Providing sustainable food in our early years provision is an important part of our service. We have to consider the health of the child eating it, but also the health of the planet, and we can contribute to society, the economy and the natural world by making sustainable decisions.

Ideally, food should be grown in the local community, with some grown in the nursery. The children at Tops Day Nurseries, and many other early years settings, take such pride in knowing the food they are eating is something they have grown themselves.

Where possible, the food should be transported by hand with no one-use plastic wrapping, Any waste from preparation (peelings etc.) should be composted or put in a wormery. Although we should aim for all the food to be eaten, children between 0-3 years are prone to leaving leftovers. These should be put in the food recycling bin. Zero waste: totally sustainable.

However, in practice, we’re rarely going to reach such high ideals. If we break the food service down into parts, we can consider each area to see if there is a way of making more sustainable choices.