CHILDREN at Oxfordshire nurseries will learn more about food and nutrition as part of a new health and wellbeing project.

Six Co-op Childcare branches in the county will roll out the new programme to encourage healthy eating - Blackbird Leys, Madley Park in Witney, Oxford Station, John Radcliffe Hospital, Rose Hill and Carterton.

The nurseries will introduce new nutritionally-balanced menu created by Startwell, a charity which promotes healthy eating in early years, and backed by celebrity doctor Hilary Jones.

They have also received a package from Rocket Gardens to grow a vegetable patch and organic herbs.


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They will be planted, tended to and picked by children, helping them to learn where fresh food comes from.

Staff and chefs at the nursery will also receive specialist nutritional training to ensure colleagues are equipped to support parents with nutrition advice.

Lorna Bishop, manager of Little Pioneers nursery in Rose Hill, said: "We know that children who understand where food comes from are much more likely to have a positive relationship with healthy eating, so we want to encourage good food habits in children at our nursery from a much younger age.

"We’ve been working closely with our parents, colleagues, and children in Oxfordshire to make sure we help the little ones in our care lead the healthiest lives they can."


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Dr Hilary Jones, a GP and medical broadcaster, said: "Co-op Childcare has committed to delivering healthy, wholesome, varied meals to ensure all the children in its nurseries are getting all the nutrients they need, and the education to understand why nutrition is important.

"With this strong foundation, they can continue on to grow, learn, and flourish and maintain a lifelong, positive relationship with food."