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Food in nurseries: The quality issue

© Lucky Dragon (Fotolia) kind beim essen
© Lucky Dragon (Fotolia)

There could be many different factors contributing to this.

• Nursery staff are only paid a small wage for the great job that they do and due to small budgets for kitchen staff, this can mean that cooks/chiefs are pushed for time and lack motivation to plan and cook tasty freshly made meals.

• Poor recruitment may mean kitchen staff may not have the experience and know how to cook anything other than oven meals.

• Cutting costs can mean that less fresh fruit and vegetables are on offer to children in nursery and cheaper ways of offering children snacks and bulking out meal can occur.

In fact, children should be offered fresh food which is cooked from scratch, not packet foods that are thrown in the oven. Nursery fees are extremely high nowadays and surely the cost of buying fresh food should be covered by those fees. More should be done to monitor this as this is not good enough.

So what should private nurseries offer?

The Caroline Walker Trust who works closely with the Food Standard Agency says that:

Children should be encouraged to eat a varied diet. They should eat foods from each of the four main food groups every day. The four main food groups are:

• Bread, other cereals and potatoes

• Fruit and vegetables

• Milk and dairy foods

• Meat, fish and alternatives such as eggs, pulses (peas, beans and lentils) and soya.

To sum up

A varied diet is associated with better health as it is more likely to contain all the nutrients the body needs. Fruit and vegetables are particularly important for good health. Under-5s should be encouraged to taste at least five different fruits and vegetables a day.

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