Food

A baby boy wearing a soft hoodie with bear ears
Setting the foundations for future health and a boy putting delicious food in his mouth in a nursery

Nourishing Menu

Establishing healthy eating habits and ensuring a balanced diet is essential during childhood, not only because it is a period of rapid growth, development and activity, but also sets the foundations for children’s future health and wellbeing. We also know that a balanced diet contributes to good oral health, and that foods that are good for the body are good for the teeth too.

At Nära Horton, we are committed to providing not only a delicious and nutritionally balanced menu, but also ensuring food education delivered at mealtimes is complemented by other activities. For example, by including children in keeping vegetable beds in the garden, or by growing herbs or shoots on the windowsill.

We also plan cookery and food tasting activities which teach children about ingredients, the seasons and where food comes from, including food from different cultures.

We advocate a whole nursery approach to health and well-being, encouraging children to learn how to take care of their bodies by eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of water, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise, and learning about good oral hygiene.

Meal Times

Meal and snack times are an important part of our daily routine across all age groups, and are about more than simply enjoying healthy and tasty food. Our team and children eat together, making meal times a social occasion which offer great opportunities for learning and development.

With adult support, children take an active role in the preparation of snacks, and serve themselves at lunch time. 

Our older children take it in turns to set tables and are encouraged to work together to clear away at the end of a meal.

This enhances the development of children’s social skills by helping to increase their confidence, self-esteem, independence and decision-making skills, which helps support school readiness.

Children take an active role and a toddler boy eating food with a spoon from a bowl

Weaning

Whatever stage of weaning your child is at, we will work with you to ensure consistency between home and nursery. Whether your child needs their food puréed or ‘lumpy’, or somewhere in between, we will go at your pace to ensure both you and your child are supported during this transition to solid food.

Bottle Feeding and Breast Milk

Nära Nurseries are Breastfeeding Friendly and aim to support and empower families to feel confident breastfeeding. We aim to make mothers feel comfortable in our Nursery should they wish to breastfeed their babies.

Babies on formula milk are fed in accordance with their parent’s wishes.

Two circular image of a young boy drinking water and a young girl holding a glass of milk, having a milk moustache around her mouth in childcare

Drinks

Milk or water are offered at snack and mealtimes.

Children have access to drinking water throughout the day and are encouraged to help themselves to water, particularly in hot weather or after extra physical activity.

We do not give children fruit juice drinks, squash, fizzy drinks, plain bottled or flavoured water and drinks containing sodium, added caffeine or other stimulants.

Early Years Nutrition Partnership and Menus

We are proud to be working towards the Early Years Nutrition Partnership accreditation. The EYNP is working to improve the future health outcomes of young children by setting a standard for nutrition practice in early years settings.

As part of this accreditation, we offer seasonal menus, which are approved by a Paediatric Dietician to ensure they meet the nutritional needs of children of all ages. To ensure children receive not only a perfectly balanced diet at nursery, but also have the opportunity to try a wide variety of new dishes and flavours, our menus rotate on a three-week cycle and can be viewed here:

Nutritionist approved menu