Despite this, evidence suggests that the diets of under 5s in the UK are often low in fibre and key vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin D and iron) and too high in added sugars and salt. As a result, one in five children in the UK currently start school overweight or obese.
Children in full childcare can receive up to 90% of their daily food intake from nursery food, so parents need to be assured that their children are being provided with healthy, balanced food that fulfils all of their nutrient requirements.
Here at HungryMoose we take our nursery food responsibility seriously.
Combining the knowledge, passion and expertise of over 20 years and multiple members of staff, we have perfected the art of preparing fresh, home cooked nursery food that is appealing to young children, while keeping variety and nutrition at the forefront. Our vans are delivering nursery food every day across Hampshire, Berkshire and West Sussex.
We constantly ensure that our nursery food is low in salt and added sugars, as well as containing the right amount of nutrients to support the high energy requirements of pre-school children.
We follow the ‘Eat Better Start Better’ menu planning checklist when formulating our standard nursery food menus, to ensure that we meet all Early Years Foundation Stage food requirements.
We constantly ensure our menus meet the minimum standards for iron, zinc, carbohydrate, protein, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and calcium and maximum levels for sodium, NME sugars, fat and energy as per the Caroline Walker Trust guidelines.
We endeavour to include a range of wholesome ingredients and flavours in the nursery food we provide. We incorporate food that children might not normally encounter outside of nursery to help reduce sensitivity to trying different foods later in life.
Our menus cover a range of dietary requirements to ensure all children are receiving a well balanced meal, regardless of cultural diversities or medical requirements.
Our mission is to make sure that mealtimes are a much loved part of the day. To help encourage healthy eating, we supply reward stickers designed to motivate young children to make healthy decisions.
1 portion of starchy foods – such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes – each day
3 different types of starchy foods provided across each week
Wholegrains (i.e. brown rice/pasta/bread) provided at least once a week
1 dairy product – including milk, cheese, yoghurts, fromage frais, milk-based sauces, custard and puddings made from milk – each day.
Butter and cream are not included in this group.
1 portion of fruits and/or vegetables – a colourful variety (including fresh, frozen, canned in natural juice and dried) to provide a range of essential nutrients – each day.
Potatoes are classed as a starchy food and are therefore not included in this group.
1 source of protein – a variety of meat, fish, cheese, eggs, beans, pulses & meat alternatives – each day.
Meat products (such as sausages & meatballs) no more than once a week. A variety of meat, fish & meat alternatives across the week.
Oily fish at least once every 3 weeks. One vegetarian lunch provided each week.
Eat Better start Better guidelines early years was developed following recommendations for food and nutrition in early years and was produced to support early years settings in England to meet the nutritional requirements of children and encourage them to eat well with and providing the right quantity of healthy foods through the importance of menu planning containing portion size energy -dense foods and packed with nutrients each week to help them grow ,develop and be healthy. We base our meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates, lots of fruit and veg, eat more fish including 1 portion of oily fish, cut down on saturated fat and sugar, eat less salt and get active and be healthy
Portion control is the number of portions of each food group children are advised to eat.
5 portions of starchy foods.
5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables
3 portions of dairy foods
2 portions of protein foods or three if a child is vegetarian
Our children eat real food, prepared from scratch and cooked on the day of delivery. Our menus are developed with our in-house Nutritionist, to ensure the nursery food we deliver meets recommended nutrient targets for pre-school children (including salt and NME sugars).
We adapt all our nursery food for a range of food allergies, intolerances, cultural and ethical requirements.
We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of nursery food safety, food quality and food hygiene.
Children during early years require vitamins A,B,C,D,E and K minerals like calcium, iron, iodine and zinc.
The best way for your child to get these is by eating enough vitamins and minerals by eating a wide variety of foods from the five healthy food groups. If children don’t get enough vitamins or minerals this could lead to growth and development problems. Pre school early years children need more nutrients and calories as their body needs more body fats every day than adults due to their higher activity levels, rapid rate of growth and bone development.
The voluntary food and drinks guidelines for early years food policy helps staff, parents ,carers and children understand the settings key aims on food and drink provision 2012 that non milk -extrinsic sugars often added to foods and beverages during processing.
We follow these guidelines providing desserts, puddings and cakes made with cereals such as rice or oats milk and fruit can be included as part of a healthy ,balanced energy diet for young children.They can provide essential nutrients such as iron, vitamins ,minerals and calcium.
What puddings are suitable ie fruit in any form, plain yogurt, dairy and fruit based desserts with no added sugar we take every measure incorporating this in our weekly and daily menus
Where we stick to guidelines and limit the amount of sugary foods on offer, we focus on fruit and milk based desserts to ensure plenty of energy and nutrients for children.
Health benefits of desserts
Desserts are packed with nutrients
Eating a dessert can limit your sugar, fat intake and improve weight control
Desserts can incorporate more fruit into your childs diet.
We at HungryMoose catering believe everything should be in moderation at an early age with a well balanced diet that it is important to help set healthy eating habits from an early age from the start leading to more nutritional understanding later in life.
* Please note that advice for children between birth and 12 months of age differs from those aged from 1 to 5 years old. The Department of Health recommends that all added sugar is avoided by children under 12 months of age, and we can supply fruit only puddings upon request. We also produce our own range of organic frozen baby food purees, which are completely additive and preservative free.
The best way to see how our nursery catering service will fit into your daily routine is to try it. We believe our nursery food speaks for itself and offer a no-obligation taster service. You can enjoy a selection from our current menu including nursery lunches and afternoon tea. We’d be delighted to come and visit your nursery in Sussex, Kent, London, Brighton, Surrey or Essex.
I know you're busy, but let's take some time to talk about what you'd like to be eating. Everyone's dietary needs and styles are unique. Drop us a line, and we can figure out what sort of a meal plan works for your goals and lifestyle!