This pre-school regards snack and meal times as an important part of the pre-school's session/day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating.
At snack times, we aim to provide nutritious food, which meets the children's individual dietary needs. We aim to meet the full welfare requirements of Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
· Before a child starts to attend the pre-school, we find out from parents their children's dietary needs, including any allergies.
· 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 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 which is consistent with their dietary needs and their parents' wishes.
· We promote healthy eating, however occasionally through festivals and celebrations food provided may include sweet treats.
· In addition to wholemeal bread toast, a variety of seasonal fruits are provided at snack time.
· We provide nutritious food at all snacks, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
· Parents are responsible for providing mid-day meals and we request they include the following elements:
- protein for growth; and
- essential minerals and vitamins in raw foods, salads and fruits.
· We include food tastings from the diet of each of the children's cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones.
· 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 which are appropriate for their ages and stages of development and which 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 session/day. We advise parents to use ice packs with their pack lunch.
· We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in the pre-school.
· We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food.
· We have rules about children sharing and swapping their food with one another in order to protect children with food allergies.
· For children who drink milk, we provide semi skimmed milk.
· We display Healthy Eating information posters prominently in our reception.
· We encourage children to adopt healthy foods by providing different seasonal ‘take-home’ food samples each week.
This policy was originally adopted at a meeting of Winyates Playgroup Pre-school
Held on (date)