Buying healthy food

We want Nottinghamshire to celebrate and encourage a vibrant and diverse food economy where local producers and food initiatives can flourish.

Residents will have a choice of affordable seasonal, local produce and responsibly sourced food, through a wide range of accessible initiatives and businesses.

Find out more in the sections below.

Healthier Options Takeaway

The Healthier Options Takeaway (HOT) scheme started in 2016. HOT supports local food businesses to make small changes to improve healthier choices for customers. By signing up to the countywide scheme, businesses can access resources and support, and customers have increased choice of healthier food alternatives. Find out more about the HOT scheme

Healthy Start

A national scheme providing vitamins and help to buy healthy food and milk for eligible families. In Nottinghamshire, we have been working hard to raise the profile of Healthy Start and encourage people to apply and retailers to promote the scheme.

Who is eligible?

Pregnant women and parents/carers on certain benefits with a child under four are eligible for the scheme. All pregnant women under 18 are eligible; they do not need to be on benefits. Eligible people can apply online by visiting the website

Retailers and organisations selling Healthy Start food items can accept Healthy Start card payments. The retail store/organisation needs to accept Mastercard and have a card payment facility allowing chip and pin or contactless payments. There is no need to register for the scheme as a retailer.

Across Nottinghamshire, there is a variety of food support available to access such as foodbanks, Food On Our Doorstep (FOOD) Clubs, social supermarkets or pantries, social eating sessions and information on national schemes such as Healthy Start.

More information can be found on the Notts Help Yourself website and our Nottinghamshire Coronavirus Community Support Hub or you could contact your local district or borough council. Many community groups work with Fareshare to provide a range of food items, utilising good quality surplus food that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

Find out more about food support in Nottinghamshire

Making changes to what we do with our waste can save energy, reduce emissions and minimise the use of natural resources. If we all follow these simple rules, we can make a big difference:

    • reduce the amount of waste we produce
    • reuse as much as possible to prevent waste and unnecessary spending
    • recycle the materials we do throw away so they can be used again and made into new products.

Find out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials in Nottinghamshire

Find out ways to reduce your food waste at home

Notts Green Rewards scheme

A reward scheme for residents of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City for taking part in activities that reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact. Residents earn 'Green Points' for logging day to day activities such as: 

• walking to work or school instead of taking the car
• cycling or using public transport 
• putting a recycling bin out with all the correct recyclables
• switching off a light or switch at home
• taking a shower of four minutes or less

The top points earner for each area could win a monthly prize, plus many more prizes and local discounts on offer. 

Sign up for free on the web platform or download the Notts Green Rewards app on iOS and Android by searching for ‘Notts Green Rewards’ in the app store. There can only be one registered account per household.

We know that it's important for a best start in life for children to have healthy nutritious food. In Nottinghamshire, we have looked at the food environment in early years (birth to five years old) and how we can make access to affordable healthy food easier for children and their families. We have looked at improving the quality of food provision through early years settings and enabling parents/carers to develop good eating habits with their children through the Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Project and raising awareness of food support such as Healthy Start and free school meals. Here is a flavour of some of this work:

Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Project

The Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Project (COTP) was an ambitious project which aimed to support local authority areas across England to tackle childhood obesity. The project was funded by the Department for Health and Social Care, managed by the Local Government Association (LGA), and supported by Public Health England (now the Office for Health Inequalities and Disparities). The COTP was formally delivered between October 2019 and June 2022 and following a competitive process which saw over 100 applicants, Nottinghamshire County Council was selected as one of only five local authorities to participate in the 3-year project.

It was decided early on that the focus of the Nottinghamshire COTP was to improve healthier eating behaviour by influencing the home and community food environment (i.e. how the availability, affordability and quality of food can affect an individual’s choices) of families with children in the early years (0-5 years old). This was realised using a cross-council partnership approach bringing together the skills and expertise from Public Health, Early Years and School Catering with Children’s Centre Services, Childcare and Early Years Providers, and importantly local parents; recognising the council's role in improving where people live and the importance of a coordinated approach to help strengthen communities.

As part of the project, a wide range of initiatives were delivered. Activities included FOOD Clubs, Healthier @ Home Meal kits, Early Years Community of Practice, fussy eaters training, Community Food Hubs, Children’s Kitchen sessions and investment into Healthy Start locally. This work has formed the basis for much of the early years and food work that will be developed as part of the Food plan.


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