FOOD AND DRINK

Policy statement

Little Rockets  regards snack and meal times as an important part of the setting’s day.  Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating.  At snack times we aim to provide nutritious food, which meets the children’s individual dietary needs.  We encourage parents to pack a nutritious lunch for any children staying for lunch.

Procedures

We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting:

    Before a child starts attending our setting, we find out from parents their children’s dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies.
    We record information about each child’s dietary needs in their registration record and parents sign the record to signify that it is correct.
    We regularly consult with parents to ensure that our records of their child’s dietary needs, including any allergies, are up to date, however it is the parents own responsibility to inform us of changes to this information when it happens.
    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 parent’s wishes.
    We plan snacks in advance, using a choice of fruits, breadsticks, toast, vegetables etc.  We only provide water or milk for the children to drink.  We encourage parents to only supply water or milk in packed lunches.
    We provide nutritious food for all snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar, salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
    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 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 organise meal and 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, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.
    We provide children with utensils that are appropriate for their ages and stages of development, and that take account of the eating practices in their cultures.
    We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children in the classroom.
    In order to protect children with allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping food with one another.

Packed lunches

Little Rockets does not have a large enough fridge to store all the children’s packed lunches in, so we request that each parent puts an ice block in their child’s lunchbox, and chooses foods that are unlikely to spoil.

Little Rockets informs parents of our policy on healthy eating.

Little Rockets encourages parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, a snack bar, cucumber, tomatoes etc.  We discourage sweet drinks and can provide children with water or milk.

We discourage packed lunch contents which consist largely of crisps, processed foods, sweet drinks and sweet products such as cakes and biscuits.

We provide children bringing in packed lunches with plates, cups and cutlery, if required, and ensure staff sit with the children when they eat their lunch, so that the mealtime is a social occasion.