Healthy eating is an important part of our philosophy. We aim to promote healthy eating by ensuring that the meals and snacks we provide are nutritious, balanced and tasty, and that they meet nutritional needs for optimal early years development. We are signed up to the Early Years Nutrition Partnership, and were the first provider in the North East to sign up to this scheme, a government initiative to tackle childhood obesity from early childhood. As part of our membership of this scheme, all of our staff have received specialist training in child nutrition and healthy eating. We have appointed a Head of Nutrition, Leanne Good, who prepares all of our meals and ensures that our menus conform to the Early Years Nutrition Partnership guidelines.
Older children additionally learn about the benefits of healthy eating by being involved in meal preparation. We have a bread rota, and all of the bread that children will eat would have been made by them! Children also help out with growing herbs and vegetables which will be used in the meals we prepare.
Integrated into a wider programme of learning which aims to introduce children to different cultures, meals from a variety of different cuisines will be provided. Multicultural events (e.g. Chinese New Year, Independence Day, Mardi Gras, Australia Day) will be celebrated via the meals we provide.
Of course we are committed to meeting any dietary requirements or food preferences which your child may have. We can also serve meals and snacks provided by parents if you would prefer. All foods and drinks consumed (and approximate quantities) are recorded in your child’s daily diary. We can support you in weaning your baby and are happy to blend/puree foods as required. Please inform us if your child has any food allergies, so we can take these into account when preparing food.
In addition to cultural events, special meals will additionally be arranged for events such as children’s birthdays, Christmas etc. On such occasions, some party food, cake and fruit juices are served in addition to our usual healthy menu.
Children have access to water all day. They will also be offered one drink of milk, either at the morning snack, afternoon snack or before their nap (if they have a nap). Sugary drinks, such as fizzy drinks and juiced with added sugar will never be provided.
Our weekly menu will be communicated to parents so that you know what your children will be eating each week.