Palmer and Howells – Catering at The Mall Nursery

P&H – Food with Personality

At P&H we believe wholeheartedly that eating should be an exciting and delicious daily journey for all pupils no matter what their age or their palate. Food has the power to enhance every child’s school day by offering great fresh food, outstanding flavours and menus that will appeal to all tastes, diets and ages.

For us, this means providing an exceptional standard of food featuring real, natural ingredients, bursting with flavour and freshly made, which pupils of all ages will love.

Nutrition at The Mall

What We Know…

A healthy diet for early years can be defined as one that:

  • Provides the right amount of nutrients for normal growth and development.
  • Provides the right amount of calories from food and drinks for a healthy body weight.
  • Provides a wide variety of foods and helps children to develop a liking for healthy foods.

School menus should ensure sources of vitamin A, iron, zinc, calcium, iodine and selenium. Evidence suggests that poor diet in early years can lead to obesity, tooth decay, low iron status, low vitamin D status and constipation. Eating patterns established in early years are likely to continue throughout life, therefore we are passionate about giving children the best start.

Our Nutrition Approach at The Mall

P&H Food & Nutrition team aim to support toddlers/young children reach their recommended dietary intake for essential nutrients by effective menu development. This is achieved by ensuring sources from all food groups are provided throughout the day.

For example we are committed to…

Fruit & Vegetables – At least 5 portions a day to provide essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, C, K, iron potassium and fibre.

We encourage children to try a variety of vegetables and salad by providing two innovative options everyday to accompany all mains. This can include dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage and broccoli that provides a source of vitamin A, which is great for a strong healthy immune system. We also offer a different vegetable based soup everyday throughout the 3 week menu cycle which always goes down a treat!

Fresh fruit is always accessible throughout the day and fruit based desserts can be included on the menu, such as grilled watermelon with greek yoghurt. All of our sauces for dishes are made from scratch and packed full of hidden vegetables & pulses where appropriate for the recipe.

Starchy Foods (carbohydrates) – 5 portions a day are needed for children. This food group is available at each meal and some snacks to provide a source of energy, vitamins and fibre.

Our menu can promote a variety of starchy foods via a wide range of potatoes, rice and pasta dishes – all in correct portion sizes for 2-4 year olds. These sources provide sustainable energy for children’s brains and muscles helping them concentrate during lesson time.

Dairy Foods – 3 portions a day to provide protein, calcium, B vitamins, iodine, phosphorus and potassium.

We alway ensure that a source of this food group is provided everyday and dairy alternative milks are fortified with micronutrients such as calcium for healthy bones and teeth and regulating muscle contractions.

Protein Foods – 2 portions a day or 3 if the child is vegetarian to provide protein, omega 3s, zinc, b vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium and selenium.

We like to encourage the children to try our tasty recipes using sustainably sourced oily fish, to support their omega 3 intake to promote heart health and blood circulation. Michiels famous ‘WOW bars’ are also packed with protein by using WOW butter, a toasted soya spread that mimics peanut butter without the nuts. It’s delicious and a great opportunity for children to enjoy a vegetarian/vegan protein and omega 3 source. Main meals can also be based on plant proteins such as beans, lentils, soya and mycoprotein.

Foods high in salt, sugar and fats are limited in all children’s diets regardless of age.

All meals are centred on fresh ingredients cooked on site. This approach limits the level of processing involved, meaning we can ensure our recipes do not include any hidden unhealthy ingredients.

We want to make sure children have access to appropriate hydration offering water and milk throughout the day. We do not provide any drinks with added sugar or sweeteners.

The menu uses seasonal and locally produced vegetables, fruit and meat and we ensure food waste is minimised and recycled.

We know early years may need to eat smaller portions more frequently – The Mall will offer breakfast, lunch and a small supper in the afternoon.

P&H have central policies and guidance for all staff and clients on the following:

  • Implementing healthy eating in schools – principles in practice for the Eatwell Guide.
  • Portion sizes in recipes – managing different nutritional needs for different age groups.
  • Special diet provision in schools.

Overall, our commitment to The Mall is to provide an individualised, nurturing approach that matches the school ethos and values. We strive to ensure there is a memorable and age appropriate daily food journey for all the pupils.

If you are interested in signing your child up for The Mall Nursery, click here.