Statement of Intent
Polstead Preschool is committed to providing healthy, nutritious and tasty food and drinks for children during our sessions. The staff will make every effort to ensure that food and drink are safely prepared and sensitive to the dietary, religious and cultural requirements of all the children. Preschool regards snack and meal times as an important part of the session as it represents a social time for children and adults, and helps children to learn about healthy eating.
Preschool recognises the importance of healthy eating and a balanced and nutritious diet. Because of this, Preschool will endeavour to make a variety of foods available including vegetarian and vegan options, plenty of fruit and low fat/salt/sugar food. The Topic 'Healthy Eating' is incorporated in our curriculum to promote healthy eating using a variety of materials, resources and activities.
Preschool will not regularly provide sweets for children and will avoid excessive amounts of fatty or sugary foods. Preschool will provide fresh fruit and vegetables, rice cake, water or milk at snack time and make sure that fresh drinking water is available at all times. We inform children about how to obtain the water and that they can ask for water at any time during the session.
Cultural and Religious Diversity
Preschool is committed to embracing the cultural and religious diversity of the families who use our services. The staff will work with parents/carers to ensure that any particular dietary requirements are met. Preschool is also keen to help introduce children to different religious and cultural festivals and events through different types of food and drink.
- The Management Committee is responsible for drawing up, approving and communicating food and drink policy.
- The Supervisor is responsible for providing food and drink to the children and ensuring food and drink policy is adhered to.
- The Supervisor must ensure that staff who store, prepare and handle food receive appropriate training and understand, and comply with Food Safety and Hygiene regulations.
- Before a child starts to attend the 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 his/her 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 children’s dietary needs - including any allergies - are up to date. We display current information about individual children’s dietary requirements 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 parents’ wishes. We require staff 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 the child feel singled out because of his/her diet or allergy. In order to protect children with food allergies, we have rules about children sharing and swapping food with each other.
- We plan menus in advance, involving children and parents in the planning. Menus are displayed for the information of the parents. Snacks are prepared by a member of staff using disposable gloves and a range of different coloured chopping boards, when required. We organise snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate. We use snack time to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves. Fruits and vegetables are cut into size appropriate for the age of the children. For children who drink milk, we provide semi-skimmed pasteurised milk. We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food.
- Packed lunches
- The Preschool does not provide cooked meals and the children are required to bring packed lunches. Parents are informed that they need to:
- -provide a healthy and balanced lunch with a water bottle, with a sports cap top, for their child
- -the packed lunch box/bag must contain an ice pack to keep food cool
- -pre-packed food in hard-to-open packaging should be either partly opened or kept in an easy-to-open containers to help promote their child's independence
- -fruit/vegetables that require peeling or cutting, eg. satsumas or apples, need to be already peeled or cut up
- -fruit and vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes and grapes, must be halved or quartered depending on size
- -food must NOT contain any NUTS
- The Preschool ensures staff sit with children to eat their lunch in order to supervise and promote positive table manners and so that the mealtime is a social occasion
- All food and drink is stored appropriately to ensure it is not contaminated and kept at the correct temperature. Temperature of the fridge is checked and recorded weekly.
- Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings - Children's Food Trust, Oct 2012
- Food in Schools - Ofsted, Jun 2010