Creating Balanced Diets for Children

Providing a balanced, healthy diet for your child requires both expertise and imagination, which is why our menus follow the Governments Early Years guidelines alongside the Soil Associations Food for Life Served Here standards. With this approach we ensure that our food is perfect for your child’s growing body and mind.

Nutrition

Good nutrition sits at the heart of our approach to a healthy lifestyle for your child. Not only do we believe it is essential for children’s natural growth, it’s central to their concentration, learning and development too, helping them get the most from their time at our nursery.

Eating is about more than food: it is a social event too, so the nursery’s practitioners join your child’s mealtimes. This encourages interaction between children, good table manners and development of social skills. It is also the ideal way to offer your child a little help if needed, answer their questions about food and praise their independence.

All our food can be traced along its simple supply chain, which is backed by rigorous quality assurance processes.

children's nutritional needs

We are proud to hold the Food for Life Silver Accreditation.

Special Diets

children's meals

Our comprehensive Special Diet Procedure ensures every specific dietary need is met, with minimum fuss and maximum attention to each individual child, whether through medical, religious or other requirements.

Weaning Process

Your baby’s transition to solid foods can be challenging, so we will work with you to choose the best time to introduce greater variety in their meals.

Each nursery will work with families to tailor the menu to support children through the weaning process and we offer further guidance on our Childbase@Home website.

spoon feeding

Is my baby ready for weaning?

weaning

You can start weaning when your child is around the age of 6 months.

Your child should be able to:

  • Sit in a high chair, and hold their head up
  • Coordinate their hands, eyes and mouth so that they can pick up food and put it in their mouth
  • Swallow food

All babies are different and will hit these milestones at different times. It is best to look out for signs they are ready for weaning rather than sticking to a specific age.

At nursery we encourage spoon feeding to help with the weaning process.

Food Groups:

Research suggests that starting babies weaning with vegetables helps them to get used to a variety of flavours early on, and mean they are less likely to reject vegetables as they get older. Offer your baby tastes of single vegetables for the first two weeks, before moving onto combining flavours and offering a variety of fruits, carbohydrates, proteins, herbs and spices.

For the first two weeks try a new vegetable each day. Blend or mash vegetables with some of your baby’s usual milk, or offer them vegetables as finger foods which are very soft. Please ensure you provide finger food cut into sticks and not cut into discs.

Please remember not to add salt when cooking any vegetables. 

Below you can see the foods that can be introduced to your baby when weaning:

  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Swede
  • Courgette
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Butternut squash
  • Peas
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Orange
  • Melon
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • Mango
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Porridge
  • Bread
  • Pitta bread
  • Toast
  • Rice
  • Baby rice
  • Full Fat Cows or Goats Milk (can be used in cooking only.)
  • Full Fat Yoghurt & Full fat cheese (suitable to eat from around 6 months.)

Please see more about weaning your child on our bespoke parent app and website – Childbase@home. Please ask your nursery for the log in details.

Harry the Hippo

Harry the Health & Safety Hippo works with our kitchen teams and children to ensure that food is healthy and nutritious. Harry features in his own series of books, written and illustrated exclusively for our children, and the ‘Harry and the Giant Pumpkin’ story teaches planting, growing and harvesting vegetables.

dietary needs for infants

Nursery Food

Please see one of our popular healthy nursery meals for children below. We have a bigger selection of nursery recipes available on our Childbase@Home website for families who wish to make these dishes at home.

Chickpea and Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients:

  • 100g long grain rice
  • 4g butter
  • 80g sliced onions
  • 1 pod whole cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 240g chickpeas in water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Curry powder – to taste
  • 20g raisins
  • 340ml boiling water
  • 160g carrots
  • 80g spinach
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
nursery food menu

Method:

  1. Soak the rice in warm water, then wash it cold until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the onions with the cardamom, cinnamon and puree for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the turmeric and add in the drained chickpeas and curry powder and cook this until aromatic.
  4. Stir the rice into the pan with the raisins and carrots, spinach and then pour over the water. Place the lid on the pan and bring to a hard boil. Then lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for a further 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes. Drain any excess water before serving.

Awards & Accreditations

Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200

Email: cedars.nursery@childbase.com