Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Health
6.5 Food and drink
Hanney Pre-School regards snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating. We promote healthy eating using resources and materials from the Pre-school Learning Alliance. At snack time, we aim to provide nutritious food, which meets the children’s individual dietary needs.
We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting.
- Before a child starts to attend the setting, we find out from parents their children’s dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies. (See the Managing Children who are Sick, Infectious or with Allergies policy.)
- We record information about each child’s dietary needs in her/his registration record and parents sign the record to signify that it is correct.
- We regularly consult with parents to ensure that our records of their children’s dietary needs – including any allergies – are up-to-date. Parents sign the up-dated record to signify that it is correct.
- We display current information about individual children’s dietary needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully informed about them.
- We implement systems to ensure that children receive only food and drink that is consistent with their dietary needs and preferences as well as their parents’ wishes.
- We provide nutritious food for all snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
- We take care not to provide food containing nuts or nut products and are especially vigilant where we have a child who has a known allergy to nuts.
- We provide snacks that often include:
- Fruit and Vegetables, Wholemeal Toast, Crackers and Muffins.
- Through discussion with parents and research reading by staff, we obtain information about the dietary rules of the religious groups to which children and their parents belong, and of vegetarians and vegans, and about food allergies. We take account of this information in the provision of food and drinks.
- We require staff to show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies. Staff do not use a child’s diet or allergy as a label for the child or make a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.
- We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate.
- We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.
- We provide children with utensils that are appropriate for their ages and stages of development and that take account of the eating practices in their cultures.
- We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children about how to obtain the water and that they can ask for water at any time during the day.
- We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in the setting.
- In order to protect children with food allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping their food with one another.
- For children who drink milk, we provide whole pasteurised milk.
- inform parents of our policy on healthy eating (See Healthy Eating Policy)
- encourage parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based deserts such as yoghurt or crème fraîche where we can only provide cold food from home. We discourage sweet drinks and can provide children with water;
- discourage packed lunch contents that consist largely of crisps, processed foods, sweet drinks and sweet products such as cakes or biscuits. We reserve the right to return this food to the parent as a last resort;
- provide children, bringing packed lunches, with cups and cutlery;
- ensure staff sit with children to eat their lunch so that the mealtime is a social occasion.
- We notify Ofsted of any food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on the premises as soon as is reasonably practicable, but in any event within 14 days of the incident.
- Regulation (EC) 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs
- Further guidance
- Safer Food, Better Business (Food Standards Agency 2008)
This policy was adopted by the committee on the 3rd Oct 2012 – Signed by Georgia Newman Co-Chair
(The original signed copy of all policies are held on site and can be viewed upon request)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Healthy and Active Lifestyles for the Early Years (2012)
- Nutritional Guidance for the Under Fives (2009)
- The Early Years Essential Cookbook (2009)