Food and Drink and Healthy Eating Policy
We recognise that snack and meal times are an important part of the child’s day. It is a social time for children to enjoy food. We aim to provide healthy, balanced, varied and nutritious food and drink to meet the child’s needs and encourage them to develop and promote healthy lifestyles and well-being throughout their life.
We meet the welfare requirements outlined in the EYFS on food and drink:
Where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, they must be healthy, balanced and nutritious.
Before a child starts here at Westward we find out from parents their child’s special dietary requirements, including any cultural, religious or medical reasons; preferences or food allergies. Parents complete admission forms containing this information, and discuss with the practitioners / key person, children’s dietary needs. All practitioners have a file in their class containing this important information. This information is then shared with the relevant persons, including the school cook.
We regularly consult with parents about children’s dietary requirements that have changed. The relevant forms are then updated.
We display a chart with the child’s name and individual dietary needs in the staff room, each class has their own copy and in the school kitchen so all staff and volunteers know about them. In the Nursery and Reception rooms we have a dietary sheet and at lunch the school cook and supervisors are aware of those children who need to get food and drink consistent with their needs and / or parental wishes.
SNACK & MEAL TIMES
- The lunch menu is on a rolling three week rota which is based on and considers parental views. This menu is available on the school website and displayed on the early years notice board and around the school.
- The menu is organised to provide a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. High-quality produce is sought that avoid large quantities of fat, salt and sugar and artificial colouring, additives or preservatives. Fresh fruit and vegetables are provided daily. We provide a varied diet, in which we encourage children to try familiar and unfamiliar foods. We also encourage children to talk about and make healthy choices. Children with special requirements are catered for, such as vegetarian options are provided daily. Parents may wish to bring in food due to dietary requirements which they may do so in consultation with the staff, to ensure food is nutritious and well-balanced, which is then stored safely.
- For snack, we ask parents for a contribution of £1.50 per week which is used to buy fruit and vegetables for the children and a hot snack on a Thursday. We also use some of this money to buy ingredients for cookery sessions with the children.
- Snack and meal times are treated as a social event to develop healthy practices whilst maintaining good food hygiene.
- We operate a snack bar in each of the early years rooms with the support of early years practitioners/parents. The children are encouraged to prepare the snack (with due care given to hygiene). Children choose their snack, including a drink of semi-skimmed milk or water which is available all morning until 11.00am.
- At lunch, Nursery and Reception children sit with an early years practitioner to encourage a positive eating experience. The children have a choice of food and drink and practitioners encourage children to make their own choices and talk to them about their decisions. At snack, children serve themselves. At lunch, the school cook serves the children after they have made their choice. They are all encouraged to eat their lunch with a knife and fork.
- Children who come to before and/or after school care are provided with breakfast and tea, in accordance with parental wishes.
- Food hygiene is considered of the upmost importance. All practitioners who handle or serve food are trained in food hygiene during their induction and then regularly reviewed to enable them to handle food safely. We are registered with the Local Authority.
- All food is stored safely in accordance with environmental regulation.
- Children are informed to eat the foods on their plate. As a class prior to our first meal, we discuss sensitively that the foods on our plates may be different and that for us all to be safe we must not swap foods.
- Practitioners / key person / school manager is available at the end of the day / session if parents wish to talk about the menu or what the child has consumed.
- We are aware that some children may not want to eat what is provided. However, we do find that when children are sitting with their friends, they like to eat what their classmates are eating. If children’s food intake/diet is cause for concern or limited, we speak to the parents to cater for the child’s preferences and gradually expose them to more foods.
- We encourage and support children to drink throughout the day.
Children (and staff) have access to drinking water at all times throughout the day. Children can independently serve themselves using the jug and disposable water cups available inside and water fountains outside/cups and jug. The jug is filled for the beginning of the session and re-filled as and when needed which is sterilized at the end of the day. Children also have a drink at snack and at lunch.
- As part of the curriculum we discuss healthy practices, including the need to drink water after physical exercise, hot weather.
- We also discuss healthy eating. We help children to understand why some foods are healthy and others are not.
- Children participate in cooking activities and gardening. They try foods from a range of cultures (respecting parental views and taking into consideration children’s dietary requirements).
Policy Last Updated: August 2017