We’re really proud to be a part of the Nippers’ Nutrition Programme – an initiative from the Cornish local government which focusses on helping nurseries like us make sure that the children in our care are being fed healthily and heartily! It’s a great programme, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to share exactly what it stands for, and why we think it’s so important to be a part of it.
A Quick History
We won’t delve into all of the government research that went into bringing the Nipper’s Nutrition Programme to life, but there are a few quick details to share. The scheme has been running since 2011, which means 5 whole years of healthier children across Cornwall, focussing on some specific problems which seemed to be affecting children across the area.
In particular, these issues included too much salt and not enough zinc, iron or vitamin C in kids’ diets – all issues which could be remedied with reasonably simple changes. The programme was born!
Helpful Resources for Us and You
So what does it actually do? Well, it’s all about providing nurseries, pre-schools, childminders and parents with the information that can help the make the right decisions for the children in their care. This includes:
- Snack and lunch ideas.
- Portion guidelines and suggestions.
- Menu planning tools.
- Shopping information.
- Dental hygiene information for parents.
These are all resources that you can personally benefit from in your own home, but they’re not where it ends. For Kneehigh Nurseries and the other care provider that choose to take part, the Nippers’ Nutrition Programme offers the chance to work through a series of steps, not just receiving resources that will help us change the way that we feed your kids, but also proving that it’s something we’re committed to. By working through the 5 levels of the programme, we gain the certification that proves to you that your child’s diet is a very high priority.
What’s Next for Nippers’ Nutrition?
It’s great to see how many children have already been helped by the inclusion of a healthier diet, and encouragement from both their families and their teachers. However so far it has only spread throughout Cornwall – what’s really exciting is that in the not-too-distant future the scheme is looking to expand, bringing the same great benefits to people outside the Cornish boundaries. The more the merrier, we say!
A Few Healthy Tips for Parents
We didn’t want to finish off our post without sharing a few of the tips that we’ve picked up, that might help you get some healthier food into your child’s diet. One thing that we think is important is that you shouldn’t need to ‘sneak’ healthy foods in – this encourages the idea that they’re unpleasant and to be avoided! Instead, you can encourage kids to think of fruit and veggies as an exciting, colourful part of their diet. Here are a few more ideas:
- Don’t cut out carbs entirely during snack time; options like plain popcorn, breadsticks and crumpets all offer a healthy energy boost.
- Whether you’re putting together a lunch or arranging an array of snacks, try to include something from each of the following categories: vegetables, fruit, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.
- Young children shouldn’t drink fruit juice or smoothies unless they’re mixed with 50% water!
- Stick to fresh fruit for snack time; at lunch, it’s okay to include alternatives such as dried fruits or fruit jelly.
- Stuck for protein ideas? Chicken slices, egg, bean salad and quiche are all nutritious ideas that your kids should enjoy.
Of course, there is plenty more to find out if you head to the Nippers’ Nutrition Programme website and start taking a look at all of the resources they have to offer. In the meantime, you can enquire about Kneehigh Nursery by getting in touch via our online contact form. We’re pleased to say that every family can feel comfortable knowing that their child’s diet is being well looked after while they’re in our care.