Welcome to Nutrition & Health
To dive right into our menus, click the below links and see what season dishes our catering company are currently providing.
Nutrition and meal times are important in any nursery setting as they provide a framework over which to structure the day. At Garden House Nursery Schools our meal times an essential part of learning and development. Children are encouraged to serve their food, eat with a knife and fork and clear away when they have finished. This supports their developing independent skills, builds their confidence and self-esteem.
As a Nursery School we do our best to provide a wonderful environment for children, by having a lovely setting, an exciting curriculum, friendly happy team and good hearty food. During a recent review of our food policy, as a team we decided we could do more to provide a nutritious diet for your children throughout the day.
We valued to put as much energy and thought as to what food goes into your children’s bodies as well as to what information goes into their brain. To be a happy healthy child, they need a healthy diet and a stimulating curriculum.
With more than 1 in 5 children overweight or obese as they start their school reception year and children born since the 1980s are now 2-3 times more likely than older generations to be overweight or obese by the age of 10, it’s never been more important to help children gain a healthy start in life and tackle the issue of obesity. We, like you, want only the best for your children. They deserve healthy produce to support their growing bodies and brains to develop into possible future; Prime Ministers, Brain Surgeons, Olympic Athletes or World famous artists. The opportunities are endless.
A healthy balanced diet is essential for children to ensure they grow and develop normally. It has been found that the more varied a child’s diet is, the better their nutritional status will be. Children start learning about food from an early age and those who develop good eating behaviours and consume a variety of foods from a young age are more likely to carry on these good behaviours as they get older.
Our Food Policy fully complies with the Children’s Food Trust Standards, Caroline Walker Trust and Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Our lunch and supper are provided by an excellent catering company called Zebedees. They have a baby and Child nutritionist, Charlotte Stirling-Reed who ensures that all meals are healthy, well balanced food that fulfils all of children’s nutrient requirements. Zebedees provide freshly cooked meals packed with vegetables, various fish and meats and spices (dietary needs dependent). Below is a link to an example of the menu and ingredients your children will be having. They have red tractor farm approved quality fresh food with local and seasonal produce. All meals are made from scratch. They have a strict policy that they do not add any salt and make a conscious effort to make sure the fat and sugar levels meet the strict nutrient targets set out by the Children’s Food Trust and the Caroline Walker Trust.
Here at Garden House Nursery Schools we believe that we are in an excellent position to positively influence the health and wellbeing of the children we cater for, sending a clear message that we take good nutrition very seriously.
Sleep & Bedtime
Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that children who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.
One of the easiest ways to set your child up for good sleep is by creating a bedtime routine. The good news is that it only takes a few nights2 of following a bedtime routine to see improvements in your child’s sleep.
What Is a bedtime routine, and what are the benefits?
Bedtime routines are a consistent, repetitive set of activities that are carried out before bed every night. They help prepare your child for sleep by having them relax and wind down. A predictable routine also gives your child a sense of security and teaches them how to fall asleep on their own.
Research shows that children who follow bedtime routines are more likely to go to sleep earlier, take less time falling asleep, sleep longer, and wake up less during the night. These benefits to sleep quality are still seen years later3 in children who followed bedtime routines when they were younger.
In addition to improving sleep, bedtime routines teach your child self-care and lay the ground for working memory, attention, and other cognitive skills4. They also foster parent-child bonding and may help improve mood, stress levels, and behaviour.
In the long term, these benefits translate to better readiness for school, as well as better academic performance and social skills. By contrast, those who don’t follow a bedtime routine in childhood are more likely to have sleep problems and be overweight during adolescence5.
Setting a bedtime routine right from the beginning with your baby makes it easier to keep up healthy habits as your child grows.
How to build a bedtime routine for children.
A bedtime routine for children usually consists of three or four activities, for example, having a snack, brushing teeth, putting on pyjamas, and reading a story. These should always be done in the same order. To make the routine even more effective, start winding down the household by dimming the lights and turning off screens in the lead-up to bed.
Typical bedtime activities that have been shown to have beneficial effects6 on sleep include:
- Nutritious snack or bottle/breastfeeding
- Bath time
- Brushing teeth and going to the bathroom
- Reading a story
- Lullaby or singing a song together
- Massage, cuddling, and rocking
- Talking about their day
The bedtime routine should culminate in a goodnight kiss and lights-out7. You should leave the room while your child is sleepy but not asleep yet. This way they learn to fall asleep on their own, and they won’t panic if they wake up in the middle of the night and find you gone. Set a consistent bedtime that leaves enough time for your child to sleep the recommended number of hours for their age.