Image credit: Better Nursery Food Now
From two angry moms tackling school lunches through Jaimie Oliver demanding Government action on school nutrition to gastropubs designing school menus, the topic of school lunches is now well and truly in the public sphere. But what about daycares and nurseries? A new campaign is seeking to ensure that the very young don't get left behind in the push for real food for children. The Better Nursery Food Now campaign is seeking to expose the worrying lack of clear nutritional standards covering children's nurseries in the UK. With over 600,000 children in England and Wales attending these institutions, the campaign argues, parents should have a right to know that their children are receiving good, balanced nutrition. And yet, says the campaign, there is currently:
- No compulsory training for nursery staff serving food
- No clear nutritional standards
- No agency to monitor the quality of food provided
- No Government department giving a lead or promoting good practice
- No Government funding available to help nurseries improve provision
I should note that the campaign was launched by the organic food advocacy group The Soil Association and baby food manufacturer Organix—so it's no surprise that the campaign is calling for a minimum of 50% of food to be locally sourced, and 30% to come from certified organic sources.
Even for those folks not sold on the benefits of organic and local produce, the fact that foods like chips, sweets and chocolate that are restricted in primary schools are regularly on the menu in nurseries should raise eyebrowsAnd the fact that some nurseries spend as little as 25p (about 35 cents) per child per day should be enough to outrage even the most laid back of parents.
You can follow the Better Nursery Food Now campaign on Facebook.