An Innovative Approach to Child Nutrition
The Professional Nursery Kitchen was delighted to be chosen as the winner at the Nursery Management Today Awards for Nursery Product / Innovation, being recognised for providing the nursery sector with the most exciting and important product over the past two years.
The Professional Nursery Kitchen was created by a group of nurseries who pooled their resources to build a central kitchen to produce fresh, nutritious meals, specifically for young children. By consolidating their resources, each nursery has access to professional chefs, high quality ingredients, equipment, dieticians, nutritional analysis software and many other resources out of reach of an individual nursery or even a group. Meals are freshly prepared in an accredited production environment and then delivered, chilled to nurseries where they benefit from cooking from fresh onsite.
The Professional Nursery Kitchen provides support to the nurseries to understand the dietary needs of young children, and ensures they provide a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Children have different nutritional needs to adults and as their bodies develop, these needs continually change. It is extremely important that the diets of young children are planned to be age appropriate to ensure they have the correct fuel to reach their potential. The Professional Nursery Kitchen also provides support and resources to help nurseries with common food related challenges like fussy eating, allergies and nutritional advice.
A child’s diet in the early years builds the foundations for their ability to grow, learn and thrive. Research confirms that healthy eating habits in the years before school influence a range of health and development outcomes in later life. Nursery Team and Parents are often overwhelmed by the guidance and advice available and worry desperately about common food behaviours such as neophobia. By providing broad, dietician approved menus, nurseries and parents can be confident that their children are getting safe, balanced and nutritious meals at nursery. By providing the additional support and advice around this, children can be supported to develop healthy eating behaviours which will provide the basis for their life long health.
30 nurseries have joined The Professional Nursery Kitchen in the first year and all have seen big improvements in the quality of food they serve to children and their ability to support their team and parents with food, nutrition and eating behaviours. This allows the nursery team to focus their efforts solely on the quality of care and education they provide giving an all-round improved service to children and their families. Achieving SALSA (Safe and Local Suppliers Association) and EYNP (Early Years Nutrition Partnership) in the first year of operation gives nurseries the confidence that the Professional Nursery Kitchen operates to the highest safety and nutritional standards.
The NMT judges felt that The Professional Nursery Kitchen’s Nursery Meals have identified a huge challenge that is faced by nurseries and have approached it with an innovative open mind. This business knows exactly what it is all about and how to solve its customers problems. The judges thought it was unique – catering just for the nursery sector.
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