BY PAULA WRIGHT, NURSERY MANAGER

The questions you should be asking about food at nursery

In your child’s first five years, they will grow faster than at any point in their life. Food is the fuel that helps drive that growth, meaning that what your child eats is vital to give them the best start to life.

Paula Wright is the nursery manager at Birstall Rainbow Nursery. She has spent her career in early years education and has been at Rainbow for over 20 years.


In your child’s first five years, they will grow faster than at any point in their life. Food is the fuel that helps drive that growth, meaning that what your child eats is vital to give them the best start to life. At the same time, increasing numbers of children are entering primary school overweight and with associated health problems. 

We know that’s why parents put so much effort into making sure that children eat well at home and why it’s so important that the food they eat at nursery is just as good. Here are five questions to ask to ensure that your child is receiving the highest quality food at nursery.

1. Are the meals cooked freshly on site?

Parents need to check whether meals are actually made at the nursery. At all our nurseries, we have our own dedicated cook who prepares meals freshly on site each day. This is important because it means that we know exactly what is in the meals that we are providing to children. It also means that we can use fresh ingredients – locally sourced where possible – to provide the highest quality food.

Learn more about Rainbow Nursery in Birstall


2. Are meals designed with nutrition in mind?

It’s also important that the meals your child receives are designed with their health in mind. In devising our menus, we plan them to ensure that each meal supports your child’s development. We do this by ensuring that each meal has the correct nutritional balance and each day we incorporate at least five servings of fruit and vegetables into the food your child eats. 

Learn more about our ethos at Rainbow Nursery in Birstall


3. Is anything added to the meals?

As we all know from our own diets, hidden ingredients can often turn a delicious looking meal into a health nightmare. We ensure that we never add salt to meals and we limit the use of sugar.

Learn more about our meals


4. What snacks are available?

Snacks are an important part of the day and we serve them mid-morning and mid-afternoon to help fuel your child’s inquisitive mind as they learn and play. These will vary each day and include items like vegetable sticks, fruit or rice cakes. To help support your child’s independence, they will self-serve their own snack and drink. 

Learn more about our experienced staff team


5. How is food used to support your child's social development?

Mealtimes are fantastic opportunities to support your child’s communication skills and we treat them as social occasions. Your child will sit at a table with their friends, talking to each other but also improving their confidence and understanding of acceptable behaviour. We find that in this environment, children are also more willing to try new foods and parents are often surprised what their ‘fussy eaters’ will try when eating with their friends! 

Learn more about our pre-school room


Rainbow Nursery in Birstall cares for children from 6 weeks old until school age. The longest running nursery in Birstall, we have been open for over 30 years. We are open all year around, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.


Contact us today!

We'd love to chat and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Give us a call today on 0116 267 1331 or email rainbow@birstall-rainbow.co.uk