parents/carers about what we have been learning, which helps continue the conversation at home.”


Parents, governors, GPs, teachers register interest


Buy membership or contact us here to sign up


Improve health, nutrition education and wellbeing

What's Included

Everything you need to deliver the award in your nursery/school including a scheme of work, EYFS opportunities for observation and assessment, resource checklist, exemplar letter to parents, detailed lesson plans, additional activities and resources, chef and teaching videos, web links, recipe cards, copies of The Food Teacher™ award-winning No Kitchen Cookery for Primary Schools andNow we’re cooking! Delivering the National Curriculum through Food, printed posters, pupil stickers and medals of achievement.

Coordinating the award programme and resources is founder and director of The Food Teacher™, Katharine Tate, a multi award winning nutritional therapist, author and teacher, “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this challenge provides that opportunity within a purposeful and engaging context.”

“This award is such fun, sparks an interest in food and introduces children to some tasty, healthy recipes of delight!”

Chef Patti Sloley
Find out more about Chef Patti Sloley > 

“This award is such a fantastic way of engaging children and the community. It’s about raising children’s aspirations, opening their minds to new experiences and to new possibilities.”

Dr. Mark Spencer (GP, Fleetwood Lancashire)
Find out more about Dr Mark Spencer >