The Challenge

Home cooking is a priority across the Toad Hall Nursery Group and plays a key role in their care. They know that healthy meals for toddlers are vital to ensure they get all the protein, vitamins, minerals and nutrients they require to grow and develop. Positive attitudes to eating are also being developed at this formative age. Children are served three meals plus snacks a day and Toad Hall prepares 92% of their food fresh, on-site each day. Toad Hall’s cooks have all received training on allergies and intolerance’s, and their childcare practitioners strive to offer the best possible support for their children’s eating and nutritional development.

The Solution

Toad Hall Nursery Group has worked closely with Creed Foodservice to provide healthy, well balanced and interesting meals and menus for their children. Recipes have been designed so that they can easily be adapted to suit young children following an allergy free or vegetarian diet. The school even has its own Parents Recipe Book, created for parents to replicate some of their dishes at home. By purchasing everything through Creed, Toad Hall has been able to take advantage of value-added benefits including new product suggestions, access to the Creed’s in-house Executive Development Chef and access to Saffron Nutritional Software, a tool that manages allergen information, recipes and nutritional values. The collaboration has resulted in Toad Hall receiving the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association; the criteria to achieve this includes preparing over 75% of food fresh each day from traceable, ethical, healthy, sustainable and locally sourced, healthy food. Toad Hall is also the first nursery group to be given the Children’s Food Trust seal of approval, with menus and recipes all being nutritionally analysed to ensure they meet the “Eat Better, Do Better” voluntary guidelines. They are also advocates of recipes included in the Children’s Food Trust and Public Health England’s ‘Example menus guide for early years settings in England’.

The Feedback

Our commitment to healthy eating for young children stems from the belief that it is essential to provide the right nutrition to ensure our children grow and develop well whilst in our care. Using a single supplier like Creed Foodservice for our frozen, fresh, grocery, chilled and butchery foods has allowed Toad Hall to be sure of the quality and provenance of all produce delivered. A traceable supply chain is a priority for us, hence the importance of working with a wholesaler like Creed with similar values, who is able to offer meat for example from assured sources. Parents have the reassurance that the nursery only uses Red Tractor Farm Assured meats, RSPCA Assured meats, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable seafood, organic milk and free range eggs – all supplied through Creed. Ensuring that our food deliveries are controlled is essential not just from a cost perspective. With Creed, we have reliable deliveries, and we know exactly where the food we order has come from. I firmly believe that excellent childcare is about producing well rounded and confident children who are keen to learn and this can only happen if a child is well fed and happy.

Gail Tanner, Co-Managing Director, Toad Hall Nursery Group