Monday, 18 December 2017

Why nutrition is such a vital issue for Early Years children

SARAH STEEL, managing director of the Old Station Nursery in Henley, talks about the importance of healthy eating for Early Years children:

SARAH STEEL, managing director of the Old Station Nursery in Henley, talks about the importance of healthy eating for Early Years children:

“MANY parents will have followed the discussions in the media over recent years, largely headed up by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, on the importance of children getting healthy meals during their school day.

“Schools are now obliged to meet basic guidelines on nutrition and how meals are served, but many people are not aware that nurseries, childminders and pre-schools are not governed by any specific code of practice regarding food and nutrition.

“OFSTED inspectors will often comment on mealtimes, but they do not have any specific training on nutrition and will only make general comments.

“Some providers offer excellent meals and a balanced diet, but many may not have much knowledge of the subject.

“Fortunately, the Children’s Food Trust is making progress in working with Early Years providers, who may choose to sign up to the voluntary guidelines to offer children in their care a healthy and balanced menu.

“It also provides guidance on portion sizes, special dietary requirements and how to make mealtimes a valuable learning opportunity as well as a pleasant social occasion.

“If you are a parent looking at options for childcare, you may find it useful to see what the Food Trust have to say about nutrition for young children and this may help you to ask the right questions when you are looking around. Visit www.childrens foodtrust.org.uk”

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