WHEN Katy Elliot’s children came home from nursery a little hungrier than usual one day, she felt that something needed to be done.
This planted the seed for the idea of her ‘Nursery Kitchen’ business, which has now changed the face of nursery food all over Wirral.
Eight years on, the idea has grown and Katy now supplies most of the nurseries across the area, including both private and SureStart nurseries with all their meals.
With previous experience as a caterer, she funded the venture out of her own pocket, working part-time as well as raising two young children, Georgina, now nine, and Christopher, 13. With close links with the council, environmental health and trading standards, Katy’s work is kept to the highest standard.
She says: “I’m quite fussy, so I wouldn’t serve something that I didn’t like!”
Working out of her own kitchen, using only freshly supplied ingredients, Katy has worked closely with a food scientist to ensure the children receive healthy meals.
Katy said: “It’s important to give children a healthy and balanced diet. You’re told that they need fruit, and lots of it, but they also need carbohydrates and stuff. They need a balanced diet.
“It’s just a commonsense approach to feeding children”.
She now provides meals for up to 2,500 children a week, with only a part-time helper, Michelle Jones, also from Wallasey, in the kitchen.
“We prepare everything by hand, and then freeze it all straight away. Then we deliver everything to the nurseries on a Friday.
“We’ve got it down to a fine art.”
Meals include roast dinners, italian food, meatballs, fisherman’s pie, with favourites including sausage casserole and their homemade sesame chicken dippers and chips.
“They’ll eat everything. We include a lot of vegetables, and sometimes we puree them all down, so the children don’t know they’re eating stuff like swede and parsnips”.
The kitchen also caters for different needs, including providing Halal meals, and whenever they’re faced with a new requirement, they build new recipes around it.
“We’ve had fantastic feedback from the parents and the nurseries. Nurseries stay with me once they’ve signed up, because they have no worries of holidays or anything, we provide a service 52 weeks of the year.”
With so many mouths to feed, Katy works long hours throughout the week, some days starting as early as six in the morning.
“I love it, but there’s not many people out there that would do it”.