We regard snack and meal times to be an important part of the pre-school day. We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate. Please note that packed lunches must be provided by parents (please see below).
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. For children who drink milk, we provide whole pasteurised milk. There is more information in our Health & Safety Food and Drink Policy.
Food preparation is undertaken in a separate kitchen area and we have clearly set out procedures in relation to food hygiene. At least one member of staff has a current Food Hygiene Certificate. Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen. Please see our Health & Safety Food Hygiene Policy for more detailed information.
We provide nutritious food for snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings. We include a variety of foods from the four main food groups: dairy foods; grains, cereals and starch vegetables; and fruit and vegetables. We ensure that children only receive food and drink as appropriate to their dietary needs and allergies. The menus of meals/snacks are displayed for the information of parents.
If your child attends for a full day, they must be provided with a suitable packed lunch. We ask that parents provide packed lunches that are consistent with our healthy eating policy. They should contain sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based deserts such as yoghurt or crème fraîche. We discourage sweet drinks and can provide children with water. We also discourage packed lunch contents that consist largely of crisps, processed foods, sweet drinks and sweet products such as cakes or biscuits. Unfortunately packed lunches cannot be refrigerated, but we make every effort to store them in a cool place.
Due to the number of nut allergies and the risk of choking we would ask that you do not include nuts or nut products in your child's packed lunch.
Allergies and/or Special Dietary Needs
Before your child starts to attend the setting, we find out from parents/carers their dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies. (See the Managing Children with Allergies policy in the Policy Handbook). We record information about each child's dietary needs in her/his registration record and parents/carers sign the record to signify that it is correct. It is important that we are kept up to date with any changes. We display current information about individual children's dietary needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully informed about them. 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 by staff, we also 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 all of this information in the provision of food and drinks at snack times and 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.