Food & Mealtimes

Helping children eat well

At Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery and Pre School we are proud of our fresh home cooked meals served by our chefs! All our meals are prepared from scratch in our 5* rated kitchens. (We are really proud that every one of our kitchens are rated 5* by the Local Authority Health Inspector)

Our meat is brought fresh from our local butcher who can track and trace all sources of its meat, and our fish is from a award winning fish monger, you couldn’t get much fresher!

We can cater for any allergies that you child may have, we can work with our chefs to plan a suitable and nutritious meal plan to suit their needs.

Healthy practices are encouraged alongside promotion of independence and a great deal of fun in asking our older children to help lay the table and help in cookery classes for example making fresh bread, scones, cakes and biscuits.

An example of our menus can be found in the “Latest News” section.

Fussy eating or Neophobia

Up to 18 months, babies are open to trying new foods.

Research shows that giving a new food once in the first year can double a baby’s intake of that food when a parent offers it again at meal times.

When they start to walk and become more mobile, some toddlers develop neophobia (a fear of new foods). Academics believe that humans developed this condition to prevent them from eating toxic or poisonous substances. This is why it is so important to introduce a wide range of foods during the weaning period. Research indicates that a child might have to taste a new food up to 15 times before they accept it. The Neophobic phase is thought to peak between two and six years. However, it can extend into later childhood if parents and childcare providers such as nurseries allow this phase to dictate and limit the variety of food offered.

Children who are showing signs of neophobia are often labelled fussy but there is a clear distinction between the two and both types of challenge need to be handled differently.

  • Children who refuse a food on sight (without trying it) are neophobic.
  • Children who taste food but refuse to eat any more because they don’t like it are fussy or picky eaters.

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Eating environment

Nurseries can promote a healthy eating environment, where children sit together in a social setting. Sitting around the table with other children who are eating can provide supportive peer environment. The more children that eat a food, the higher the chance will be that other children will try the food too. Regularly providing food that a child has previously refused has been shown to encourage increased consumption and to increase the chance that the child will come to like the food.

Your child’s food at nursery.

Getting children enjoying healthy food from an early age is the way to help them eat well for the rest of their lives. But how can you tell if your child’s nursery is getting food right?

Here’s our guide to making sure your child eats well in childcare.

 How is food normally offered in childcare?

Many nurseries provide meals and snacks as part of the cost of childcare. Some settings will let you choose whether you’d like your child to have meals provided or not. Others don’t have the staff or facilities to provide food, so they will ask you to provide a packed lunch for your child, of course, the length of time your child spends in childcare each day will determine how many snacks or meals they’ll need to eat there.

We have full kitchen facilities and our own chef on site.

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Suggested questions to ask about school meals when you’re looking around a new nursery or meeting another new childcare provider:

  • Do you prepare meals and snacks from scratch here?
  • Where will I find your menus?
  • Can I come in and try a mealtime?
  • Do staff eat with the children?
  • How do you encourage fussy eaters?
  • What sort of snack system do you use?
  • Do you give children the chance to take part in cooking?
  • How will you let me know what my child’s eaten each day?

 How does snack-time work?

Some childcare providers have fixed snack times, when all children stop to eat together. Others have what are known as ‘rolling’ snack time, when children can choose their snack when they feel hungry. Whatever system your childcare provider uses, children’s snacking should be carefully supervised to make sure they’ve eaten.

An example of our menus can be found in the “Latest News” section.

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“They look forward to playing with their friends and all the opportunities they have to investigate and explore & the messier the better!”

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“They are looked after so well by the staff.”

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