New award aims to reward local food heroes
The Nursery Food Awards 2007 are being launched this month to champion those nurseries that are providing healthy, fresh, local and organic foods for young children.
The awards are being run by Organix, in partnership with the Soil Association, and supported by Hobart and Nursery World.
Over a million children in the UK attend nurseries, aged between three months and five years. What they eat affects their long-term health as well as their daily wellbeing.
Nursery staff, parents and the general public are being asked to nominate those nurseries that provide fresh, healthy and enjoyable food. Extra marks will be given to those that source local and organic foods and work to nutritional guidelines, as well as incorporating learning about food and health into the nursery day.
Jeanette Orrey, the Soil Association’s school meals policy advisor; Liz Roberts, editor of Nursery World magazine, and nutritionist Annie Seeley, together with Organix founder Lizzie Vann, will form the judging panel.
The best nursery will win Â£1000 of Hobart kitchen equipment, and two runners-up will each receive Â£500 of Hobart equipment. The top 50 nurseries will each receive an organic goodie box.
In addition, the Organix Nursery Cookbook Award is to be awarded to the best cookbook or recipes submitted by a nursery. The winnerâ€™s cookbook or recipes will be transformed into a practical and stylish website and also published in book format.
The application form is available at www.organix.com/nurseryfoodawards and the closing date is September 7. The judges will visit short-listed nurseries in October, and the winning nurseries will be announced in November.
Lizzie Vann, founder of Organix, said: â€œNurseries have been overlooked in the radical review of school meals that has taken place since 2005. We are launching these awards to showcase best practice and inspire other nurseries to look at the health of the children in their care, especially as it relates to the food they eat whilst at nursery.â€
Peter Melchett, Policy Director at the Soil Association, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Nursery Food Awards with Organix and Nursery World.
â€œNurseries can play a vital role in helping parents familiarise young children with fresh, healthy food and where good food comes from. Too many of today’s children are growing up thinking that food is something plastic-wrapped that comes from a supermarket.
â€œChildren’s food should be fresh, seasonal, local and organic, and they should have the opportunity to visit farms to understand the journey of food from field to fork and what this means for their health and the environment.â€
Annie Seeley, nutritionist and awards judge, said: â€œA childâ€™s early years are crucial in setting good eating habits for life. The Nursery Awards are a great opportunity to recognise and reward nurseries promoting healthy eating by providing nutritious, well balanced meals and snacks.â€
For a paper application form or more information or pics please contact Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org / or ring Joanna on 01202 409511.
Notes for Editors
1. Organix is a 15 year old pioneering childrenâ€™s food company making organic foods for babies and young children. The company is based in Christchurch, Dorset. Company founder Lizzie Vann was one of the team that initiated the pioneering Food for Life School Meals programme for primary schools.
2. The Soil Association is the UK’s leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming and championing human health, and its organic symbol is the UK’s largest and most recognisable trademark for organic produce
3. Hobart UK is market leader in the manufacture and supply of catering equipment. For more information go to www.hobartuk.com.
4. Nursery World is the leading magazine for early years and childcare practitioners. For more information go to www.nurseryworld.co.uk.
5. The awards follow on from the groundbreaking Soil Association School Food Awards, which were run in partnership with Organix in 2005 and 2006.
6. The judges will be looking to recognise those nursery workers and food suppliers who are working toward sourcing local and organic ingredients as recommended by the Soil Association Food for Life targets. These targets are part of the Â£16.9 million Big Lottery-funded Food for Life Partnership, led by the Soil Association, together with The Focus on Food Campaign, Garden Organic and the Health Education Trust. This project sees them working with schools and, communities across England to improve food provision and food education for children, their parents and the wider community. For more information about the Food for Life Partnership go to www.foodforlife.org.uk.