Early Years Nutrition

ID-100110377A recent article in Nursery World magazine notes that a parliamentary group has recommended that OFSTED should regularly inspect food and nutrition in early years settings, both schools and nurseries, to address falling standards in child nutrition.

On entering college in 1980, students on the (then) NNEB nanny training courses would have weekly cookery lessons to learn how to prepare wholesome meals. All the meals the students cooked had to be made from fresh ingredients, be healthy, nutritious and appetising to the eye for children.

Today our experience reveals that many nannies have not benefited from formal training in nutrition or cooking; indeed it is rare that schools or colleges offer this as part of the curriculum even on childcare courses.

For nannies (and parents) lacking confidence in the kitchen –or simply looking for inspiration- Annabel Karmel has produced a wealth of books on the subject of cooking for children. New nannies (as well as those already in post) would do well to purchase a cookery book focussed on children’s meals, enrol on a cookery course to understand the basic principles of cooking (particularly if they have no experience beyond the microwave and ready-made meals), and schedule a weekly meal planner in preparation for any interviews. Parents will want to know that a prospective nanny can not only cook, but cook well.

It is imperative that nannies (and parents) understand the need to prepare meals that will offer the nutrition and energy that children need to grow, develop and learn into strong and healthy adults. Nannytraininglink offers a “Providing healthy meals” module in its Professional Nanny Training course (Module M4) for anyone seeking knowledge, inspiration or simply a refresher course on child nutrition.

Margaret Cowell