Nourished Beginnings overhauls NZ childcare menus Nourished Beginnings overhauls NZ childcare menus CREDIT: Nourished Beginnings

NZ childcare centres set to receive a whole foods overhaul

Friday 15 July 2016, 2:29PM

Child obesity statistics in New Zealand are staggering, with the New Zealand Health Survey finding that one in nine children (aged 2–14 years) were obese (11%) a further 22% were children were overweight but not obese. Something needs to change here - and initiatives such as Nourished Beginnings are seeking to pave the way to healthy and nutritious meals. 

Katie Harding of Nourished Beginnings, is a early childhood nutritionist, seeking to raise the bar in early childhood nutrition, by introducing exclusively whole foods menus for day-care kids. The ‘whole food’ trend is well and truly upon us, and the benefits speak for themselves - no additives, unprocessed, unrefined and little to no traces of chemicals. But why should adults be the only people benefiting from this nutritious regime. 

Katie’s expertise in children’s nutrition and first hand experience working as a child care food coordinator has allowed her to effect positive change within the child care industry, for families and for mums looking to make a healthy change.

And now, for the first time in New Zealand, Katie has teamed up with local day-care, Little Wonders Childcare, to overhaul their menu, and create an entirely whole foods offering for its children.

“We’re so excited to have partnered with Nourished Beginnings - now all of our parents can take comfort in the knowledge that their children are eating healthy, nutritious meals even when they’re not there to feed them,” says Little Wonders owner, Ben Hurst.

Something needs to change here in New Zealand - and initiatives such as Nourished Beginnings are seeking to pave the way to healthy and nutritious meals.

To add to the current children’s obesity statistic, our small island nation is now in the top three fattest countries behind the US and Mexico, where 36.5% and 32% respectively of the population are obese. New Zealand’s rate is just below 29%.

“In a child care setting, and around the family dinner table you have the perfect opportunity to sit with the children and talk about food - encourage them to try new foods, and explain what foods help them run faster, concentrate better, or make us feel better when we’re sick. This is crucial in setting them up for a healthy relationship with food for life,” says Katie.

“With hectic lives and busy centre schedules, we don’t often give our children the opportunity to learn to appreciate real food. We think that vegetables must be hidden in order to be eaten. This is where our society has lost its way. It’s time to explain that foods can be nourishing for our bodies and why. To explain that fast food is a sometimes food and why.