food and nutrition standards in nursery in peckham

For parents, food and nutrition standards in nursery are a factor when considering a childcare setting for their child. Children start learning about food at a very early age.

The messages they receive during this time lay the foundations for the choices they make about diet & nutrition as they move up to school and beyond. With more than one in five children overweight or obese as they start their school reception year, it’s never been more important to help them get a healthy start in life.

food and nutrition standards in nursery in peckhamParents surely want the best standards of food and nutrition for their children, so we’ve written a blog to help out parents with some helpful information on what to look out for on nursery menus.

Why does what my child eats at nursery matter?
Firstly, let’s answer the question of why it’s important to know what your child eats at nursery. The early years are so important in establishing healthy eating habits as they can set the foundations for their future health & wellbeing. In addition, the time that children spend in a childcare setting is hugely influential & of great importance for receiving good nutrition & laying the foundations of healthy habits for later years.

There are resources out there to support eating well in the early years, it’s just about knowing where to find them. Hopefully, this feature will help you to feel better armed to know what to look out for & where to get help if needed.

What is the current health status of young children in England?
According to the Eat Better Start Better pilot scheme, over a fifth of children are either overweight or obese by the time they join reception class in primary school (their final year in the Early Years Foundation Stage).

This is a result of changes in children’s diets that have affected their nutrient intakes. Those affected are eating foods that are low in energy, iron and vitamin A, and high in saturated fat, sugars and salt. In addition, many young children also eat fewer than the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. How to spot a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet for children aged one to four years

So, parents… how do you know what a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet for nursery children looks like? A healthy balanced diet for children aged one to four years is based on the four food groups listed below:food and nutrition standards in nursery in peckham

  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • Dairy and alternatives

These four food groups provide a range of essential nutrients that nursery children need to grow and develop. An essential principle to healthy eating is a variety in a diet. At our nursery we serve healthy, balanced and nutritional foods, to encourage energetic, healthy and happy children within our nurseries. Our diet and nutritional programs give your child all of the energy they need for a busy day of play, learning and development.

What can we do if we’re not happy with the food on offer at a nursery?
Smart Kids Nursery have registered for the Eat Better Start Better pilot scheme. This guide was developed to assist early years providers, practitioners and parents to meet the early year’s foundation stage requirement for the provision of healthy, balanced and nutritious food and drink. Encouraging children to eat well and learn about food in their early years not only protects their health when they are young but also sets the foundations for their future health and well-being.

A good diet and nutrition takes careful planning
A good diet and nutrition menu takes planning, and at our nursery, we provide a morning snack, balanced lunch and afternoon tea. Our menus are carefully planned and freshly prepared by our experienced chefs.

mealtimes at nursery in peckhamWe make every effort to make mealtimes fun and an opportunity to learn – meals are served family-style so that children quickly grasp key skills and food etiquette – setting the table, serving themselves, sharing conversation and clearing away afterwards.

If your child has any special dietary needs based on medical/allergy conditions, religious, or cultural requirements, just let us know. Communication is key for ensuring the right growth for children. Our Nursery Manager will be happy to discuss further options with you.