Healthy food at Toad Hall nurseries gains recognition

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The South-East based nursery group has become the first childcare provider in the country to receive a Children’s Food Trust seal of approval for its menu.

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Ruby Hazel, chef at Toad Hall's Berkhamstead nursery, uses fresh herbs from the setting's herb garden

The group, which operates 16 settings throughout Hertfordshire, Surrey, London, Bedfordshire and Berkshire, has received the seal of approval in recognition of its summer menu meeting the Children’s Food Trust’s nutritional guidelines.

melon-with-faceNutritionists from the charity checked Toad Hall’s menu against national best practice guidelines for healthy food for toddlers and pre-school children. They also looked at the variety and nutrition of meals and snacks, portion sizes and the levels of salt and sugar in the food served to children.

They found the menu contained the right mix of energy and nutrients children need, as well as providing a good balance of different foods, plenty of fruit and vegetables and healthy snacks.

Toad Hall’s summer menu includes dishes such as turkey or veggie mince meatballs with Neapolitan sauce and tagliatelle, aubergine, mixed bean and pepper balti with rice, and mushroom quiche with salad and potato wedges.

The Children’s Food Trust is now checking the nurseries’ forthcoming autumn and spring menus.

Commenting on Toad Hall’s seal of approval, the nursery group’s chief executive Ruth Pimentel said, ‘Nutrition and a well-balanced diet are extremely important to us, not only because we know the importance of feeding children well but also because we know it supports their learning and development. We’re really delighted to work with the Children’s Food Trust - our children love the food and this is testament to the ingredients we use, our recipes and of course, our chefs!’

Linda Cregan, chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust, said, ‘The early years are absolutely crucial for children’s nutrition, which is why we’re so delighted that Toad Hall nursery group is using menus that meet our guidelines.

‘Knowing their children are getting food which hits the mark for their health will be welcome news for parents whose children attend the settings.’

  • The Children's Food Trust also runs an awards scheme, which recognises early years providers and schools' commitment to children's nutrition.
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