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Nursery food survey: do you / have you had a child in a nursery? You could win £250 of store vouchers for telling us about the food.

53 replies

GeraldineMumsnet · 04/02/2010 12:28

The Soil Association and Organix have asked Mumsnet to find out what you think of food in nurseries. The nurseries we are referring to would include day care, fee paying, private nurseries, or government funded day care - rather than a nursery school attached to a primary school. If in doubt please complete the survey if your child is/was at a nursery and has/had meals there.

This survey is open to any parent in the UK who either currently has a child at nursery or who has had a child at nursery within the last 2 - 3 years.

The Soil Association and Organix have recently launched a campaign called Better Nursery Food Now calling for government action on nursery food, and clear rules for the quality of food served in nurseries.

After extensive research, they are concerned that there are no nutritional standards for nursery food, which has resulted in some nurseries serving poor quality food ? including junk food and food with additives that affect behaviour.

What do you think? What is your / your child's experience of nursery food? Is the food at your nursery good? Or do you have concerns about what is being fed to your child in your absence?

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win £250 of vouchers for store of your choice.

Thanks and good luck,


OP posts:
Cicatrice · 04/02/2010 20:47


AnnMumsnet · 05/02/2010 13:35


StealthPolarBear · 05/02/2010 14:39


Waswondering · 05/02/2010 15:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aSilverLining · 05/02/2010 17:03


I did it for the nursery I worked at for a short time and DS attended too. The crappy food was the least of the nursery's problems and I left disgusted. On the topic of the food though, the menu looked great in terms of the meals listed, but the ingredients were the cheapest available, lots of processed junk, etc. The cook was lovely but didn't buy the ingredients, and as with most private nurseries, profit is the aim of the day and costs were cut in every aspect/ area of the nursery.

dylsmum1998 · 05/02/2010 18:26


have to say i am etremely pleased with my dd's nursery. food always looks and smells yummy.
the chef is a trained child nutrionist (or something like that), which must help somewhat. they are fab he caters for her very unusual food allergy and even buys in supplies on his days off when he finds an alternative product so that she can have the same meal as the other children

cakeywakey · 05/02/2010 18:45


My DD's nursery makes great food - I'd like them to cook my dinner! They publish their menus and are always happy to take suggestions for new dishes. They also source all their meat from the local butcher which I like, always nice to support other local businesses.

LilRedWG · 05/02/2010 18:45


mustrunmore · 05/02/2010 19:28

Hurray! ds2 was at private nursery within those time parameters! Done.

MayorNaze · 05/02/2010 20:07

i owuld do it but ds nursery doesnt do food

OmniDroid · 05/02/2010 20:23

I did do it, and DC's nursery only does snacks, not main meals. just based most of it on the snacks.

notcitrus · 05/02/2010 20:34

Ds's nursery seem to do decent food and get him to eat it! No idea what's in it but it smells like real food and the cook is a no-nonsense type who reminds me of my own primary school.

gaelicsheep · 05/02/2010 22:20

Done, but I'm pretty sure that there are nutritional standards. The Care Commission inspections always seem to look at the quality of the food on offer against nutritional guidelines.

PrivetDancer · 05/02/2010 23:28

Done, but there seems to be a gap between 'good' with fresh food and no junk, straight down to 'poor' which sounded really bad with just occasional fruit & veg.

Dd always has plenty of fruit and veg every day but they do sometimes have quorn nuggets (she is veggie) or crackers and cheese, so the odd bit of 'junk'. They have even had angel delight (literally once in 9 months).
I think this sounds perfectly fine, and would have rated it 'good' if the categories hadn't been specified as they were.

gaelicsheep · 05/02/2010 23:30

I don't think there's anything at all wrong with crackers and cheese. I'd never class that as junk.

ShiriDoula · 06/02/2010 00:46

I just love DS's nursery in that aspect-
food is cooked daily on the premises, fresh, no snacks and rubbish...

for morning tea they have toast and a piece of fruit
for lunch...well, DH says that DS eats better than he does - they have a protein (beef, fish, chicken, lamb), carb (pasta, rice, couscous) and veggies every lunch! plus they always get cool puddings .

PrivetDancer · 06/02/2010 01:12

No, gaelicsheep, I don't really think crackers and cheese are junk either, but they aren't organically, locally produced and probably have a fair bit of salt in.
So for this survey, DDs nursery seemed to rank in the Poor category, which I don't really agree with.
Meh. I just want the vouchers, I'm happy with the nursery

droitwichmummy · 06/02/2010 07:14


StainlessSteelCat · 06/02/2010 07:26


MarthaFarquhar · 06/02/2010 08:58


DD's nursery food is fine - toast and cereals for brekkie, something like roast chicken and veg, or spag bol for lunch, with a proper pudding. Tea is houmous and pittas, sandwiches, or crackers and cheese with fruit.

No, it's not all organic, and yes, there is salt in the crackers and sugar in the puddings. But IMO it's good balance.

BornToFolk · 06/02/2010 09:20

Done, but I agree there's a bit of a gap between "good" and "poor". DS's nursery is generally quite good but does serve junk sometimes and was serving too much Quorn for my liking but since I've had a word, they've improved on that front.

He still sometimes has jam sandwiches for tea though...

cyteen · 06/02/2010 14:04

Definitely needed to be a middling option between 'good' and 'poor'.

spookycharlotte121 · 06/02/2010 19:51

Done wont win though.

The food at the DCs nursery is LUSH!!!

When they were havug settling in sessons they gave me some on numerous occasions and it was scrummmy! All really heaalthy too! They use an outside cater but its well known in bristol to provide really good wholesome nutritious meals. Its essential as its a childrens centre and in quite a deprived area so i can imagine that it gives some of the kids attending much needed nutrition.... i might be jumping to conclusions though.

theyoungvisiter · 06/02/2010 20:18

I stopped completing this because I felt the survey was unfairly weighted to get a "poor" response about the food.

Why is "excellent" automatically equated to organic? You can serve excellent food without it being local and organic.

Why is there a jump straight from "good - no junk, crisps, sweets or additives" straight to "poor"

I think the food at my child's nursery is generally very good but yes, there is SOMETIMES convenience food served as a snack or a treat. I imagine that's probably true of most nurseries - even when they have pretty strict food policies.

I felt this survey was basically designed to force you into saying that excellent = organic and all nursery food was poor.

And I do buy organic and support the food association - but I object to having my answers artificially massaged to fit a pre-defined agenda.

theyoungvisiter · 06/02/2010 20:20

as privet dancer says "I think this sounds perfectly fine, and would have rated it 'good' if the categories hadn't been specified as they were"

I think the decision on whether the food is good or not should have been left up to parents to decide overall. We don't need to be told that the food is necessarily "poor" just because crisps and packet soup make an appearance once in a blue moon.

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