What is your nursery feeding your kids….
18th January 2012
New guidelines for feeding the under fives were today issued by the School Food Trust in an attempt to reduce obesity among this age group. It is shocking to hear that one in five children are overweight or obese as they start their school reception year – clearly something needs to be done. The Eat Better Start Better project aims to support families and childcare providers as they learn about and enjoy healthy food choices.
The Schools Food Trust says “research suggests that some [childcare providers] are giving young children food which is more appropriate for older children and adults”. They are, of course, referring to high levels of salt and sugar and also a lack of nutrients essential to growth such as iron and zinc. Whilst this is true, I would argue that this food is not appropriate for anyone, hence the massive increase in diet related health problems (obesity, type-2 diabetes, some cancers). A healthy, balanced diet is appropriate for everyone and the focus for families, schools and the government should be to promote this across the board.
I recently looked at a nursery menu which, as an example, included baked beans a number of times a week – baked beans are packed full of sugar and salt. There was also little in the way of wholegrains and good fats and a reliance on dried fruit as snacks. What also stood out was how little variation there was in the menu throughout the week. These recommendations are a step in the right direction – I just hope everyone involved in childcare makes the effort to adopt them.
If you would like more information and guidance on healthy eating for children and all the family, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01277 833032