Our Food

Menu Preparation & Health

We all know a nutritionally balanced diet is essential to ensure children get the vitamins and energy that will support not only their activities throughout the day but their development in these crucial first years. We at ‘Poppets’ take our responsibility very seriously and provide our children with breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and high tea, all prepared in our on-site kitchen by a dedicated chef. In addition we realise that hydration is important for brain development and general health and we have water available throughout the day.

Our chef, along with the management team, creates a healthy menu that runs for 4 weeks at a time and includes as many seasonal ingredients and local produce as we can. We plan to use the local market in Ongar to take some of the children to buy their own food and even to grow their own in our garden vegetable patch before harvesting the produce and using it in the meals prepared for them. You can see an example of the menu below.

Dietary Needs

Of course many little ones have specific dietary needs and we will adapt our menus accordingly, including catering for severe allergies and intolerances. As well as the chef having a noticeboard highlighting the child, the requirement and the actions in event of reaction, all the staff throughout the setting are aware of each child’s needs. We also provide dedicated plates and cutlery for those who need individual care.

Having so much fresh produce means that we can also minimise the amount of salt, sugar and preservatives prevalent in so much of the supermarket pre-prepared food these days. We are confident that we are giving the best diet possible for everyone here.

At Poppets we would like our children to appreciate and understand the social aspect of mealtimes and so we eat as a group. We use this time to promote good table manners, conversation and enjoyment of the ‘shared experience’.

We encourage the children, especially the older ones, to join in with setting the table and clearing away after meals. We promote active participation and will occasionally involve the children in the preparation of their own food, which will then be cooked in the kitchen for lunch or eaten as snacks. We find this is a wonderful way to introduce this crucial life skill and something the kids can really enjoy and develop as they mature.

We know what it means to have a healthy lifestyle. We provide the best food, ingredients and preparation that we can, to help your children live life to the full.

Getting Involved

We love to get the children involved with our cooking and food preparation within the nursery. Our chef loves to come into the rooms with the children to cook and bake various foods with them. We also have a fruit and vegetable patch out in the garden where the children will go and plant with our chef. Once the fruit and vegetables have grown the children will then have the change to go and pick them for snacks and meal times.

Our older children will also have the chance to self serve their food at meal times and also decide what food is healthy and what food is not. This promotes the children to make choices and begin to understand what is healthy and what we may have to have in moderation.

Our Chef

Poppets are lucky to have our wonderful chef Teresa.

Aside from her skills as a chef, Teresa works closely with the older children teaching them about the natural processes of growth and decay as well as how to ensure a healthy balanced diet.

The children have the chance for mini cookery lessons once a week, where they learn new culinary skills and in our garden we have a large vegetable patch where the children choose the fruit and vegetables they would like to grow that year. They take immense care over the plot under Teresa’s supervision, watering them and watching them grow. Once ripe enough they are then able to pick the foods, take inside and discuss in a group about how the produce can be used.

These life lessons help children’s communication and language skills as well as their understanding of the natural world and the natural processes of life.

Weekly Food Diary

Breakfast

We offer a variety of cereals (Weetabix, rice crispies, shreddies, cornflakes), toasted wholemeal bread with butter and/or jam, served with milk, coconut milk or water to drink.

AM Snack

Bread sticks and raisins

Lunch

Spaghetti Carbonara (made with coconut milk for the dairy free diets)

Lunch Time Dessert

Carrot Cake

PM Snack

Melon

Tea

Make your own pizza

Tea Time Dessert

Shortbread

Breakfast

We offer a variety of cereals (Weetabix, rice crispies, shreddies, cornflakes), toasted wholemeal bread with butter and/or jam, served with milk, coconut milk or water to drink.

AM Snack

Homemade Banana Bread

Lunch

Shepherds pie with mixed vegetables.

Lunch Time Dessert

Apple Pie

PM Snack

Oranges

Tea

Chicken Caterpillar Kebabs

Tea Time Dessert

Treacle tart

Breakfast

We offer a variety of cereals (Weetabix, rice crispies, shreddies, cornflakes), toasted wholemeal bread with butter and/or jam, served with milk, coconut milk or water to drink.

AM Snack

Natural Yoghurt Granola

Lunch

Toad in the hole(made with water) served with new potatoes and green beans

Lunch Time Dessert

Chocolate Mousse (Made with coconut milk for dairy free dishes)

PM Snack

Cream cheese cracker sandwich (Dairy free soft cheese offered for dairy free diets)

Tea

Pitta pockets filled with egg, tuna & tomato

Tea Time Dessert

Fruit Skewers

Breakfast

We offer a variety of cereals (Weetabix, rice crispies, shreddies, cornflakes), toasted wholemeal bread with butter and/or jam, served with milk, coconut milk or water to drink.

AM Snack

Blueberry Biscuits

Lunch

Homemade burgers served with wedges and cherry tomatoes

Lunch Time Dessert

Jam Sponge

PM Snack

Rice cakes & mixed dried fruit

Tea

Beans on toast

Tea Time Dessert

Yoghurt Muffins

Breakfast

We offer a variety of cereals (Weetabix, rice crispies, shreddies, cornflakes), toasted wholemeal bread with butter and/or jam, served with milk, coconut milk or water to drink.

AM Snack

Apple

Lunch

Fish Pie

Lunch Time Dessert

Fruit Salad

PM Snack

Pear

Tea

Potato and bacon bake (Dairy free cheese used for dairy free diets)

Tea Time Dessert

Banana and Custard