Food and Drink Policy
Statement of Intent
The Preschools regard snack and meal times as an important part of the day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating. 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 preschool 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 form and parents sign to signify 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 up-dated 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 display the menus of meals for the information for parents.
- We provide nutritious food at snacktimes, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings. Milk or water is provided to drink.
- 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 nut allergy.
- 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 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 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 day.
- We give parents who provide food for their children advice about suitable containers for food and drink.
- 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.
- At least one member of staff has an in-date Food Hygiene Certificate.
For children who bring a packed lunch, we:
- encourage parents to provide their child with a healthy packed lunch
- ensure perishable contents of packed lunches are refrigerated;