FOOD AT FREE RANGERS
As the saying goes, “An army marches on its stomach” and the same can be said for children of any age. In order for children to be ready to grasp the learning opportunities on offer at Free Rangers, they receive healthy, balanced and home-cooked meals to ensure their energy levels remain constant and that the nutritional demands of their growth are met.
Our green ethos also extends to the kitchen, wherever possible we buy local, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients so that not only do we know they hold excellent nutritional value but also we do our little bit for the planet by reducing food miles, supporting sustainably minded producers and recycling our waste.
We view mealtimes at Free Rangers as a learning opportunity, children’s awareness of food groups and ingredients is introduced and they are encouraged to experiment with new tastes and textures. We speak with the children about the food they are eating and the ingredients chef Jayne has used in their meal. The social element of coming together to enjoy and appreciate meals and chat to friends is really important and while all this takes place good table manners and independency levels are role modelled and positively reinforced by staff.
The Den (pre-school) children meet together having washed their hands.
The Burrow (toddlers) children sit around a table in their own room practising using their knife and fork and sampling new food combinations and tastes, whilst also enjoying freely interacting with their peers.
The Hive babies have their food delivered whilst interacting with one another and enjoying new tastes and textures. As far as possible the babies will eat the same as the older children and staff will blitz up food accordingly depending on where the children are at with the various stages of weaning.
In order to keep energy levels stable, snacks are served in the morning and the afternoon. Children can choose from a selection of fruit and a sweet or savoury carbohydrate snack. If out on Forest School the snacks will be taken outside and enjoyed there.
To drink children can choose water, milk or not from concentrate, diluted fruit and vegetable juice.
During our latest food hygiene inspection we were awarded five stars and have also achieved the Food for Life Schools Award. Our chef Jayne is committed to serving our children healthy meals and has become a Sugar Smart Ambassador.
On registering at the nursery you will be asked to fill in comprehensive forms which include a section for specific dietary requirements. This information will in turn be handed to catering staff and if necessary they will contact you directly or alternatively you can contact them. We endeavour to meet the needs of all the children whether they suffer from food intolerances, allergies or have particular life choices.