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WHY NUTRITION MATTERS?
When it comes to nutrition and sustainability it matters that we DO the right things, as well as teaching the right values. Going forward we are providing more sustainable food to encourage health in the children and ensure the carbon footprint of our kitchens remains as low as possible. We respect all cultures and viewpoints on this issue, but we are passionate about offering the healthiest and most sustainable choices.
Pennies as a company is already working to expand the safe nutritious menu choices that have always been part of our offer and expanding our activities in this area to include making some of our own foodstuffs and sharing information on how decisions are made about growing, buying, storing, cooking, and minimising food waste. Examples of this include the way the children in our care can see composting in action, observe nature areas in gardens which encourage pollination of flowers and have day-to-day contact with our chefs allowing them to discuss food choices. We are always happy to talk to parents on these issues and recently some parents have become involved to the point of offering us ideas and expertise, which we welcome.
This is very much a journey for us, and the next step involves allowing our work in respecting the natural world to be judged by others, including those who offer awards and professional help in these areas. We are committed to being kind to the planet because the legacy we leave makes a huge difference to the world our children will live in as adults.
In 2023 all three nurseries, Hockers Lane, Newnham Court and Mark Cross achieved the Food Hygiene Elite award for consecutively gaining a Food Hygiene rating of 5 for three visits in a row.
Head over to our green initiatives page to find out more.
What’s on the menu?
From the first day of the first Pennies’ nursery, freshly prepared food has been part of our offer and – like the children in our care – we have grown and thrived as a result. Our chefs are experienced in making the tastiest, most nutritious food with many regular favourites on the menus (available below for you to inspect). We are happy to hear new suggestions and working hard at present to expand our increasingly popular plant-based options.
For our menus, we follow the Government’s Early Years foundation stage welfare requirements for food and drink, which combines the Eatwell plate from the NHS. You can download the guides on the links below.
Please take a look at the menus below to see the delicious meals on offer. Please note the recipes marked with a star can be found below under Our Recipes.
We always follow the advice of parents, so we know what food has already been introduced to their babies. Typically, we start with either one vegetable or fruit in puree form before slowly introducing new flavours by adding other vegetables and fruit. Once babies are enjoying a wide range of vegetables and fruit; we add in the protein, usually chicken first then the other meats and fish. Or lentils or beans for our plant-based babies. Our aim is to get babies eating everyday dinners in puree form.
All our meals are freshly prepared with no added salt or sugar.
Plant based option
Plant-based foods are currently exploding in popularity, as more and more people value their health benefits and kindness to the environment. Pennies has always offered such menu options; our current choices change every day, and our chefs are constantly updating their knowledge in this area. Our staff will be happy to explain more about this if you ask.
5 star scores on the door
Pennies is committed to holding the highest rating for food standards and environmental health. We follow a rigorous cleaning regime and constantly check our working space. Staff regularly update their knowledge, follow training, and all hold appropriate qualifications. All our head chefs hold a Level 3 in Food safety and Hygiene and the rest of the catering team hold a level 2. We all hold Food Allergy Awareness and Nutrition awareness for early years.
Cooking with our Chefs
All the head chefs hold a Level 3 in Food Safety and Hygiene and the rest of the team holds a Level 2. All of the kitchen team hold Food Allergy Awareness and Nutrition Awareness in early years.
Remember, we are happy to provide a recipe for food your children love to eat. Just ask!