Nutrition and Wellbeing
Harlequin Childcare is committed to providing a wide variety of food and activities to promote the health and wellbeing of all children within the Nursery. We support parents by laying down the foundations of a healthy lifestyle, providing them with a well-balanced diet, teaching them to make informed, healthy choices and encouraging them to take part in the many, varied exercise activities provided during the day.
Snack and meal times are happy, social occasions for the children and team. Our team promote a positive approach to food, encouraging the children to experience new food and discuss their choices. The children gain an understanding about healthy eating and the importance and sources of food, all linking to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). As the children progress through the Nursery they gain independence by serving their own snacks and meals and clearing away their plates. Water is always available to the children and milk is served as an alternative during snack time.
Our Deputy Manager, Emma, is also our Physical Activity and Nutrition Co-ordinator (PANCo). Emma works closely with our dedicated chef, Jayne, to ensure that our menus present a healthy diet, having high regard for the current Eat Better, Start Better guidelines for the under 5’s. All our “home-cooked” meals use seasonal fruit and vegetables, incorporating new flavours using herbs and mild spices, together with new textures, ensuring we offer the ‘5 a-day’ commitment. Our chef prepares fresh pureés for weaning babies in accordance with parental guidance and wishes. We hold the highest rating “5” from the Food Standards Agency, awarded by East Cambridgeshire District Council as part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Children are also given the opportunity to ‘cook’. These guided activities help children to develop their understanding of food, cultures, practical skills, hygiene and safety. They also cover areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), for example developing mathematical awareness by measuring or counting ingredients, recognising colours and using their senses.