Healthy Eating

Aim

Our aims are:

  • To provide children under 5 with a wide and nutritionally balanced diet to develop their health, growth and well being.
  • To show children that meal times are a good time to socialise with each other and to share food together
  • To provide those children attending the nursery with a high quality nutrition service and with food that is nutritious and well prepared.

Background information

Research has shown that the provision of a nutritionally balanced diet is a vital part in the healthy growth and development of children. King Square Community Nursery recognises this link.  We comply fully with current, relevant nutritional standards including Section 3: Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework and Healthy School Lunches for Pupils in Nursery Schools/Units — Guidance for School Caterers on Implementing National Nutritional Standards.

We also understand that high standards of food hygiene in early years settings are critical. Lapses in food hygiene can lead to outbreaks of food poisoning which for small children can be very serious, even fatal. To ensure high standards of food safety this setting therefore complies fully with all food hygiene and safety standards and regulations including The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005.

Our lunchtime supervisor is fully trained to a level 2 in food safety catering.

Eating a varied diet

This organisation believes that the provision of high quality and nutritionally balanced meals, snacks and drinks is a key element in the effective care of children in early years settings. In addition, the organisation considers that mealtimes represent an important social occasion for children which they should look forward to. Thus the organisation will endeavour to ensure that mealtimes are as enjoyable as possible and that children are taught appropriate ways to behave when eating.

We believe that children should eat a varied diet because this is associated with better health as it is more likely to contain all the vitamins and minerals the body needs.

They should eat foods from each of the four main food groups every day. The four main groups are:

  • Bread, other cereals pasta, rice and potatoes
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Full fat milk and dairy foods
  • Meat, fish or alternatives such as pulses (peas, beans, lentils and soya)

Equal Opportunities

All children and their parents/carers should be respected as individuals and their food preferences and religious requirements should be accommodated. This is done by parents/carers preparing healthy packed lunches daily for their child and by celebrating different festivals and encouraging families to share how they celebrate the festival and the food, which is associated with it.

All that the children bring with them to their place of care is their race, gender, family background, language culture and religion, this should be valued in order for children to feel accepted and accepting of themselves. It is important to value the contributions which different cultures and nationalities make to the variety of foods eaten.

Meals provided

If your child has an extended day at the nursery (8am – 6pm) they will receive the following:

Breakfast

8.00am

Morning snack

10.00am

Lunch

12.00pm (Packed Lunch provided by parents/carers)

Afternoon snack

3.00pm

Tea

5.00pm

If your child has a part time place they will receive one snack and if they have a core day they will receive two snacks plus a lunch (provided by parents/carers)

Special dietary requirements/Food allergies

If your child needs a special diet or suffers from any food allergies then a complete list of what your child CAN and CANNOT eat must be provided on the day your child starts nursery.

Birthday and Leaving Parties

Birthdays are a very important event for many children and the most important part of the ritual is blowing out the candles on a cake. We encourage our children to bake a healthy cake with their friends and key person in the setting. We also celebrate the times when children are moving onto school. Instead of sweets parents could provide party decorations, e.g., balloons, streamers, hats, table decorations etc.

Festivals and celebrations

Festivals provide a valuable opportunity to include special occasion foods and to extend knowledge and awareness of other cultures. Parents are welcome to bring specialised foods to share but please discuss this with the key worker prior to the celebration due to our children’s special dietary requirements.

Food suggestions

 

Party Food

Healthy Snacks

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit

Carrot sticks

Cheese

Cucumber sticks

Toast (brown bread)

Dips

Home made Popcorn (without sugar or salt)

Bread sticks

Sandwiches

Hummus

Home-made/ plain biscuits

Varied bread

Dried fruit

Dried fruit

Rice Cakes

Sandwiches

Low fat fruit yogurt

 

Manager’s Role

  • Ensure all staff have basic knowledge about childhood nutrition and the importance of diet in child development
  • Ensure that any meals, snacks or drinks provided are healthy, balanced and nutritious
  • Ensure that those responsible for the preparation and handling of food are properly trained, equipped and competent
  • Implement food safety policies by having effective management of food safety systems
  • Ensure that all food is stored, prepared, cooked and served in a hygienic and competent way in compliance with all food safety legislation and best practice
  • Notify Ofsted of any food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on the premises
  • Obtain, record and act on information from parents about a child’s dietary needs
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities under food hygiene legislation including registration with the relevant Local Authority Environmental Health Department
  • Keep careful records of all food hygiene activities conducted.

Staff’s Role

  • The weekly snack and meal menu will be on display in advance
  • The weekly menu will provide children with a varied, healthy and nutritionally balanced diet
  • All children will be offered suitable foods, including children with special dietary requirements and allergies
  • Early session children who do not receive breakfast at home will be offered this when they arrive, in agreement with parents or guardians
  • Milk or water will be served with morning and afternoon snacks
  • All dairy products used in the nursery will be full fat
  • Water will be available at all times
  • Milk, water or diluted fresh fruit juice will be served with the main meal
  • Children will be allowed to have second helpings of fruit or milk-based desserts if available
  • Children will still receive dessert if they refuse their main course
  • Parents or guardians will be advised if their child is not eating well
  • Advice will be given to parents or guardians about suitable food to bring from home, including suitable party foods and healthy options for packed lunches
  • Parents of children who are on special diets will be asked to provide as much written information as possible about suitable foods, and in some cases may be asked to provide the food themselves
  • Carers will sit with children while they eat and will provide a good role model for healthy eating
  • Withholding food will never be used as a form of punishment or coercion and food will not be used as an incentive for good behavior
  • Children will be encouraged to develop good eating skills and table manners and will be given plenty of time to eat.
  • Support developing independence and confidence when children are table setting and clearing.
  • Encourage children to try foods offered
  • Use meal times as an opportunity to talk about healthy eating
  • Teach table manners,i.e to be seated, to encourage children not to talk with food in their mouths, to give children enough time to eat, to encourage children to use please and thank you
  • Encourage health and safety when eating e.g. using utensils
  • Drinking water in jugs and cups are available at all times to children, to promote children’s self help skills

Children’s role;

  • To take turns, setting tables and clearing tables
  • To learn to use a knife and fork and spoon appropriately
  • To develop skills and increase knowledge of healthy eating through exploration and cooking and discussion
  • To share experiences with peers and adults
  • To develop social skills with reference to their age and stage of development
  • To develop understanding of healthy foods and confidence to explore new tastes
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