I am sure as I was when I first started weaning my eldest it was only organic fresh vegetables, homemade meals and nothing sweet. Fantastic for the first few months totally manageable wasn't it! Then WORK as I have said before I love my job now mainly because I get to work with all the lovely children and parents, but I have my children with me. Its the best ever; however when I first returned to work I used a child-minder, I couldn't fault her, home made meals every tea but lunch as most was sandwiches etcâ€¦.. this has has a knock on effect on my eldest. I do not disagree with what she gave him it was always healthy but there was a choice and he never went for the healthy option. So here I am and he's 4 now the fussiest eater ever. Lives on cheese sandwiches if given a choice with extra cheese on the side just in case there isn't enough in the sandwiches washed down with a dunker with you guessed it more cheese. So I thought what I could change to make sure that I don't have two children being ultra fussy on me at meal times I am going to start everything savoury and being a working Mummy I though ill go down the road of pouches. They appear very good, had loads of your daily allowance covered and 100% organic wow this is great huh! Then I looked at the contents of the pack EWWWWWWW I wouldn't eat that. How on earth can I expect my littlest to (but he loves it yuk) Seriously would you put butternut squash carrots apples + prunes together and blend it within an inch of its life. Nah didn't think so! So lets start the nursery debate how can they do better for me than these disgusting looking pouches.
Manager: At Happy Bunnies we provide healthy meals throughout the day, you can always see the menu posted at the unit end of the nursery. We follow eat better start better and provide the children with opportunities to try different food that maybe they wouldn't try at home.
Mummy: Like what? What do you provide for my children that I don’t.
Manager: We let the children have access to a variety of foods like, seeds, beans and pulses, figs, sardines. Things that are high in nutritional value that families may not as a household buy.
Mummy: My child won't eat that, so he will go hungry then.
Manager: We would never let a child go hungry there are always staple foods out like a fruit or vegetable option and starch based like bread sticks and crackers.
Mummy: Ok smarty pants (wouldn’t actually say out loud) So my eldest has packed lunch and youngest I bring food in how do you monitor this? (feeling a tad smug at the moment)
Manager: We help them with their lunches so we are able to see what they have, we offer the children the healthy option first and leave the less healthy option till last. We also discourage sweets and chocolate based foods and if we feel that they have to much in their lunch box this will be returned home. As per our health eating policy that can be found with the menus. The younger child will be encourage the same way as the older one once he is onto more solid foods.
Mummy: OK, Big question! I want him to eat hot meals but he's fussy, I also think that this is annoying to have it charged separately. What are you doing about this.
Manager: We are having a consultation period at the moment with new caters and looking at our space within the nursery to change the whole nursery over to hot food, this would be added to the Fees but we would still be competitive with other nurseries. Once we have the live cost we will be going out to all parents and getting their point of view.
Mummy: Fees are enough anyway. They are going up even more.?
Manager: With our research a basic lunch box cost approx. Â£2 plus the time you have taken to make it, at the moment in the consultation process we are looking to feed them a full hot meal with pudding for Â£2.50 (same price as we currently charge), this also means that on the days that the children are here for a full day you know that they have had a balanced diet throughout the day.
Manger last words.
As a nursery we are proud of our healthy eating approach but currently feel limited by with current suppliers that we have. We really believe that every child deserves to eat well, and healthy eating habits start early. When we make our decision about what we are going to do you have our word that we will make it as affordable as possible for you but we have you be aware it has to be healthy. We understand that children don't always want to eat what’s given to them but our meals will be based more around what we think they would like (as long as healthy) with a changed menu every 6 months according to the seasons.