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Plant-based food manufacturer, Gosh! has announced a new partnership with nursery food supplier, Nursery Kitchen, in a bid to inspire more under-fives to enjoy healthier food choices.

Gosh! Sweet Potato Pakora and Mediterranean Falafel now feature as snacking options on Nursery Kitchen’s menus, available to the brand’s portfolio of more than 130 nurseries across the UK. As two of Gosh!’s top-selling products, Nursery Kitchen deemed them an ideal choice to help strengthen the diversity of its menu flavours – something the brand believes is key to encouraging children to adopt a healthier diet in later life.

The partnership comes following numerous reports revealing concerning nutrition habits among pre-schoolers. According to the 2021/22 National Child Measurement Programme, more than a fifth of British children are obese or overweight by the time they get to primary school.[1] Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) have been cited as a key culprit, with First Steps Nutrition Trust reporting that around 61 per cent of two to five-year-old’s energy comes from UPFs.[2]

Hannah Dolan, Head of Food at Nursery Kitchen commented: “The stats in recent news reports signal a drastic need for change in the early years food industry. Children need to have access to healthy food choices at the earliest possible age to have the best chances of carrying through such preferences and eating habits into their adult years. We believe that giving children a broad range of flavours and textures is key to inspiring independent selection and a love of healthy food.”

Nursery Kitchen’s menus are created by development chefs and approved by nutritionists, with a focus on offering fresh, nutritionally balanced meals and snacks. Its menus feature a wide range of nourishing elements including beans and pulses, oily fish at least once a week, a meat-free day at least once a week, low salt, and low sugar. A typical three-week menu features 20 different vegetables and 10 different fruits, along with a wide range of herbs and spices.

Hannah continued: “One of the key ways to engage pre-school age children in food is offering versatility. Gosh!’s falafels and bites are perfect as they add to the diversity of our menus and help us give children different flavours and ways to eat. They’re also made with 100% natural ingredients, without any artificial additives or preservatives. We’re excited to partner with Gosh! as an established brand which shares our mission to make a positive difference to lives through championing a wholesome, healthy diet.”

The new addition to Nursery Kitchen’s menus will be included in an upcoming meal due to be launched this month – ‘teddy bear’s picnic’. The dish is designed to encourage children to enjoy a family-style lunch with others at nursery, trying a selection of food including Gosh! falafels and pakoras, crudites, dips, pita, cheese, and fruit.

Caroline Hughes, Head of Marketing at Gosh! said: “Our products are designed to banish any blandness from mealtimes – something which is particularly critical for children as their interests in different foods develop from such an early age.

“Exposing children to different plant-based dishes at nursery age means they can kickstart a positive relationship with fruit and vegetables. Our partnership with Nursery Kitchen allows us to reach more children at this critical life stage, influencing better diet choices one nursery at a time so we can help create a happier, healthier life for future generations.”

For more information about Nursery Kitchen’s menus, visit https://nurserykitchen.co.uk/our-menu/. For further information about Gosh!, visit https://www.goshfood.com/.

[1] “How HFSS rules are inspiring kids’ snacks” – The Grocer, May 2023

[2] “Our children’s diets are full of ultra-processed foods – this is what to do about it” – iNews, April 2023

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