With Veganuary being a big focus this month, we take a closer look at how this is catered for within the Kids Planet nursery settings, ensuring vegan and vegetarian children receive nutritious, healthy meals every day.
Plant-based lifestyles are becoming increasingly common in the UK, with Veganism among adults increased by over 40% between 2020 and 2021, and plant-based, meat-free, and dairy-free diets have become increasingly popular in the UK.
However, when it comes to their children’s diets, parents want assurance that they can make environmentally conscious decisions without having to sacrifice their children’s nutrition.
At Kids Planet, each nursery setting has an on-site, qualified chef with an in-depth understanding of nutrition, food hygiene, and menu planning.
Caroline Kane, the Chef at Kids Planet Billinge, said: “Everything is cooked from fresh so it’s very easy for us to adapt our menus for vegetarian and vegan children. I’m actually vegetarian myself and know that anything can be made vegan. I’ll swap mince-meat for lentils in Bolognese, I’ll make curry with sweet potato and cauliflower, use chickpea substitutes and so on.
It doesn’t affect meal planning, as all my meals and sauces are made from scratch. We also do ‘Meat Free Mondays’ at Billinge which parents love, and we often have parents telling us that their kids never eat as well at home as they do at nursery.”
It goes without saying that children with medical allergies and intolerances to certain foods must be given food that is safe to eat. Other children have personal or family preferences (such as vegetarian or Halal). Kids Planet ensure each child’s individual dietary requirements are met and respected, by way of the following procedures.
Parents are asked at registration and again when settled, whether their child has any dietary requirements. If so, then they are asked for more details by way of an online form called a Care Plan. Both the team in the room and the kitchen team will be asked to sign the Care Plan to show they have read and understood the child’s needs.
At Kids Planet, no matter what your child’s dietary requirements are, we’ll make sure they are eating delicious, healthy meals. We promote a healthy relationship with food and provide colourful and inviting foods on the table.