Food Policy

Our aim is to serve tasty, high quality home cooked food that we are proud of which is well balanced and contains all the required nutrients for a growing child.  We encourage healthy eating by offering a wide variety of foods throughout the week.  The food and drink provided for the children in our care is of paramount importance to us and distinguishes us from other settings.  Our food and milk are predominately bought from Tesco in Ruthin, but we do also use local suppliers in the town.  We work to a three weekly menu which is on display in the foyer and the nursery does not allow children to bring in their own food and drink.  Our children eat regularly and consume a variety of foods so that they can maintain their energy and concentration levels better.

During the summer of 2009 Carmen and Nia attended a ‘Tiny Tums’ course that was delivered by Denbighshire County Council.  The objective of the course was to ensure that the food that we provide for the children placed within our care is well balanced as well as healthy.  Carmen and Nia are both aware of what an ideal diet is for a toddler and why good nutrition is important for young children.

The Dietician said that our menu was excellent, and she was very impressed with the number of dishes that are homemade along with the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that the children receive.

Carmen and Nia have attended a refresher course in nutrition and have learnt how important it is for iron to be present in the diet.  We ensure that over 5.5mg of iron is present in the diet each day and at least 6 portions of fruit and vegetables are served daily and a piece of fruit is always served at snack time along with a product from another food group.  Our tea is made up from at least 3 food groups and again one must be a fruit or vegetable along with a source of protein and carbohydrate.

Our nursery has now joined the Healthy and Sustainable Pre School Scheme which forms part of The World Health Organisation Initiative.  The scheme looks at the ways in which pre-schools can contribute to the health of children through developing and promoting a healthy environment. The scheme supports the basic principles and learning Framework of The Foundation Phase and has been designed to complement The National Minimum Standards for Regulated Child Care.  The children will take part in more cooking sessions, food preparation, food related games and we will grow more fruit and vegetables in our new garden area. We regularly discuss the Environment and the importance of recycling. We hope by educating the children on the importance of a healthy diet at a young age they will benefit in later years and we will contribute to improved oral health and prevent childhood obesity.

Only quality ingredients are used within the nursery and nothing contains any hydrogenated fats, and we avoid artificial colourings and additives for obvious reasons.  Oily fish which is rich in Omega 3 is on the menu at least twice a week.  We only use wholemeal bread and bertolli is the spread that we use because it is higher in unsaturated fat. Readybrek, weetabix, rice krispies or shreddies are offered for breakfast due to them all being a good source of iron and low in sugar.  Milk and dairy are present regularly due to calcium being important for bone development.

Water and milk are the only safe drinks for teeth which is why they are the only drinks available. We have introduced tooth brushing after morning snack at the nursery to promote a healthy smile. By reducing the frequency of sugar, we are helping to prevent the development of dental decay.  We will never serve sweets or soft drinks. Water is available throughout the day.

All staff have had training in relation to food hygiene and safety and we have completed a HACCP course.  The nursery encourages good social eating practices in hygienic surroundings, and we have always received a score of 5 from Denbighshire County Council.  Cooking and baking regularly take place as an activity during the day and the foods produced will either be enjoyed at teatime or taken home.  Children will be taught how to eat correctly with a knife and fork, and we are very keen on good table manners and etiquette.

17 weeks is the recommended age for weaning and we offer finger foods from around 6 months to help with speech development, chewing skills and independence.  Parents or guardians will be advised if their child is not eating well and children will still receive dessert if they refuse their main course.  We tackle food refusal by using stickers as rewards, giving lots of praise even if a small amount is eaten and we take away uneaten food without a comment.  We cater for all individual dietary requirements and parents of children who are on special diets will be asked to provide as much information as possible about suitable foods.

Carmen and Nia follow the principle of the Eat well guide; there are four main food groups.

Group 1 – Milk and dairy

Milk and dairy are a good source of calcium which is important for bone development.  Zinc and protein along with vitamins A and B2 are also provided from within this food group.  We aim to serve at least 3 portions from this group per day.

Group 2 – Meat, fish, eggs, and beans

This group will be a good source of protein which is essential for growth and repair.  Oily fish is rich in omega 3 which is good for the brain and the heart.  Zinc and iron are also provided from within this food group.  We aim to serve at least 2 portions from this group per day.

Group 3 – Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, cereals, and other starchy foods

This group provides carbohydrates which give you energy.  Vitamin B is also provided from within this food group.  We aim to serve at least 4 portions from this group per day.

Group 4 – Fruit and vegetables

This group provides vitamins A – C which helps to maintain a healthy immune system.  Potassium which is good for blood pressure is also provided from within this food group along with iron.  We aim to serve up to 5 portions from this group per day.

Corwen nursery set a fantastic example for promoting a healthy lifestyle and teaching our children the importance of health and how to be healthy. The menu offered has variety and is a well balanced diet and my son loves the quality of it always saying he has enjoyed it. Our son is often playing outside and going for walks which he loves and is important to us as a family as we promote this at home too, so it is nice that he gets these opportunities in the day. The nursery is part of the design to smile scheme that ensures our son brushes his teeth in the morning and our dentist has commented on the good quality of his teeth which has been helped by this scheme in nursery. We are always given free toothbrushes and toothpaste of the correct strength to use at home too. Our son loves the busy feet movements and I always love to see the pictures of him taking part and enjoying himself through doing this.

Rebecca Mollison-White

The menu at Corwen Day nursery is of an excellent standard and my son receives a very well balanced diet. The children are encouraged to try all foods and also use good table manners. I believe that the produce used is of a high standard and all dishes are homemade which is impressive! My son brushes his teeth on a daily basis in the nursery setting and only water is provided which is pleasing as I take dental hygiene very seriously. To support his physical development, my son regularly accesses the outdoor area, visits the park and goes for walks. The children are also encouraged to get physical during learning activities and are encouraged to participate in dance and creative activities.

Charlotte Davies

They promote a healthy life style for my child, by catering to her vegetarian diet, also by getting the children to make smoothies etc and engaging them in preparations of healthy foods. Also coupled with the physical activities (walking/playing outside) makes corwen day nursery a good healthy choice for my child.

Anjuna Charlton-Blore

I can’t fault Corwen day nursery's food, its 10 out of 10! Very healthy, delicious, nutritious, varied menu that my little one loves! And plenty of it as well

Carys Powell-Davies

Our nursery provide a 3 week rota full of healthy and nutritious meals and snacks. The menu includes family favourites like pasta bolognese to things we hadn't tried at home but have now included in our own home cooking. Nursery provide a nutritional breakdown of the menu which clearly shows that children get more than enough of the essential parts in their diet. All food is freshly cooked on site. Children learn about healthy eating and cooking frequently (our 2 yr old's class recently helped make vegetable soup). The nursery really hold healthy food as an important part in the service they deliver. I've sampled food on open evenings and is very tasty, nursery is filled with lovely smells of home cooking when I pick our child up...it's a shame they don't feed the parents too!

Michelle Kay

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