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NCC launches summer menus

The Nursery Catering Company (NCC) has launched its summer vegetarian and standard menus and at the same time is highlighting the difference between allergies and intolerances.

This followed the Children Food Trust (CFT)’s Allergy Awareness week in the spring, and NCC’s Beverly Roby said: “More and more children are developing allergies or intolerances to food. The Nursery Catering Company provides an entirely allergen free menu at no extra cost to our standard menu. Meals on the menu are as close as possible in appearance and taste to the standard offering but will not be at risk of consuming any harmful ingredients.”

Popular items on the menu include chicken meatball bolognaise, cheesy vegetable omelette and even cocoa and beetroot cake. “As well as tasting great, there are many other benefits to feeding our lunches, desserts and teas to children within your nursery,” said Roby. “Our menus are approved by the CFT. We provide lunches desserts and teas throughout the UK and as well as alternate allergen free menus, and we also provide alternate vegetarian and halal menus.”

The company is using guidance issued by CFT’s senior nutritionist Alicia Parr to emphasise the distinction between an intolerance and an allergy. While a food allergy can be serious and a severe reaction from the immune system can be life-threatening, an intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system and is never life-threatening. “It is caused by difficulty digesting certain foods, including milk and wheat,” said Parr. “Symptoms which include diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps come on more slowly, often many hours after eating the problem food. It only results in symptoms if you eat reasonable amounts of the food (unlike an allergy, where just traces can trigger a reaction) and can be caused by many different foods.”

Article taken from Issue 6 of Early Years Childcarer magazine