A NURSERY has won an award for the way it uses food to help youngsters learn.

And Prime Minister David Cameron was among the first to congratulate staff and children.

Willow Cottage Nurseries, in Farmoor, has been presented with a leading aspect award for its ‘nursery food matters – an embedded educational philosophy’ project.

As well as making sure youngsters tuck into healthy, nutritious meals, staff also use unusual methods to get them engaged in learning about food.

Fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices are provided in treasure baskets, and children help collect eggs from the nursery chickens before enjoying them for their tea.

There is a healthy food hero called Mr Willow, the bear chef, and children are given activity packs focusing on food to take home and use with their wider family.

Headteacher Ruth Salway – pictured podding peas with three-year-old Oliver Pitts – said: “We felt food was something that we do well which is why we approached the leading aspect award from a food point of view. Food isn’t a scary thing for them. It’s not something that’s just at mealtimes, it’s there and it’s included in all aspects of the nursery day.”

Witney MP Mr Cameron said: “I know how much hard work has been put in by everyone for the benefit of the children, their families and the wider community.

“Developing a healthy attitude to food at an early age makes a real difference in later life.

“Well done and keep up the good work.”