NEW: What's New on Lunches?

22nd September 2021

NEW MENU IN COLLABORATION WITH SR NUTRITION

Our new Autumn/Winter Menu 2021-2022 is due to launch in October 2021. We are really excited about this ground-breaking menu, which has been developed in collaboration with our new Nutrition Consultant, Charlotte Stirling-Reed, of SR Nutrition (see her on Instagram here!).
Our current Spring/Summer menu, and all previous menus, have met with the voluntary nutritional standards applicable at that time. This used to be the Eat Better Start Better Guidelines, and more recently the Government Guidance for Menus for Early Years Settings. With our new menus we are not only meeting the recommended government guidelines but going above and beyond, allowing nurseries to demonstrate to parents that they are achieving a standard of excellence in early years nutrition at their setting.
 What are the big changes?

As our nurseries will be aware, the updated Early Years Foundation Stage learning and development requirements came into effect earlier this month. Changes in the updated framework include increased emphasis on supporting children to learn how to look after their bodies, including how to make healthy food choices. An additional change under the safeguarding and welfare requirements is a new mandate to promote oral health; the guidance states “this could include things like talking to children about the effects of eating too many sweet things…”.

Desserts

As part of our menu redevelopment we are moving away from a sweet taste profile, supporting the new statutory requirements under the EYFS framework. This includes replacing our dessert course with a second course and our Executive Chef, Brendan, has been working hard to create tasty, new second course dishes that the children will love to eat. These include our Courgette & Apricot Slice with Vanilla Sauce and our Banana & Cream Cheese Bake! 

Brendan has also focused on developing alternative second courses for children with allergies and has been able to create a new range of allergen free dishes that are similar to those featured on our standard lunch menu. We will be introducing a savoury dish to feature as our second course once per week, which will be either a scone, a savoury slice or homemade granola with either yogurt or fresh fruit compote. 

The new menu will still feature some of our most popular dishes, like our bespoke reduced-sugar ice cream which is made especially for us by our dairy supplier. We are also reintroducing some old favourites, such as our Winter Berry Frozen Yoghurt.

Main Courses

For our main courses we will be serving a medley of trusted favourites, such as Speldhurst Kent Sausage with Homemade Baked Beans, and of course the ultimate Zebedees classic –Beanie Shepherd’s Pie! 

We will be introducing a new Vegetarian dish to our main menu, which will be a mild chilli served with rice. It will include a mix of gentle spices with sweet potato for added flavour. Our Thai Salmon Green Curry has received an update and is making a return to our lunch menu! 

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herrings, pilchards, trout and sardines are great for children’s brain and eye development, making it an important product to include within our menus. Current guidance stipulates that oily fish must be provided at least once every 3 weeks, but parents should note that recommendations are to limit oily fish intake to no more than 2 portions per week for children.

Afternoon Tea

We have also redesigned our cold afternoon tea menu, and added an array of new dishes to our hot tea menu. To find out more click here.

Your Feedback

As with our current menu, we will be using our Insight6 email survey system to gather your feedback, once the menu has run for a few cycles. We are really grateful to nurseries for completing our menu feedback surveys as your views help inform our future menus.

In the meantime, we can’t wait to launch this menu and for our little connoisseurs to try out our new dishes!

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