At Little Red Hen, parents are asked to provide for all of their childs’ nutritional needs until they reach a year old. When the children are about 11 months old, and start to notice what the older children are eating we find that they show an interest in trying some of their food. So we offer them tastes of finger foods, gradually getting the babies used to the foods that we eat from the menu plans, with prior written parental consent.
Research has shown that if children are given varied and nutritious meals once weaned, they have a reduced chance of becoming fussy eaters later on and are more likely to try different foods.
We aim to maintain balanced, sensible meals, avoiding sugary and salty foods so that there is less chance that the children will crave them, or develop a sweet tooth, later on.
Food is prepared fresh each day and transported in heated or refrigerated containers. All food intolerances, allergies, parental requests and cultural dietary needs are catered for.
Our meals also include a range of dishes from around the world so that the children can enjoy new tastes, flavours and textures and we encourage the children to be independent and feed themselves as soon as they can.
Breakfasts can be included, if required and will be from a selection of cereals or toast.
Children are also given fresh fruit and milk mid-morning and a dry carbohydrate based snack and water mid-afternoon, such as oat / rice cakes or bread sticks. We never serve fizzy, sugary drinks, only water or milk.
Please see the menu plan from the Home page on the right hand side for weekly updates. Alternatively, please click on the following link.
Ofsted says “Staff realise mealtimes should be a sociable and comforting time for the young children, for example, children are not rushed and are encouraged to begin to feed themselves at their own pace. They show great delight as they eat their curry and rice with their fingers and staff gently remind and support them to try and use their fork and spoon. Children who require bottle feeds are fed in a secure, comforting way in a quiet area of the nursery. Children are beginning to be aware of health and hygiene routines in place such as, wiping their hands for instance, as they come in from the garden and cleaning their teeth after snacks.”