A Beacon of good food: behind the kitchen door in our Exeter services

Posted by / Wednesday 01 February 2017 / Families
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In Exeter, three of our services have teamed up with a local supermarket to receive their surplus fruit and vegetables.

The food gets turned into delicious meals for the children. But it's also used to teach them other things too! Deborah Holt is our Kitchen Supervisor at Beacon Nursery, Cedars Pre School and Whipton Children’s Centre.

The fruit and vegetables is seasonal and can be unfamiliar to the children. This term, they've eaten Chinese leaf lettuce, okra, pomegranate and starfruit! 

"Some vegetables, like radishes, we’ve used in counting activities, and asparagus is used as paint brushes."

Deborah Holt, Kitchen Supervisor
Exeter Children's Services - young boy squeezing a lemon2

The children get to taste new foods and learn about different countries around the world. Deborah Holt is our Kitchen Supervisor at Beacon Nursery, Cedars Pre School and Whipton Children’s Centre.

She teaches the children some simple recipes so even the toddlers can get involved. They've turned bananas into tasty milkshakes or muffins and lemons into lemonade.

They recently filled a tray with Brussels sprouts and got the children to peel them, helping their finer motor skills.

"I use many vegetables in my planned nursery meals, but any leftovers are displayed for families to take away, together with a simple recipe. Sometimes I even prepare food parcels – ready to take home for the children."

Deborah Holt, Kitchen Supervisor

Deborah says, “We previously had a mum with two small children who was going through a really tough time. She hadn’t received benefits for several months and the local food bank would mainly give her tins and packets of food. I put together a large bag of fresh items, including potatoes, carrots, bananas, apples and satsumas and gave her some advice on how to store and prepare them.”

In October 2016, a fire destroyed the historic Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter. This caused the local supermarket to close for four days. They delivered large amounts of fresh produce to our services. 

Deborah and her team were unable to keep and use it all, so every child and their family received a generous food parcel.


Their 3 kitchens had their routine inspection from Exeter City Council in 2016. All gained the highest food hygiene rating of five stars. 

Congratulations to Deborah and her team.

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