Healthy food supplier for young children, Nursery Kitchen, has been awarded with not one but two awards for its meals at this year’s Nourish Awards.
Their cheese bolognese pasta took home gold in the Meals and Convenience Foods category and their swish fish pie took silver in the same, recognised under the Kids Awards Winners 2023 section.
The Nourish Awards, now it its fifth year, focuses on nutrition and exemplary flavour in the food and beverage sector, with the Kids Awards focusing more specifically on reduced processing and sugar, and increased creativity. The well-respected awards are known in the industry for having a rigorous entry and judgement process.
This achievement marks Nursery Kitchen’s third win at the Nourish Kids Awards, with the company winning gold and silver for its paneer and pea curry and salmon and pineapple Thai curry respectively in the ‘Baby & Toddler Food’ category in 2022.
Jonny Player, MD at Nursery Kitchen said: “To be awarded gold for our much-loved cheese bolognese pasta and silver for our popular swish fish pie at the Nourish Kids Awards is an outstanding accomplishment. With over 350 entries across the categories, to take home two awards speaks volumes about the quality, outstanding flavour, and innovative menu that Nursery Kitchen is proud to produce.
“These awards are testament to the incredible work of our Food Innovation Team to create a diverse and varied menu, with each meal maintaining or exceeding nutritional and taste standards.
“All our meals are packed with variety and natural flavours from around the world, encouraging children to develop varied and expansive palates, and it’s fantastic to be recognised by qualified nutritionists specialising in child nutrition or products developed specifically for this market.”
This delicious Italian dish takes inspiration from the Tuscan countryside recipes of rich bean stews. We simmer lots of vegetables and tomatoes with butterbeans, cannellini beans and borlotti beans until they are soft and creamy and finish with some fresh green herbs and a splash of lemon juice.
What do we love about our italian bean stew?
Our bean stew recipe is low in saturated fat and we’ve crammed it with lots of vegetables such as courgette, carrot, green beans, and kale.
- olive oil
- ½ butternut squash
- garlic cloves
- drained butterbeans
- drained borlotti beans
- drained cannellini beans
- tomato paste
- chopped tomatoes
- tomato passata
- veg stock
- nutritional yeast
- green beans
- basil leaves
Download the full italian bean stew recipe, HERE.
Inspired by tagines from Morocco, our new fruity lamb stew is packed with exciting flavours from cinnamon to cumin all the way to rose petals in our ras el hanout spice blend
What do we love about our fruity moroccan lamb stew?
Everything is deliciously simmered together with potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, raisins and apricots creating a tantalizing, fruity taste. Serve with cous cous, pitta bread, falafel and dips to make this a real treat!
- cooking oil
- lamb mince
- new potatoes
- ras el hanout
- tomato paste
- dried apricots
- lamb stock cube
- red pepper
Download the full fruity moroccan lamb stew recipe, HERE.
Sugar is a sticky topic when it comes to children. As a nation, we generally know that we shouldn’t consume too much of it but just how much is okay for our bodies? Or should our children not be consuming it altogether? Let’s tuck in to find out, honey!
Developing healthy tastes for life
Encouraging children to develop good food habits early on in life is vital to lay the foundation for the future of our children’s health. The first 1000 days of a child’s life are when the brain begins to grow and develop at a rapid rate. It’s also when the foundation for their lifelong health is built and when general eating habits and patterns are formed.
The early years therefore provides the optimum time to expose children to a wide range of healthy and nutritious foods, so that they can develop healthy tastes for life. So, can sugary foods ever be nutritious? It all depends on whether the sugar is naturally occurring or not.
Are naturally occurring sugars good for us?
Sugar that is found naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables, and milk, does not need to concern us. There is no need to reduce these types of food in our diet, as they provide additional health benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
When do we need to be concerned about sugar?
We do need to be aware of sugar which is added to our food and ‘free’ sugars:
There are a multitude of words used to describe the sugars added to food and drinks, e.g., cane sugar, sucrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, date syrup, brown rice syrup, and molasses.
Are free sugars harmful to health?
According to the British Nutrition Foundation: “Having a diet high in free sugars (more than 5-10% of total energy intake) can be harmful to health as it is associated with dental decay and may lead to excess consumption of energy (calories)”. A diet containing many foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt is unlikely to provide the balance of energy and nutrients that young children need and may contribute to them becoming overweight and having a poor nutrient intake.
