This policy was adopted on 21 August 2020 and will be reveiwed annually
The basis of adult good health is laid down in a child’s early years. We recognise that feeding young children a nutritionally adequate diet is of lasting importance. Children of 2 to 5 years need food between meals, because their stomachs are so small and the recommended eating pattern of three small meals plus one to three snacks is taken into account. Nursery snacks are designed to complement main meals and are light and nutritious.
All snacks provided are nutritious, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar, salt, additives, preservatives and colourings.
Children are provided with water to drink at any time and other choices of drink, such as milk at snack times where available.
Selections of fresh fruit or vegetables are offered every day in addition to the daily menu.
No additional salts or sugars are provided.
New tastes will be introduced regularly and food is presented in an attractive and enticing way.
All snacks provided are nutritious and take into account children’s particular dietary requirements.
Special diets are catered for e.g. vegetarian, vegan and medical.
Families’ ethnic and cultural traditions are observed to ensure that children from all backgrounds have the opportunity both to encounter familiar tastes and try new foods.
Parents and carers are asked to notify staff of any special dietary requirements at enrolment.
Health and Safety for Healthy Eating
We ensure that the kitchen area is clean – and that all utensils and equipment are cleaned regularly.
Aprons, used exclusively for baking and cooking activities, are provided whenever food is being prepared.
All children using utensils or equipment for cooking or baking are closely supervised.
A safe storage area, out of children’s reach, is used to keep sharp knives, cleaning materials, etc.
Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen area.
A risk assessment of the kitchen area has been carried out to minimise the risk to children and staff during food preparation.
Healthy Eating and Social Skills
Snack time is a pleasant and relaxed social experience enjoyed as a group, and an excellent opportunity to build children’s social skills.
Children are encouraged to serve themselves e.g. pouring drinks, passing around plates.
Table manners and eating skills are promoted.
No child is forced to eat or punished for not eating.
Uneaten food is removed without comment.
Children are made aware that the food prepared and offered is all that is available.
Children may help to set the tables and in the preparation of snacks.
Health Eating and the Nursery Curriculum
We make the most of opportunities to use food to enrich the Nursery Curriculum in the following ways:
Snack time helps to develop a child’s personal and social skills.
Introducing foods from other parts of the world introduces tastes and smells found in exotic places and can develop knowledge and understanding of the world and the rich variety of cultures within it.
Food provides a fun and tasty way of introducing shapes, textures, fractions and lots of mathematical language.
We enjoy stories, poems, songs, rhymes and reference books about food.
We grow and eat food from our nursery garden.
We talk about the importance of a balanced diet including lots of healthy foods to keep ourselves fit, healthy and enable us to grow.
We use some food items during creative play to explore textures, colours, shapes, printing, etc.
We encourage exploring food to develop sensory perception (taste, smell, texture, sound, shape, colour) and associated language.