We’ve talked a lot in the last couple of weeks about finding the right nursery for your child. When you do find the right place you need to be able to trust that your child will be as well looked after, if not better, than they would be at home. Nursery group kidsunlimited understands this and just one of the areas it focuses on is healthy eating. They have always highlighted the importance of a healthy diet and this is visible from the seasonal nutritiously balanced menus the nursery group currently offer.
kidsunlimited understands children can spend a large amount of time in their nurseries, so parents and carers need to be assured that their children are having healthy, nutritious food as part of a balanced diet. The nursery group also understands that today’s children have more dietary requirements and may need a different menu due to food allergies, intolerances, religious requirements or vegetarianism.
kidsunlimited along with their Menu Planning and Nutritional Analysis Consultant, Doreen Harris, have designed a 4 weekly menu which maintains kidsunlimited’s promise to provide all child with a healthy nutritional menu each and every day.
The menus have been specifically designed to meet the needs of children under the age of 5. A healthy balanced diet for a child under 5 varies from that of an older child or adult. Younger children have high energy and nutrient requirements relative to their body weight compared to older children and adults. For a 1 to 5 year old a balanced diet should be focused on four main food groups:
- Starchy foods, to provide energy, carbohydrate, fibre and B vitamins.
- Fruit and vegetables, to provide an important source of vitamins including vitamin A and C and minerals such as zinc and iron, and dietary fibre.
- Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein to provide protein, iron and zinc. Oily fish provides omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D.
- Milk and dairy foods, to provide a good source of energy, protein, calcium and vitamin A.
In addition to these four main food groups, young children especially those under the age of 2, require a diet which isn’t too high in fibre. This is to ensure the child doesn’t fill up to soon and forgo more energy rich nutrients which they require for growth and development. Younger children also have a much lower recommend daily intake level of salt, so ensure this is kept to a minimum to prevent the on-set of problems such as high blood pressure later on in life.
Studies have shown that the better a child eats, the better impact it has on their life. The food your children eat when they are young, shapes their attitude to food for the rest of their lives. It is therefore important your children are introduced to as many healthy eating options as possible. If they are given healthy snacks, such as carrot and apple when they’re feeling peckish, they’re more likely to turn to fruit and veg when they’re older, in favour of chocolate and crisps. A poor diet whilst children are young leads to health problems later on in life such as obesity and malnourishment. Research has also suggested that the better a child eats in nursery; the more likely they are to choose healthier options outside of the classroom.
The food your children eat at lunchtime could improve their achievement and behaviour in nursery. If they eat more healthily, they will stay more focused and their concentration levels will remain high throughout the afternoon. If they are fed high sugar snacks, they’re likely to experience a period of hyperactivity followed by a slump later on in the afternoon; this is because the initial sugar rush from the sweet chocolate wears off quickly, leaving your child tired and cranky and as a parent you know that’s never a good thing.
For more information on kidsunlimited please contact:
Contact: Robert Booth, Marketing Co-ordinator
Telephone: 01625 417684 ext. 7702
Notes to editors:
- For 30 years kidsunlimited has been giving babies and young children unlimited opportunities to learn and develop through imagination, creativity and play. By providing a safe, supportive, stimulating and fun environment to explore and discover the world, we help children to grow and express themselves to their full potential.
- kidsunlimited provides the very highest standards of care and education for pre-school children and is the fifth largest childcare provider in the UK offering nearly 6,000 child places across 63 nurseries throughout the country
- kidsunlimited aims to provide innovative and progressive childcare, whilst placing an emphasis on creating calm and tranquil environments where the children are encouraged to learn through creativity and play, using natural materials.
- kidsunlimited provides an all-inclusive daily fee or session rate including morning snack, lunch, afternoon tea, (as appropriate) and milk and nappies.