At Castlegate we believe that it’s hugely important to ensure that your children are fed well when they’re with us – they have such busy days that it’s essential that they get as much nourishment as possible from the food we provide for them, so well planned healthy eating for the children is a must!
Breakfast can be provided for children attending for an early start from 7.45am. This can include cereal, toast and fruit, and milk or water to drink. Snack is provided every morning and afternoon, and always includes carbohydrates in addition to fruit / veg e.g. cheese on pitta bread with veg sticks, or cereal followed by a piece of fruit. Our Out of School children have access to snack as soon as they come in from school. Snack is served with milk or water.
The option of a homemade lunch is available every day (for both nursery and holiday club age children), served with water to drink, and again healthy eating is emphasised. A number of years ago we moved away from providing pudding every day, conscious of ensuring that we weren’t always providing a sweet option after every meal. Now lunch consists of a starter and a main, or a main and a pudding, with pudding provided as fruit, yoghurt, or home baking once per week.
From 2020 we have been providing a tea option, which consists of a cold platter – wraps, pitta, sandwiches, homemade pizza, homemade sausage roll, veg, yoghurt, fruit, custard. This is available for any child booked in until 5pm or later, and is served at 4.30pm.
We use key guidance such as Setting the Table to create our menus, ensuring the children have a balanced, healthy diet. We provide an 8 week rolling menu which is changed on a 6 monthly basis, and also changes to reflect keys dates and celebrations including St Andrew’s Day when we like to have haggis, and Christmas when we have a traditional lunch! provide an 8 week rolling menu which is changed on a 6 monthly basis, and also changes to reflect keys dates and celebrations including St Andrew’s Day when we like to have haggis, and Christmas when we have a traditional lunch!
No salt is added therefore meals are suitable for even our youngest children, and we are happy to blend or mash food to the required consistency while they are weaning. Our baby room staff will be happy to provide advice and support if you are thinking about weaning.
As well as promoting healthy eating for children by providing tasty, nutritious food, snack and meal times are an important social opportunity for the children and staff will be on hand to support all meal times, encouraging good table manners and social skills, and supporting children to progress key skills including using cutlery and cups (from beakered lids up to open top cups and glasses).
We cater for all allergies and intolerances and Sue will provide an alternative meal for any children requiring it.
The children have access to a greenhouse and vegetable beds where they grow their own produce, and raspberry canes and apple trees provide bumper crops of tasty fruit every Autumn. The produce is then eaten at snack and lunch times, and it’s fantastic to see the children willing try new fruit and veg based on their pride of having grown it themselves.
Our 4 year olds who participate in our forest school project are able to forage for produce on their ‘Castlegate in the Woods’ trips, and many a pot of apple and bramble jelly has been made using crab apples collected at the woods and brambles which we’re very lucky to have in our hedgerow at Castlegate!
ALLERGIES & INTOLERANCES
We are aware of all 14 key allergens when we create our menus and these are labelled on our 8 week menu. If your child has an intolerance / allergy to any of these allergens, or any other food products, we will ask you to provide more information to help us keep them away from these allergens, and also to notice the signs if they do come into contact with them.
Castlegate is a nut free setting so we ask parents who bring in food from home to avoid any nut based or nut containing products.
We will always aim to cater for your child’s requirements, but in the instance of complex food needs we may ask you to bring in food from home for your child.
Key allergens: celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk products containing lactose, molluscs, mustard, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, soya, sulphur dioxide.