Footsteps Daycare regards snack and mealtimes as an important part of the child’s day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children learn about healthy eating.
At snack and mealtimes, we aim to provide healthy, balanced and 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 setting, we find out from the parent/carer 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 the parent/carer to ensure our records of their child’s dietary needs including any allergies – are up to date.
- We display current information about individual children’s dietary needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully informed.
- 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/carer’s wishes.
- We display the menus of meals/snacks for the information of parent/carers.
- We provide nutritious food for all meals and snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fats, sugars, salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
- We include a variety of foods from the four main food groups;
– Meat, fish and protein alternatives.
– Dairy foods.
– Grains, cereals and starch.
– Fruit and vegetables.
- We include foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing new ones.
- 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.
- We provide a vegetarian alternative on days when meat or fish are offered.
- We require staff to show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies.
- 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 into account the eating practices in their cultures.
- We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children where they can obtain water and they can ask for water at any time of the day.
- In accordance with parent/carers wishes we offer children arriving early in the morning – and/or stay late an appropriate meal or snack.
- For children who drink milk, we provide whole pasteurised milk.
- For each child under one we provide parent/carers with daily written information about feeding routines, intake and preferences.
- Cooking is carried out weekly in the rooms. The cooking is usually based on the country of the month to ensure a variety of cultural foods are experienced. The practitioners always carry out correct food and hygiene procedures.
- Children are not allowed to bring in their own food or refreshments into the setting. This is to ensure the safety of children with dietary requirements’.
- All staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene.
- Any food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on premises must be reported to Ofsted as soon as it is reasonably practicable but not later than within 14 days of the incident.