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Food and nutrition are important to us and we know that a healthy balanced diet is essential to your child’s growth and development. Every day is an opportunity for us to satisfy your child’s appetite with delicious and nutritious meals and snacks, designed with their needs in mind, with a menu planned to broaden their food experiences.

At Monkey Puzzle Marleigh, we have developed a 4-week menu using local suppliers; the result of a creative collaboration between the nursery and Paediatric Dietitian Carine Henry. Taste, colour, variety and nutritional value are our top priorities. Children are always learning, and meal times are no exception. Monkey Puzzle children sit and eat together, helping themselves from a serving dish on their table, and practice their eating skills using a knife and fork. Those with bigger appetites can help themselves to a larger portion or go for second helpings!

Carine’s technical knowledge in selecting the most nutritious ingredients, make every mouthful count. The breakfast, main meals, side dishes, soups, snacks meals, pastries and desserts together meet nutrients standards for each day of our menu cycle. Key nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc and Vitamins A & C as well as energy and protein, fats and fibre are provided for, whilst finding creative ways to minimise sugar and salt, but keep food tasty with the use of herbs and garlic and sweet fruits instead of sugar. We never use sweetener. Children requiring special diets are fully considered, with high quality alternatives for children with allergies and who follow vegan diets. We use calcium and nutrient enriched oat or soya milk and products, a combination of soya protein and Quorn Vegan® products to meet the needs for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Nutrient Framework as per Example Menus for Early Years settings in England: Guidance

The Children’s Food Trust 2017 PHE

Example daily menu

Breakfast Fresh fruit salad English muffins with berries
Snack Mini banana Oat muffins
Lunch Smoked haddock & spinach pie or sweet potato & spinach bake Little apple and cinnamon swirls
Snack Fruit selection  
Afternoon Tea Red pepper and pea frittata Crudites of carrots, peppers, and cucumber

Babies’ nutrition

At this age nutrition for your child and support for you go hand in hand as we work together to find your child’s feeding rhythm throughout their daytime with us and their night time and earlier mornings with you. We support both breastfeeding and formula feed with bottle feeds at nursery, delivered with comfort and care for their feeding and winding habits. When your babies are ready to experience solid food we will complement your efforts at home, working in partnership with you as your child experiences new tastes and textures.

Toddlers’ nutrition

Your toddler’s food experiences are so important and at this age group, they really develop and secure many of their preferences. At this age we balance the opportunity to try new foods with the regularity and reliability of foods they already know and love, continuing to praise them for their food adventures, and giving them an abundance of time to enjoy these.

We delight in helping to create good habits, supporting mealtimes with learning and understanding about how foods help them and their bodies, helping them to make great food choices for life.

Preschoolers’ nutrition

Fuelling some of the most energetic beings on the planet is fun, and we love the challenge! A healthy balanced diet is essential to your child’s growth and development and at this stage, making sure they have the nutrition to match their desire to master the world.

Your preschooler will continue to learn and understand how foods help them and their bodies, helping them to make great food choices for life. At this age, your child will be a master of self-service with them creating their own portions, so they can display their appetite and tell us about their choice, with our guidance of course!

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