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Congratulations to all my team on this amazing achievement.  We know we provide fantastic menus and healthy eating experiences for children, but it is so good to get recognised for this by the Children’s Food trust.  It is a real credit to Leanne, Wendie and Denise who work tirelessly to provide great food every day.   Below is the letter that we received from Jo Nicholas, Head of Research and Evaluation Children’s Food trust.  I couldn’t be happier!

Zoe Parsons

Owner

Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nurseries

 


Letter that we received from Jo Nicholas, Head of Research and Evaluation Children’s Food trust:

 

Dear Zoe,

Further to my visit to your two nurseries in December, I can confirm that both have achieved the Children’s Food trust Award.

 

As I said at the time, I very much enjoyed visiting your nurseries. You and your staff were very welcoming, and your passion for feeding children well really came across. Please can you pass on my thanks, particularly to Wendie and Denise. In terms of feedback on your nurseries, this is an extract from the visit summary:

 

The visit to Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nurseries confirmed that the settings demonstrate excellence in relation to food provision and practices. It is evident that food has a central role in the day-to-day operation of the settings. The nursery owner and setting managers communicate a clear and shared understanding of the importance of fresh food, and offer a healthy varied menu. Nursery chefs are key members of the staff team in each setting, and are knowledgeable in relation to healthy eating and encouraging children to eat well. Food quality and presentation is excellent. Food-related activities are undertaken, such as cooking and tasting, and growing activities. Children learn about healthy eating, for example pre-school children were able to discuss the vitamins in the fruit and vegetables they were eating at morning snack. Staff are knowledgeable about fussy eating, and were able to share examples of current practices and communications with parents. Meal and snack times are well-organised and calm, and children are encouraged to be independent  (serving themselves, cutting up fruit, clearing and stacking plates, cups and bowls). Children engage with staff in talking about the types of food on offer. Staff eat with the children and calmly and consistently encourage children to try new foods and to practice good table manners. The nursery promotes healthy eating to parents, and has run a well-attended Food and Nutrition workshop which included tasting foods, comparing homemade and retail dishes, and learning about herbs and spices. Budgeting for food has been identified as a topic for the future. There is good communication with parents in relation to special dietary needs. Menu development is continuous, with regular input from room staff.

 

Particular examples of excellent practice include:

·         Offering both fruit and vegetables at snack time, and enabling children to help cut these up

·         Making the most of opportunities to learn about food, for example theme days utilising families’ backgrounds to add authenticity

·         Staff able to talk knowledgeably and give examples of dealing successfully with fussy eating

·         Subsidised lunches for staff (resulting in them eating with the children), and setting expectations for the food that staff bring in from home

·         Providing meals and snacks at no extra charge during funded sessions

·         Cutting up food after serving so that children learn to recognise what they’re eating, and encouraging children to eat all meal components (e.g. encouraging children to eat some rice before offering naan bread)

·         Acknowledging the importance of the dining environment, for example dimming the lights slightly at tea (where possible)

·         Offering water flavoured with fruit in summer to encourage children to drink

 

Kind regards,

 Jo

 Jo Nicholas
Head of Research and Evaluation
Children’s Food Trust”

 


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