At nursery, we have always been careful to keep processed sugar to a minimum, for example by reducing the amount we put in our homemade cakes and desserts. But current guidelines from the NHS suggests 19g per day is suitable for 4-6 year olds, less for our little ones. That’s just over 4 teaspoons! When you take into account the fact that a mini-box of raisins contains the equivalent of 3 teaspoons and 100ml apple juice contains 2 teaspoons, you can see what a task we have ahead of us!
Here are some of the “rules” we keep to at nursery:
- No fruit juice is served at all, only milk and water
- Dried fruit is used in cooking, but not served as a snack on its own.
- We minimise the amount of manufactured food we serve.
- Where possible, we use a mix of wholewheat and white rice, pasta, flour and bread. This will help to release energy more slowly and keep those little tummies fuller for longer.
- We only serve breakfast cereals which contain less than 10g of sugar per 100g.
- Where possible, we serve natural yogurts and fromage frais over those which have added sugar.
Here are some more of our menu requirements:
- Lean red meat (beef, lamb and pork) are served twice a week.
- White fish is served once a week.
- Oily fish (sardines, salmon, pilchards) are served once a week.
- Artificial colourings, additives and preservatives are kept to a minimum. No fewer than 4 fruits or vegetables are served over the course of a day
The NHS Change4Life website provides information, tips and advice on healthier eating for the whole family, including sugar swap ideas.