We believe in providing the children with healthy, tasty and nutritious meals. These are made daily on site by our chef, using the highest-quality ingredients that, where possible, are organic and locally sourced. We understand that good nutrition is essential for growing children and helps to foster sound attitudes towards eating. To support their learning about nutrition, we have an edible garden for them to explore and help look after and we offer them opportunities to investigate the preparation and cooking of food.
If we were to describe our nutritional policy here at Peacocks Early Learning Centre, it would be:
“To reach their full potential, our children need to eat food that is grown, on or in the earth, or harvested from the sea; that is created in the sunshine and fresh air, as natural as it can be.”
Food as a Fuel:
Food is the fuel our children need to function at their best. They need maximum energy for their very busy lives. Children learn more in their early years than they will need to learn for the rest of their lives. The human body needs food that it can recognise and know how to process. When less energy is needed to digest food, it gives them more energy to learn, to play and to have fun.
Children need maximum nutrition from everything they eat. These foods are the ones that are easy to digest and to absorb maximum minerals and vitamins from. Minerals and vitamins are called the cofactors, as they are needed to work alongside every single process in the body.
We plan all our meals with easy digestion and maximum nutrition in mind. When foods are refined, they have many minerals and vitamins destroyed or removed in the processing, so when they are eaten the body has to work hard to process them. This means the body has to draw on its stored nutrients to break them down. We use real, whole food.
Good fats are fats straight from the land; like olive oil and avocado oil. Butter is also a good fat (it can be made at home, it doesn’t need a factory) along with cheese, eggs and full-cream milk. These fats contain the fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A, D, E and K. These have been found to be essential to cell structure, especially in the brain, which is very high in fat. The good fats are essential for the functioning of the brain, making learning easier and children happier. Vitamin A and vitamin D are also needed to help get calcium and phosphorus into bones and teeth.
Organic food is food grown in soils that have been nourished with natural fertilisers. This gives the food a higher proportion of minerals and vitamins. It is also free of added chemicals. We use organic options whenever we can.
The Seat of Vibrant Health:
We believe the digestive system (gut) is the seat of good health and so the meals we prepare will contain foods that help to build a healthy gut.
• The gut is the source of 99% of the immune system. Children are healthier.
• The gut produces 85% of the serotonin. Children are happier.
• A healthy gut may protect children from allergies, food intolerances, asthma and eczema.
• Fermented foods like full fat yogurt help maintain the health of the gut.
Other special requirements: Our policy is to tailor our full menu to meet the special requirements for every child. This means that our whole menu can be eaten by every one of our children. There are no foods that need excluding.
Gluten is very hard to digest and is a major source of irritation so we choose to use gluten-free foods.
Proteins are the building blocks of life, are needed by your body to repair and build cells and are vital for normal growth and development. Lamb, chicken, fish, cheese and eggs are our choice of proteins.
All of our food is prepared from scratch and is organically grown wherever possible. Everything is nourishing, full of vitamins and minerals and is varied, tasty and made with love.