The Nursery Kitchen was set up by Katy Elliott in 1998, as a mum of two, Katy knows that it’s not always easy to create nutritious meals that babies and toddlers will really enjoy. So Katy set out on a quest to do just that; to produce a range of delicious, home cooked meals using the freshest local produce when possible and of course, conforming to all of the current nursery food guidelines.
Katy has established a successful business, feeding over 12,000 mouths a week and delivering to day nurseries throughout the UK. Parents of children in any of our customer’s nurseries can be assured that their children are getting the best tasty, healthy and nutritious food.
In January 2010 Katy invested in the services of a food scientist, Nicky Dexter of Menu Matters. Together Nicky and Katy have created a set of seasonal, mouth-watering menus, adapted to a range of dietary requirements.
Nicky has over 16 years of experience in the food industry working on some of the UK’s leading brands. She has provided an in-depth nutritional analysis of numerous nursery menus, advising on changes that are needed to gain compliance.
Interested in working with the Nursery Kitchen? Read on to find out how it works...
As we all know food tastes better if it is freshly cooked, rather than kept warm for long periods of time before eating. To optimise the nutritional value of the foods we cook with the freshest meat and vegetables and to ensure the goodness is locked it we blast freeze ALL our meals. This ensures all the nutrients are "locked" in. The nursery then defrosts the meal and reheats to 75°C (82°C in Scotland). It is then ready to serve and the nutrients have remained in the meal. Hours of hot holding food means the flavours and nutrients have substantially deteriorated.
We are now food manufacturer and this means we have HACCP documentation and traceability. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points which means we have pin-pointed any danger zones in our cooking process. We now ensure we follow the correct procedure in preparing these foods to eliminate the risk food poisoning, bad food handling practices, etc. We have software in place so all our food is fully traceable and we can prove it has been cooked following our HACCP documentation.
We have now gained our STS Certification which is a massive achievement and this means we can now supply hospitals, supermarkets and other organisations. If you’d like to know more about STS Solutions, please visit their website - www.sts-solutions.com.
Recent government reports concluded that food served in many nurseries is not providing the children with the nutrients that they need, often being low in energy and carbohydrates, high in salt and lacking in essential nutrients iron and zinc. Here at the Nursery Kitchen we believe that it’s important to establish healthy eating habits early on to give our little ones the best start in life. We aim to make this possible by supplying our nurseries with home cooked, nutritional food, bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables and all the essential ingredients necessary for healthy physical and mental development.
A healthy menu doesn't mean denying children of their favourites. There is no reason why children should not be given chunky chips, nutritious snacks and traditional puddings as part of a balanced diet.
At the Nursery Kitchen we understand that you can’t stand still. Innovation is key to our success. Our menus are changed 3 to 4 times a year, in line with the availability of seasonal produce and our nursery’s needs. Above all, we have a flexible approach and are happy to cater for a whole range of dietary requirements including:-
Nutritional Guidelines for Nursery food have been set which specify the amounts of nutrients and some foods that children should receive whilst at nursery. Studies repeatedly highlight deficiencies in the food served in many nurseries but the Nursery Kitchen recognises the need for a balanced diet.
Check out our sample menus: