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Effective menu planning, and the use of correct ingredients can reduce costs

Menu standards for nurseries, recommended by the Children’s Food Trust can be separated into two main categories:


  • Define the fundamental principals of nursery menu planning. They ensure that the menu has the correct structure and that appropriate foods and recipe choices are served throughout the day.
  • Have been set for the menu as a whole and for individual meals ie. Breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks and drinks.
  • Specify how often, how much and which types of food should be provided to the under-5’s. It also lists foods and ingredients that need to be limited or avoided.
  • A menu that meets these standards will go a long way to ensuring that the nutritional needs of nursery children are met.


  • The guidelines have been developed on the basis of a nutrient framework which defines the levels of 12 different nutrients that children should gain from their nursery food.
  • The levels of particular nutrients in a menu are obtained by undertaking a nutritional analysis.  These can then be compared against the nutrient-based standards set by the Children’s Food Trust.
  • A nursery that meets the Nutrient Framework and the Food & Drink Guidelines provides a guarantee that the nutritional needs of this age group are fully met.


From 13 December 2014, all food businesses including nurseries and childminders need to provide allergen information on the foods they provide. It needs to be accurate, consistent and verifiable and should be easily accessible and readily available to parents and children.

Menu Matters can help

We will analyse your menus and recipes against the recommended structure and standards, and then work with you to implement  any changes required to guarantee that the standards are met.  Specifically we can:

  • Carry out a menu health check, giving feedback on your current menus.
  • Provide you with a set of ‘ready made’ menus that meet the Food and Drink Guidelines.
  • Work with you to develop menus that meet the Nursery Food Guidelines.
  • We can produce an allergen report for the food that you serve.

Examples of what we can do are shown below

STEP 1 - Find out how your food compares to guidelines

Send us your Menus and recipes, we will provide a nutritional analysis and compare it to the guidelines. You will receive a report highlighting where any non conformancies lie and recommendations for changes to recipes or their replacement.


STEP 2 - Work towards achieving guidelines

Following the implementation of changes from step 1, the menu will be re-assessed. We will work together with you until the perfectly balanced menu has been achieved.


STEP 3 - Receive a certificate of compliance to assist with marketing

A record to prove that menus are fully balanced.

Allergen Reports

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Contact Us:

Send us your Menus and recipes and we will review them against the nutritional guidelines for nursery food. We can advise of any changes that you need to make to be able to ensure that your menus meet the guidelines or design a menu for you from scratch.


We can also provide a ‘ready made’ menu with recipes, fully costed (using current supermarket prices) and an accompanying shopping list to help reduce waste.  Our ready made menus are based on approximately £1.80 per day, per child ingredient prices based on March 2015 supermarket prices.