We all know as parents, especially of young children, keeping them fed properly is a constant worry. In truth it’s a compromise, a balancing act between too much sugar, fat, and other nasties, and getting the essential nutrients into their growing bodies that will allow them to develop into the best possible version of themselves. We also like to think we are instilling in them a balanced approach to food that will carry them through life, and dare we even dream, be passed down to the next generation. Being a parent is hard.

As special nutritional advisor to Bradbury’s Irish School Meals, I advocate a balanced approach. There is no point in developing a menu that is perfect nutritionally for our children, but that they don’t like and won’t eat. The magic element is taste of course, and our head chef’s ability to cram their food with the goodness, the key vitamins, minerals, protein, fats and good quality carbohydrates, but in a way that means it won’t be just left on the plate, is second to none.

Another basic way we ensure that our meals are as packed full of goodness as they can possibly be is our insistence on using only locally grown and sourced fresh ingredients. This means the food travels less distance, is stored for a shorter time and is simply fresher. This also has the added benefit of being much easier on the environment too, so it is our hope that as well as our children having well nourished, healthy bodies, they will have a well nourished, healthy world in which to live.

Sinéad Bradbury.