Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Nursery food

"You are what you eat" is a simple statement that gets right to the heart of the relationship between our landscape, society, human health and economy. Eat good, wholesome food from your local area - and of course a balanced diet, and the short and long term health benefits are immense.

It seemed to take our society about 25 years to work out that in fact we may not be giving our children the best food at school, and that this has a huge impact on learning, behaviour and grades. Fortunately this has been addressed on a national scale, led by people like Jamie Oliver and carried on by great projects such as Food for Life.

We've also realised that perhaps hospitals are not providing the best food to help patients recover, though sadly this has not been addressed on a national scale.

It's particularly shocking then that children in Nurseries appear to be fed on absolute rubbish right up and down the country. The Soil Association report Georgie, Porgie, Pudding and Pie found that many nurseries were spending as little as 25p per child on food. Much of this food had additives and ingredients banned under school nutritional standards.

The effect that such poor food has on young developing minds and bodies can't be underestimated. Trends towards weight gain and obesity start in the under 5's, so we're saving up massive health problems for society in the future if such trends continue.

A "Better Nursery Food" campaign has begun here: http://www.nurseryfood.org/

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