Provision of Food
Our home-made meals are freshly prepared each day by dedicated and experienced children’s cooks. The children really enjoy them and are having their “5 a day” and more! We thoroughly believe that healthy eating in the early years sets the trend for a future healthy lifestyle. We have won national recognition for our nutritious home-made food, recipes, menus and innovative “fun food education” for the children.
Our menus are based around a Mediterranean diet, meticulously planned to include lots of fruit and vegetables, regular oily-fish, quality meat and vegetarian options. They are designed to be low in salt and sugar with lots of fibre. Our meat is from our local butcher and is free range, traditionally farmed and selected for extra leanness. The fish we use is sustainable and responsibly caught. We source seasonal, local, home-grown and organic foods wherever possible and have our own allotment and orchards for English seasonal fruit and vegetables. We do not use any food colourings or artificial preservatives. Our four week rolling menu displays all identified allergens and is displayed on our noticeboard. At mealtimes we say an inclusive thanksgiving before we eat together.
Special medically diagnosed dietary requirements can normally be catered for. These requirements should be discussed initially when registering your child and highlighted on the Registration Form.
Food has always been a priority for us at Willow Cottage. We achieved the nationally acclaimed Leading Aspect Award for demonstrating how health eating can be prioritised into the nursery day and an opportunity learn and make good choices. Our children develop a love and appreciation for food as part of a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Our Leading Aspect Award was entitled ‘Nursery Food Matters – An Embedded Educational Philosophy’.
Our teachers and nursery practitioners integrate healthy food education and early year’s cookery within the Early Years Foundation Stage. They involve their children in simple ways in the preparation of their own snacks and meals, and prepare innovative “Fun Food Family Packs” to encourage and role-model healthy food practice at home.