Promoting health and hygiene
Clever Clogs pre-school
1.19 Food and drink
This setting regards snack and meal times as an important part of the setting’s 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 campaign Feeding Young Imaginations. At snack and meal times, 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 with Allergies policy.)
- We record information about each child’s dietary needs in her/his registration record.
- 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 records 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 include foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones. This is achieved through multi cultural themed weeks throughout the year.
- 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.
- 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 organise snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate.
- We use 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 on 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.
- 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.
Packed lunches, we:
- Ensure perishable contents of packed lunches are refrigerated or contain an ice pack to keep food cool;
- Inform parents of our policy on healthy eating;
- Encourage parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based desserts such as yogurt or crème fraiche. We discourage sweet drinks and can provide children with water or milk.
- Discourage packed lunch contents that consist largely of crisps, processed foods, sweet drinks and sweet products such as cakes or biscuits.
- Provide children, bringing packed lunches, with plates, cups and cutlery; and ensure staff sit with children to eat their lunch so that the mealtime is a social occasion.