Most nurseries are working very hard to ensure that children in their care get a balanced diet. However, it is a major challenge keeping up to date with all the latest recommendations – for example, at which age children should be drinking full-fat or semi-skimmed milk, which has changed several times over recent years. Many nursery providers already offer excellent meals in line with nutritional guidelines, but there are still some who struggle to interpret all the guidance that is out there, or whom assume that children need a low-fat, high fibre diet, which many adults are trying to achieve. At The Old Station Nursery we carried out a new menu trial last year, in association with 2 different groups of students from Oxford Brookes university. They looked at our previous menu cycle and recommended some minor changes, to help us to ensure the children got sufficient calories throughout the day, with the correct nutrients including vitamins and minerals, but without exceeding recommended salt levels. We now have a menu cycle which we use across the company, with some local variations to allow the cooks to exercise a little personal choice. We would welcome any national standards which the Government see fit to recommend, as anything which helps us to ensure the children receive a balanced diet will be beneficial.
Do you think the Government should get involved in standards for pre-school food, or just concentrate on school age children? Are you confident you know what guidelines you should be following at home? Do let us know what you think.