Out & about
As little ones grow they spend more time outside the home, and you will want to know the good habits you are setting at home continue wherever they may be eating.
Here we share tips on what to look out for when eating outside the home, at nursery or at a restaurant.
If you are looking at nurseries and food, here are some questions you may like to ask.
If the nursery staff are unsure of the details, you can ask to have a chat with the cook. They will probably be delighted that you're taking an interest in their menus and what they are cooking for the children.
What's on offer
Can I see a typical weekly/monthly menu?
Has it been analysed by a nutritionist?
Does it fulfill the Caroline Walker Trust guidelines?
What drinks do you provide?
What do they eat and drink at snack time?
What about ingredients
How much is made from fresh?
Where is your meat from? Is it organic or free range?
Where do you get your vegetables?
How many times a week do you provide fish?
Does that include oily fish? If so, what kind?
How long do they have to eat their meals?
Do the staff eat with the children?
Do you encourage them to eat a bit of everything, including veg?
Do you allow older children to help themselves?
Food in the curriculum
Do the children help to prepare snacks?
Do they have cooking lessons?
Do the children learn about food and healthy eating - how?
Food for Life
We support the Soil Association Campaign for better food in nurseries because we believe children have a right to healthy food too.
We know that nursery food can be great when staff make food a priority. When a nursery has a Food for Life Catering Mark it is a positive sign that the nursery will provide quality fresh food.
With 1 in every 9 meals eaten outside the home it’s really important for you to have good choices when you eat out with your family, but often children’s choices are restricted to the same unhealthy options.
There are some simple things you can ask for so that they can enjoy a healthy meal too - ask for a child’s portion of adult meals, children’s cutlery, and a jug of tap water on the table.
The more we ask for what our children deserve, the more restaurants, pubs and cafes will listen and make changes.
The power is in your hands!
The Soil Association Out to Lunch campaign asks for simple changes:
- Freshly prepared food
- Children’s portions of adult meals
- Free tap water on arrival
- Children’s cutlery as standard
- Breastfeeding mums to be made welcome