We pride ourselves on our high standards of menus and healthy choices for the children in our care.
At Magical Tree Nursery we pride ourselves on our high standards of menus and healthy choices for the children in our care. We work towards exciting, vibrant and tasty meals and snacks that the children enjoy to eat and that reflect their home environment and foods from around the world. The nursery is currently working towards a variety of food awards so that we can be acknowledged for our high standards. The nursery has once again for the second year running achieved a level 5 in food hygiene standards.
Encouraging children to have good eating habits is sometimes difficult however we have a very good system here at the nursery. Due to the layout the kitchen is heart of the nursery. The children are able to hear, watch and smell the chef cooking the delightful and yummy lunches. This encourages the children to eat well. Many parents comment that this is a great strength of the nursery.
According to the Children’s Food Trust
“Early years settings provide an ideal opportunity to help every child eat well and enjoy a varied diet establishing healthy eating habits to take them into their school years and adult life.”
We consider this statement to be paramount to our approach to providing the very best in healthy meals.
The British Nutrition Foundation states that
“Healthy eating is important for everyone, especially children, to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Eating well and being physically active will improve your children’s health as well as their ability to learn and achieve. Encouraging your children to eat healthily now will make them more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle as they get older.”
Magical Tree Nurseries uses ‘The Balance of Good Health’ published by the Food Standards Agency, as a tool, as it divides up a dinner plate into five assigned sections. These are;
- Fruit and vegetables
- Bread, other cereals and potatoes
- Meat, fish and alternatives
- Milk and dairy foods
- Foods containing fat and foods containing sugars.
Children are also provided with milk and water to drink throughout the day.
Experiences about healthy lifestyles need to be delivered in a clear, consistent and fun manner as eating habits and attitudes are developed from a young age. Magical Tree Nurseries provides a varied, seasonal and healthy menu for our children, which they enjoy. Thus encouraging children to develop positive attitudes and understanding of food.
Food in the curriculum and in the nursery day
We believe that education and experiences regarding food are vital for understanding about living a healthy lifestyle. Consequently we make cooking a key theme throughout the nursery day within snack time or group time. This allows children to gain confidence in cookery skills whilst also extending their knowledge of foods, ingredients etc. The nursery also provides a sensory garden with a herb garden in which the children plant and observe herbs and small fruits grow. These are then picked, given to the nursery chef and used in our healthy meals and snacks.
In addition on a regular basis the children are given the chance to sit down with chef and contribute to the menus. This information is then displayed so that the children and parents can see how and what they are learning and experiencing about healthy food.
Foods from around the World. Cultural Healthy Snacks
The children at Magical Tree have access to healthy snacks between 9am and 10am and between 1pm and 2pm. It is advised that we eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Therefore we offer fruits and vegetables as snacks between meals as well as part of main meals. There is a vast range of quality and freshly made snacks available to the children. We encourage children to help the adult prepare the snack from cutting up bananas to buttering freshly made bread. The children enjoy being part of this experience and due to this the children like to try new and interesting snacks.
Food as part of personal, social and emotional development
At Magical Tree Nurseries Ltd we strive to make mealtimes a pleasant and family type experience. Staff and children sit and eat at the tables together, whilst encouraging conversation to create a calm and friendly environment.
During mealtimes children are encouraged to serve themselves and staff encourage the children to try a little of everything. Our team value all food and understand how to ensure that a hygienic food preparation environment is established and maintained.
The older children help to set up for lunch time and show confidence, self-awareness and excellent physical skills. A special table is on offer to the children who have been recognised through the day for their good behaviour. The children gain a great sense of pride and acknowledgment of being valued.
We like to share with parents and all family members the wonderful tasting menu that we provide. So twice a year we offer the opportunity to sample our delightful menu. This event is enjoyed by both parents and children.
If you would like to know more in regards to the Children Food Trust and the British Nutrition Foundation please find links below.