We are delighted to announce that the food at our Busy Bees nurseries is officially approved by The Vegetarian Society.
At Busy Bees we celebrate children who are vegetarians and have always included a vegetarian option in all of our seasonal menus. We understand and appreciate that some parents may want their child to follow a vegetarian diet, so we always have plenty of meals and snacks available for those children and also make these available for all children if that is their preference at meal times.
Our annual chef competition in 2015 focused on our chef's creating an award-winning vegetarian dish that was suitable specifically for children under 5. Following the success of our Busy Bees Chef Vegetarian Collection Competition last year and The Vegetarian Society's involvement judging of all dishes and criteria, we were keen to continue to work with them and promote their wonderful work in our nurseries. The winning dish from our competition, The Mediterranean Vegetable and Bean Hotpot has been included in our seasonal menu to all nurseries across the country and featured in our recipe book.
The Vegetarian Society exists to support all vegetarians to ensure that they are confident consumers. They work closely with many businesses, organisations, families and individuals to offer information, advice, and an independent guarantee that allows vegetarians to eat with confidence.
We support all children's individual dietary requirements and are very excited to be working closely with The Vegetarian Society to provide our parents and children with confidence that our vegetarian options are both nutritious and trustworthy. The vegetarian options we provide are carefully considered to contain all of the vitamins and nutrients that children require to play, learn and grow.
• All lunches and teas provided for vegetarian children should include a portion of meat alternative such as soya, textured vegetable protein or Quorn™ and eggs, to provide protein and minerals such as iron and zinc.
• We include a variety of different protein sources each week for example, meat alternatives can be used once or twice, pulses and beans two to three times, and eggs and cheese, once or twice per week, to avoid children experiencing repetitive options.
• We provide snacks and meals that contain good sources of zinc and iron such as, peas, beans, lentils, soya products, wholegrain cereal foods, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin C also helps to increase the amount of iron absorbed from vegetables and cereals.
At Busy Bees, we provide vegetables and/or fruit with all meals to help to increase the absorption of iron. We also ensure that the food provided for vegetarian children is of a similar appearance and texture as the food given to other children, by including a lot of pulses and vegetables in non-vegetarian meals, so that all children experience equality at meal times, regardless of diet.
You can find some of our vegetarian recipes on our website here for you to try and enjoy at home!
We look forward to continuing to serve a wonderful range of vegetarian dishes approved by The Vegetarian Society to children in our nurseries who prefer the option - please ask your Nursery Manager for more details.