There’s no guideline limit for free sugar for children under the age of 4, but the NHS recommends that this age group should avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it. It’s debatable whether this is realistic based on the current climate and food environment we live in, due to exposure to clever marketing techniques and the many food options which are high in fat, sugar, and salt available to buy so readily and cheaply.
Low sugar tastes so sweet!
At Nursery Kitchen, we recognise the importance of limiting the amount of added and free sugars children have in their diet. We understand that a high intake of sugar may lead to tooth decay (and potentially tooth extractions), but it can also lead to obesity and poor heath in later life. So, we believe it’s important to avoid sugary foods and snacks as much as possible.
We want to empower children to love the taste of good foods that do not contain added or free sugars, so that they can develop a healthy taste palate. To support this, we encourage the consumption of milk and water as main drinks, and we do not offer squash, fruit juice or fizzy drinks on our menus.
We’ve also recently switched to serving only full-fat, plain yoghurt on our nursery menu. This is because when infants and toddlers are offered sweeter yoghurts, they’re less likely to accept heathier, plain varieties going forward.
Dessert doesn’t need to be sugary!
At Nursery Kitchen we offer a range of delicious desserts on our menu that do not contain added sugar. Our popular ‘fruit oaty crunch’, which is available with a variety of different fruits, always goes down a treat with children (and adults, too!)! Comprising of antioxidant rich and naturally sweet fruit, high fibre oats, topical coconut, and exciting spices, it makes a tasty and nutritious dessert, snack or even breakfast for children.
We have also just launched our brand-new rice puddings. They are bursting with comforting flavours from ginger, vanilla, and raisins in one rice pudding, and sweet apricots, coconut, and vanilla in the other. Both are low in saturated fat and contain no added sugar. Providing healthy and yummy food to children sets them up in the best possible way to learn, play and develop!
Learn more about what’s on our menu, here.
We’ve used a variety of herbs, spices and citrus to really make this dish shine! Our curry is full of flavour but warming rather than a spicy kick, so just perfect for little ones. Herbs and spices are a great way of bringing flavour to food, rather than adding salt. We’ve flavoured our curry recipe with ginger, garlic, lime juice, coriander and a mild curry powder.
What do we love about our coco mango chicken curry?
Our curry recipe contains both fruit and vegetables, in the mango, peppers and onion. We’ve also added chickpeas, chicken and red lentils to our curry making this dish a good source of protein which is important for growth and muscle repair.
- cooking oil
- minced chicken
- garlic cloves
- ground cumin
- ground coriander
- mild madras curry powder
- ground turmeric
- red lentils
- chicken stock
- coconut milk
- red peppers
Download the full coco mango chicken curry recipe, HERE.
This dish is a great way of exposing children to a wide variety of veg all in one, tasty meal. And with all that veg comes lots of fibre, and vitamins! Potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms are gently simmered in tomatoes and herbs, creating a delicious, warming meal. This dish serves perfectly with rice or bread and butter.
What do we love about our farmer reggie's stewed veggies?
With lots of veggies in this dish it provides a great way of increasing the fibre in your diet, which is important for supporting immunity and improving the diversity of your microbiota. We’ve used marmite in this dish for an extra flavour boost, which is fortified with B vitamins to help release energy from food and make red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
The potatoes provide starchy carbohydrates, which are a good source of energy, fibre, B vitamins, and potassium.
- A glug of sunflower oil
- 1 large red onion - diced
- 2 carrots - chunkily cut
- 175g mushrooms- finely chopped
- 425g button mushrooms - quartered or halves
- 3 cloves garlic- finely chopped
- 500g new potatoes - quartered
- 2 sprigs of thyme - finely chopped
- 3 sprigs of rosemary - leaves only - finely chopped
- 45g tomato paste
- 1100ml water
- 690g tomato passata
- 1 spoonful of marmite
- 1 cube/pot of mushroom
- stock (or veg stock if not)
- small handful of dried wild
- mushrooms - finely chopped
- 1g of nutritional yeast
- 1 small pinch of black pepper
Download the full farmer reggie's stewed veggies recipe, here.