Childminders and nurseries need healthy diet advice

A recent government backed report has outlined that children in regulated childcare should be given nationally agreed menus in order for them to receive the correct levels of nutrition.

The Advisory Panel on Food and Nutrition in Early Years, suggests a central bank of menu examples should be established to provide more detailed voluntary guidance on healthy, balanced food for babies and toddlers. The report includes examples of menu plans, types of food to serve and portion sizes for children from one year old up to starting school.

Children who move around from childcare types in the same day could be at risk of receiving the right diet, the report said, although there is little evidence that children in nurseries, Sure Start Centres or with childminders had diets with too much sugar and salt and not enough energy, fat, iron and zinc.

The report suggests that children who moved between types of childcare in the day and were not always fed appropriately.

In England, under 5’s are already expected to be provided with nutritionally balanced meals and fresh drinking water should be available at all times. However, the report also highlights that over a filth of children starting school are overweight.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Irelands development of these programmes will be monitored by Ofsted, the childrens services watchdog.

Source:

The Guardian, Call for nursery menu guidelines to promote healthy lifestyles 04 Mar 2011

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