This policy was adopted on 18 February 2022 and will be reviewed annually
Natural Nurture Nursery regards snack and meal times as an important part of the nursery day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and mealtimes are opportunities for children to learn about healthy eating. We promote healthy eating at snack and meal times.
Before a child starts at the nursery, we find out from parents their dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies.
We record information about each child's dietary needs in their Admission Information and parents sign to say 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 updated record to say that it is correct and inform parents/carers that there is a child in the setting with an allergy/allergies and which food/s will cause a reaction.
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.
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 follow these procedures to promote healthy and safe eating in our nursery:
We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which all children and staff participate.
During meals and snack times children are encouraged to use their manners and say 'please' and 'thank you' and conversation is encouraged
We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.
Staff support children to make healthy choices and understand the need for healthy eating
Children who refuse to eat at the mealtime are offered food later in the day
Children are given time to eat at their own pace and not rushed
No child is ever left alone when eating/drinking to minimise the risk of choking
We do allow parents to bring in cakes on special occasions. We ensure that all food brought in from parents meets the above and health and safety requirements and ingredients that are listed within the Food Information for Consumers (FIR) 2014 and detailed in the allergens policy and procedure
All staff who prepare and handle food are competent to do so and receive training in food hygiene which is updated every three years
In the very unlikely event of any food poisoning affecting two or more children on the premises, whether or not this may arise from food offered at the nursery, we will inform Ofsted as soon as reasonably practical and in all cases within 14 days. We will also inform the relevant health agencies and follow any advice given.
Storage and Preparation of Food
Food is stored and prepared in accordance with guidelines set out by Environmental Health.
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.
Health Eating and the Nursery Curriculum
We make the most of opportunities to use food to enrich the Nursery Curriculum in the following ways:
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.