Sowing the seed
The importance of childhood nutrition is an essential component of our philosophy at Meithrinfa Y Pelican. We believe we have a responsibility to instil healthy eating habits in children, which are formed at a very young age. Choices, tastes, nutritional quality of food offered to infants and children have far reaching effects on food preferences and health in later life. Like any well-functioning engine, little bodies require good fuel, fluids and oil to make them run smoothly and perform well, nourishing them.
Children at Y Pelican will benefit greatly from being provided with a wide range of fresh stimulating flavours and will be highly involved in food preparation, recipes will be made fresh daily with locally sourced organic produce wherever possible. Little ones are in a very dynamic growth process; it is our priority to feed them the cleanest foods possible to help build the biological foundation for the rest of their lives.
At Y Pelican we love to explore and have fundamental beliefs that storytelling, growing, cooking, creative play help to build an understanding of where food comes from which helps develop a great foundation for a lifelong love of good food.
We believe that mealtimes should be a happy social occasion for staff and children alike. We encourage baby led weaning in consultation with parents, we work closely with parents to ensure dietary requirements are met.
1) Green vegetables are the foods most missing in modern diets. Learning to cook and eat greens is essential to creating health. Greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fibre, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Blood purification, cancer prevention, improved circulation and strengthened immune system are some of the benefits of eating dark leafy greens.
2) Swap refined grains like white rice and pasta to whole grains like brown rice, barley, bulgur what, quinoa and wild rice. Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrition, as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fibre, and vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Because the body absorbs grains slowly, they provide sustained and high-quality energy.
3) Calcium comes from many other sources than dairy and often better for us. It is important to understand how much calcium children actually need. Children who are 1 to 3 years old need 500 mg a day and children who are 4 to 8 years old need 800 mg a day. Here is a list of some calcium-containing foods that are dairy-free, with the amount of calcium you’ll find in a single serving. Collard greens (375mg), Black-eyed peas (211mg), baked beans (154 mg), Kale (94mg), Oranges (72mg), almonds (70 mg)
4) Get in the habit of reading labels and avoid products made with white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and ALL artificial sweeteners. Instead use natural sweeteners, including pure maple syrup, molasses, stevia, Rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice) or raw unfiltered honey. These natural sweeteners are slower to enter the bloodstream, they do not cause a burst of energy followed by a steep drop.
5) Eat organic…although it is more expensive to shop this way, for our bodies (especially our children’s) it’s the best investment you can make.
There are many compelling reasons to provide your child with a mainly organic diet.
We are exposed to harsh chemicals every day in the foods we eat, water we drink, products we put upon our skin. We will endeavour to ensure that infants, toddlers and children in our care will be protected as much as possible from these unnecessary nasties.
Fresh organic food is bursting with nutrients, it is grown without poisonous artificial chemical pesticides and fertilisers which leave toxic residues in our food and drinking water. Studies prove some of these pesticides have been shown to contribute to or cause cancers, infertility and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Many additives, artificial sweeteners and other ‘E’ numbers commonly found in foods we eat are now being linked to health and behavioural concerns, such as Monosodium glutamate, Brilliant Blue and Aspartame, all of which are banned in organic food production.
A baby’s body is vulnerable, nervous, circulatory and reproductive systems are all developing fast. It’s important that vital alien chemicals do not disrupt them during the growth phase. Immature kidneys are not as proficient at eliminating harmful substances so they may circulate in the body of a baby for longer.
Organic farming protects the environment; it works with nature not against it. Farm animals are reared humanely and not routinely fed antibiotics and hormones to supress disease or promote growth.
Simply, it’s a full circle; the food you feed your children can help create a better world for him or her to grow up in.
Creating a Brighter Future
We are continually looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint; we are conscious that every purchase we make will have some impact on the world in which we live. We will endeavour to ensure that all of the necessities required to make our nursery possible will be as kind to the planet as we can get.
Here are some examples of how we care;
We use Kit & Kin biodegradable nappies and wipes.
As much as possible is purchased ethically, either organic or fair-trade. Our favourite companies to buy from are Babipur and Myriad.
Our delicious food comes from Watson & Pratt. Our cupboard supplies come from Essentials, who are a leading UK organic and Fairtrade product wholesaler.
We encourage wildlife and insects such as bees in our garden by using specific plants.
Plant based, environmentally friendly hand wash, cleaning products, eco paints and FSC loo paper are used.
We have unique lighting, we use blue blocking light bulbs which have been proven to aid children’s sleep, mental health, development and eye health.
Rainwater is collected and used to water the gardens and planting.
Our waste is recycled and we use reclaimed, recycled and FSC materials.
We use second hand books and toys and upcycle them for use.
We work with local businesses, to encourage greener miles.
We actively encourage a paper-free culture but using email as our main form of communication.
We use natural skincare remedies, we particularly love Cardiff company Nature’s Little Helpers for our baby balms.
Low plastics (equipment and toys).
We use organic essential oils instead of toxic air fresheners.
We at Y Pelican believe that if we engage children at a young age to be conscious about the world we live and the impact we make, this will help to nurture future generations who will continue to care for our planet.