6.5 Food and drink
At Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup, our provision regards snack and meal times as an important
part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating. At snack and meal times, we aim to provide nutritious food, which
meets the children's individual dietary needs.
During the COVID-19 outbreak the following procedures must be followed:
- Babies and Toddlers hands
are washed prior to being given food or drink.
- Staff who are eating with
the children must role-model hygiene best practice.
- Tables are never
overcrowded during mealtimes. Some social distancing is encouraged even though it is acknowledged that children will play in close proximity for the rest of the session.
We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting.
- Before a child starts to attend the setting, we find out from parents their children's dietary needs and preferences,
including any allergies. (See the Managing Children who are Sick, Infectious or with Allergies policy.)
- We record information about each child's dietary needs in her/his 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. Parents sign the up-dated record to signify that it is correct.
- We display current information about individual children's dietary needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully
informed about them.
- We inform parents at their child’s induction of the types of snacks we provide for the children, and encourage families
to send a piece of fruit per week to share.
- 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 provide nutritious food for all snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial
additives, preservatives and colourings, using the red, amber, green food guidance.
- We include a variety of foods from the main food groups:
- dairy foods;
- grains, cereals and starch vegetables; and
- fruit and vegetables.
- We include foods from the diet of each of the children's cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods
and introducing them to 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.
- 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
- We require staff to 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 a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.
- We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff
- We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and
- 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. We inform the children about how to obtain the
water and that they can ask for water at any time during the day.
- We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in the
- We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food.
- In order to protect children with food allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping their food with one
- For children who drink milk, we provide semi-skimmed pasteurised milk.
At Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup, We:
- ensure perishable contents of packed lunches are refrigerated or contain an ice pack to keep food
- inform parents of our policy on healthy eating;
- encourage parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based deserts such as yoghurt or crème
fraîche. We discourage sweet drinks and can provide children with water or diluted low sugar juice;
- We would discuss with parents and give ideas for healthier alternatives for packed lunch contents that consist largely
of crisps, processed foods, sweet drinks and sweet products such as cakes or biscuits.
- staff take time to sit with children, so that the mealtime is a social occasion
- Regulation (EC) 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs
- Safer Food, Better Business (Food Standards Agency 2008)
This policy was adopted at a meeting of
Thorpe Acre Playgroup
(name of provider)
Date to be reviewed
Signed on behalf of the management committee
Name of signatory
Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Healthy and Active Lifestyles for the Early Years (2012)
- Nutritional Guidance for the Under Fives (2009)
- The Early Years Essential Cookbook (2009)
UPDATED June 20