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;

Group Daily Amount Comments
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 can be provided by the parent in the morning, a breakfast table is set up each morning between 8-9.
Examples of healthy breakfast includes

  • Fortified breakfast cereals that contain less sugar & salt such as rice krispies & shreddies.
  • White or wholemeal toast with margarine or other spread
  • Fruit

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.

All the children have a nutritious, hot lunch & pudding each day provided by our chef Terry, who is based at our Hove branch.There is a rolling 3 week menu which is changed every 4 months. All allergies & dietary requirements are catered for. Terry has been awarded a Healthy Choice Gold Standard Award for their menu's, cooking practices and commitment to the environment and reducing food waste. ( All food is included in the nursery fees.

We aim to promote healthy eating through regular food related activities such as

  • Food tasting
  • Cooking
  • 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.

Food hygiene

Food is devered daily from the Hove branch. We check food temperatures before serving with a hot food probe to ensure that the temperature is over 63 degrees. If it s not then the food is reheated to a temp of 75 degrees.. Food temperatures are recorded along with fridge temperatures.

Staff training & development

Staff receive the following training

  • Basic food hygiene – updated every 3 years
  • Pediatric first aid – updated every 3 years

Hannah Moss 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 deemed as a low risk establishment. ( we have been awarded 5 out of a possible 5 stars.

Please refer to our Healthy Early Years Board by the children's drawers.