Food and Nutrition
We are very committed to ensuring that all the children in our setting has a good knowledge of & enjoys eating healthy food. We aim to do this in a number of ways. Set out in this policy are our commitments and some ideas on healthy eating.
Eating well matters as good nutrition is essential for the mental & physical development in childhood. It is important that children get a balanced diet including foods from the 5 food groups. These are;
|Bread, cereals & potatoes||3-5 portions a day||Every meal & some snacks, mixture of white & whole grain|
|Fruits & vegetables||5 portions per day||Every meal & snack, can be dried fruit, tinned, frozen & juices|
|Milk & dairy foods||3 portions per day||Every meal, milk should be given as a drink not a meal replacement|
|Meat, fish & alternatives||2-3 portions a day||Includes eggs & nts. Red meat at least 2 a week, oily fish 1 per week|
|Foods high in fats & sugars||Small amount per day||All desserts should be milk/fruit based|
We want mealtimes to be a happy social occasion and a chance for children to learn important social skills and discussion techniques. We will try to encourage children to try new foods and try foods from other countries & cultures.
Breakfast is provided each morning between 8-9 am. We provide a selection of cereals which are lowin sugar and/or wholegrain.
A nutrition dense snack will be provided by the nursery each morning and afternoon. This is served as a free flow snack buffet serving food such as fruit, vegetables, breadsticks, crackers, dips, cheese and toast. Milk or water will be offered to drink. This is usually available for an hour so that they can eat when they are hungry but so we have time to access the garden. A practitioner sits with the children at snack time. If parents wish to bring a more substantial meal for tea they can.
We have a chef on-site who cooks the children’s lunch & tea each day. The menus are planned to follow the recommendations on the table above. The children receive a hot lunch and ether a milk or fruit based dessert. For tea the children either have a hot or cold snack with fruit. We have a 3-week rolling menu that changes every 3 months. Menus are displayed for the parents to see on each floor and can be emailed to you. Our chef has a basic food hygiene certificate and has attended training on food & nutrition
Babies in the nursery are catered for by providing food mashed to the desired consistency. Formula milk is provided for by parents and all bottles and teats are sterilised after each use. Mothers are welcome to breast feed in the nursery. We have a quiet area in the office that can be used.
The local council has assessed our menus and food preparation practices and we have been awarded a ‘Healthy Choice Gold Award’. More information on this can be found by using the following link
We aim to promote healthy eating through regular food related activities such as
- Food tasting
- Growing fruit & vegetables
- Interest tables
- Fruit & vegetable printing
- We produce a healthy eating cook book each year with the parents help.
We have resources such as books & play food to support these activities.
As we celebrate many Birthdays at Footsteps the children end up having lots of treats, you are welcome to bring in a Birthday cake & presents for their friends but you could offer dried fruit or balloons instead of sweets. If you would like to opt out of your child receiving sweets in their drawer, please let a member of staff know.
We understand that it is sometimes difficult to get children to have a healthy balanced diet and we will work with parents on issues such as fussy eating or food refusal. We would meet with parents to reassure them and to work together to come up with a consistent eating plan to be implemented at home and the setting.
The current guidance states that all children should be having supplements for vitamins A, C & D. These are called 'healthy start vitamins' and are available at your local children's centre which is 'North Portslade'. Some families may qualify for free supplements.
- Drinking water is available at all times throughout the day
- Children will be allowed a dessert even if they haven't finished their main
- Parents will be informed if their child is not eating well
- Withholding food will not be used as a form of punishment
- Children will be given time to eat and never rushed
- Children will be encouraged to play outside each day to ensure their bodies are exposed to sunlight which helps their bodies make vitamin D
- Cultural differences in eating habits will be respected
- Cool milk deliver ¾ pint per child free of charge
- Children will be encouraged to say please & thank you
- Younger children will be catered around their own daily routines.
- A child who refuses to eat will be offered food at another time
- All dietary requirements & allergies are recorded and catered for.
- Mothers are welcome to breastfeed on site. They can use the staff room.
We monitor the amount of food that is being thrown away. We tweak our menu's & portion sizes as a reult of this. We have a compost bin in the garden and we use this to dispose of kitchen waste & scraps. We have a recycling collection, Paper Round, who collect glass, plastic, paper, carboard & tins.
Staff training & development
Staff receive the following training
- Basic food hygiene – updated every 3 years
- Pediatric first aid – updated every 3 years
Alex Lyons our nutrition champion has attended the 'food & nutrition' course. She has lots of extra information if you are interested in finding out more.
We have been inspected by the Environmental Health inspectors and have been awarded 5 out of a possible 5 stars in the scores on the doors scheme. (www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk)