Healthy Eating policy

Policy Statement

The Nursery regards snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Meal time represents a social time where children can learn about healthy eating.

The Nursery provides snacks and meals which are healthy and meet children’s individual dietary needs.

We recognise that healthier children learn more effectively and we strive to have an impact on health related issues such as obesity and poor dental health which are significant factors not only nationally but particularly in Newham.

We understand that early food experiences have an important effect on adult eating patterns and may influence attitudes to eating, so Nursery Moksliukas is committed to ensure that the provided food supports the development of healthy eating practices in future.

Aim of Policy

This policy is in place to inform parents and team members about nutrition and mealtimes at Nursery Moksliukas. It is in place to help identify and cater for individual food requirements and to promote healthy eating in a relaxed atmosphere.

Information about setting

Nursery Moksliukas- is a small chain of two private nurseries (this policy is for Canning Town nursery), offering full time and part time places for up to 63 children per day from 6 months till 5 year olds. Our families mainly come from eastern part of Europe, but the number of other backgrounds is growing too.

Most of the children attend full day (1-5 days/week) sessions. Nursery also provides a small number of only government funded part-time sessions (see relevant policy).

We provide carefully planned, cooked on site 4-weeks-menu of 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

The Nursery menu is displayed in the children’s rooms and individual copies can be provided for parents on request.

Nursery promotes healthy eating and oral health using resources within the nursery- informative displays, leaflets and  printed Start4Life booklets.

Under the Food Safety Act, 1990, persons preparing food are holding a food hygiene certificates or have been given training in the food hygiene procedures of the Nursery.

In October 2017 we were awarded a 5 Star rating given by Food Standards Agency for very good standards in food hygiene.  The rating is based on a review of systems and processes as well as the actual practice the inspector sees on the day of their ‘no notice inspection’.

 

Development and implementation of the food policy

The Deputy Manager, in conjunction with the nursery team, has discussed related issues and has worked together to review this policy. Key staff continues to attend relevant training and the needs of children 0-5 years have been taken into account in the light of the training received.

Aspects of Healthy Eating are raised with parents in a number of ways, including written information, displays, surveys and conversations with key staff.

Menus are planned in advance, and parents and children are encouraged to contribute menu suggestions.

All food is prepared on site from scratch by experienced cooks. All cooks have Food Hygiene level 2 certificates which renewed every 3 years.

As a source, we use ASDA and Lituanica shops and do deliveries twice a week to ensure fresh food and fruit/vegetables supply.

The Healthy Eating Policy is available on request and parents are invited to comment. For the staff we hold regular meetings to ensure good knowledge of healthy eating topics and to inform about issues and changes.

The policy will be reviewed triennially and the impact will also be assessed.

 

Information about eating environment

Meals are served for every group of children in their room. Older children’s independence is encouraged by letting them take turns to hand out plates, cups, cutlery etc, then wash up, dry up and wipe the table after the meal if appropriate to their age and development.

Children sit together and are encouraged to pour their own drinks, serve, cut food as appropriate and then to clear away after they have finished. Cups, bowls and spoons are later washed by an adult in the kitchen to maintain hygiene standards.

Children, if they are slow eaters, never rushed to finish their meal.

Staff is encouraged to model good eating habits by sitting and eating meals with the children. Practitioners initiate a lot of conversation, table manners, and use of words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

The areas, where children eat, are clean and bright- all tables cleaned before every meal with disinfectant. Older children use special individual (with children’s names) plate-mats for setting the table- they are introduced to rules of setting table and polite table manners.

A display related to healthy eating is located by the cloakroom area for parents’ information. Pictures of the children taking part in snack time or in cooking or tasting activities are often included in displays. In or near the bathroom areas there are pictures relating to healthy practices such as hand washing.

The Nursery uses meals and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves. Staff encourages children to try a bit of everything, but not make a fuss if they don’t want to. If the child shows fussiness about the offered meal, staff prompts children to eat the ‘healthy’ components of their meal before any ‘treats’. Children are praised when they try something new.

Water is available for children to help themselves to and additional water is provided (offered frequently) outside when the weather is hot.

During the Covid -19 outbreaks, tables and chairs to be wiped clean/sanitised prior to serving food. Staff and children will wash their hands before sitting down to eat. Hands should be dried on a single use paper towel and disposed of in a lidded bin. Children and staff will eat in their bubbles. Food will be brought, covered, from the kitchen to the bubble group by catering staff. Practitioners will plate up food away from the children’s table and serve children individually. Catering staff will collect leftover food and washing up to be returned to the kitchen. All crockery will be washed in the dishwasher after use.

Information on meals, snacks and drinks provided

Nursery Manager has completed her training on providing healthy and nutritious meals and snacks, and used guidelines from this training to compile a four-week menu. Now the menu complies with the guidelines on providing a balance of starchy foods, protein, dairy and fruit and vegetables.

The Nursery organises meals and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate.

The Nursery provides children with utensils that are appropriate for their ages and stages of development.

Nursery staff will provide feedback to parents regarding how their children have eaten through feedback sheets or verbal accounts at the end of child’s day.

During the Covid -19 outbreak, staff and children will wash their hands before snack time. They will eat snacks in their bubbles. Snacks will be brought, covered, from the kitchen to the bubble group by catering staff.  Practitioners will plate up snacks away from the children’s table and serve children individually. Catering staff will collect leftovers snacks and washing up to be returned to the kitchen. All bowls will be washed in the dishwasher after use. 

 

Meals/snacks

Nursery provides three meals and two snacks in between them.

  • Breakfast is served between 9.00 and 9.30, to ensure that everyone have had a breakfast.
  • Morning snack is at 11am
  • Lunch-12.30
  • 30- afternoon snack
  • Dinner-4pm

We offer fresh fruit and vegetables everyday for a snack and all other meals enhanced with wide offer of fresh and cooked vegetables and salads.

The Nursery menu includes a variety of foods from the four main food groups:

  • Meat, fish and protein alternatives
  • Dairy foods
  • Grains, cereals and starch vegetables
  • Fruit and vegetables

The Nursery takes care not to provide foods which contain nuts or nut products and is especially vigilant where we have a child or adult who has a known allergy to nuts.

We provide nutritious food at all snack and meal times, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings- low salt and sugar varieties are purchased and tinned vegetables and fish are in spring water rather than oil or salted water.

At the table children are asked to take a small portion initially and then they can have more, if they wish. Children are encouraged to eat all what they put into their plates by themselves.

Practitioners make notes how much every child ate- detailed reports will be given to parents in the evening. If a child constantly eats little or disposes of large amounts of food, the practitioners are advised to express their concerns to the Nominated person for Healthy Eating or a member of the Management Team.

The Nursery includes foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones.

The Nursery provides a meat/fish option everyday and a vegetarian alternative once a week.

A salad is placed in a separate bowl for the children to help themselves to- staff encourages children to help themselves to salad explaining how important it is to eat vegetables.

Depending on availability, children are offered a variety of different options for a snack throughout the week: vegetables/fruit (apples, carrots, oranges, pears, tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, etc.) for the morning snack and starchy food for the afternoon meal.

Individual dietary requirements required for medical or cultural reasons will be respected and, where possible, catered for.

Parents are encouraged to work with the Nursery Management Team creating the menu which is mostly suitable for all (and their child individually) children, that there may no need to provide the food for the child from home.

All eating problems (like fussy eating) will be discussed in a supportive and sensitive manner- offered strategies, courses in local Children centres, close monitoring and daily feedback for parents. All exemptions should be discussed and agreed prior to any further actions.

We will gather information from parents regarding their children’s dietary needs, including any allergies, during initial conversation on accepting the child to the Nursery. Where appropriate we will work alongside parents to put into place an individual diet plan for their child in a way to define possible allergies, while at the same time encouraging parents to get the allergy source confirmed by the doctor.

Drinks

The Nursery provides cow’s milk and oat drink for children with lactose intolerance.

All children in the Nursery are offered milk every day alongside their daily meals.

Water is freely available to all children and staff- a self-serve water tank (Britta) is in every room. Children are encouraged often to have a drink, especially on hot days.

No other drinks are offered to children instead of milk or water.

 

Packed Lunches

The nursery recognises that some children may require special diets that sometimes it is very hard for the Nursery to meet. If Nurseries meals don’t suit the child- there can be an option to bring their own food to the Nursery. In this case parents are urged to be responsible in ensuring that packed lunches are as healthy as possible.

Children, eating packed lunches, sit alongside their peers at the table in their rooms and are encouraged, in the same way, to eat what has been provided for them and not waste food. They should not be throwing away uneaten items at Nursery, so that parents are aware of what their child has consumed at Nursery.

We aim to encourage children to bring healthy packed lunches with a variety of foods. Practitioners and other staff on duty in the rooms are encouraged to express any concerns they may have regarding any children that consistently bring unsuitable options in their packed lunches. Management or nominated people for Early Help will then follow up with parents and monitor situations, as necessary.

As fridge space is limited in the Nursery, parents are advised to bring packed lunches in insulated bags with freezer blocks, where possible, to stop the food spoiling.

There is a number of ways to keep packed lunches cold:

  • commercial gel packs
  • water frozen in a rigid, leak-proof plastic container
  • ice cubes in a leak-proof container

Guidance for what to include:

Every day:

  • At least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables
  • Meat, fish or other source of non-dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, hummus, falafel)
  • A starchy food (e.g. bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other types of cereals)
  • Dairy food (e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese or custard)

It is recommended that an oily fish (e.g. salmon) should be included around once every three weeks.

Drinks: Only water (still), milk, yoghurt or milk drinks.

Guidance for what not to include:

  • Snacks, such as crisps. Instead, include savoury crackers or breadsticks.
  • Confectionery such as chocolate bars and especially sweets. Cakes and biscuits are allowed but encourage your child to eat these only as part of a balanced meal
  • Meat products such as sausage rolls, individual pies, corned meat and sausages/chipolatas should be included only occasionally
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Please be aware that we do have children and team members with severe allergies to nuts – thank you for not including them in your child’s packed lunches.

Children are allowed to bring their lunches into the setting in hard plastic boxes which will be sanitised by a designated member of staff on arrival to the nursery during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Food Allergies and special dietary requirements

The Nursery follows these procedures to promote healthy eating:

Before a child starts at the Nursery, parents provide details about their child’s dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies.

Where appropriate we will work alongside parents to put into place an individual diet plan for their child in a way to define possible allergies, while at the same time encouraging parents to get the allergy source confirmed by the doctor.

Each child’s dietary needs are recorded in the Children’s Personal Details Record and Food Allergies folder, where parents sign the form to confirm that dietary information is correct.

Parents are regularly consulted to ensure that the records of their children’s dietary needs are up-to-date. Parents sign the updated record to confirm that dietary information is correct.

The Nursery displays current dietary information about individual children in rooms and in the kitchen, so that all staff fully informed of them.

The Nursery implements systems to ensure that children only receive food and drink that is consistent with their dietary needs and preferences, as well as their parents’ wishes.

The Nursery takes care not to provide foods which contain nuts or nut products and are especially vigilant where we have a child or adult who has a known allergy to nuts.

Nursery staff will show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies. Staff does 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.

Nursery staff will provide feedback to parents regarding how their children have eaten through feedback sheets or verbally at the end of the day.

 

Celebration of special occasions

Celebrations are ideal for encouraging children to look for and to talk about kindness in others, sharing and to celebrate their family events and achievements. This could be done, for example, at birthdays, Mothers’, Fathers’ and Grandparents’ Day and also at circle times.

Parents are not encouraged to bring in any food for birthdays or special occasions. However, if they feel it is necessary, then they are permitted to bring in fruit/ vegetables or small cake (this will be re-discussed before September, 2019). For the cakes we ask not to bring anything with nuts, chocolate and a lot of sugar)- no more than 25gr of sugar per 100gr of the desert.

Cakes, sweets, crisps, etc are not allowed in the Nursery. If those brought- the food will not be given to children but sent back home at the end of the day.

If there is an occasion (Family Celebration or leavers’ day) when food has been brought in from home, then the food will be laid out and clearly signed (brought in from home, ingredients, etc) for parents to decide whether they would like their child to have it.

Below are some ideas for alternative celebrations:

Birthdays

  • Sing ‘Happy Birthday’
  • Children get to wear the settings birthday sash
  • Get children to create a cake made from playdough
  • Children get to wear a special birthday hat
  • Create a watermelon ‘cake’
  • Play party games such as musical status, pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs.
  • Children get to wear a birthday badge
  • Plan a special game or activity
  • Have a dance party

 

Other Special Occasions

  • Special themed arts and crafts activities such as cutting out snowflakes, drawings and colourings, cards or colourful paper lanterns
  • Decorate the room with creations from the children or balloons, banners and streamers
  • Sing traditional or cultural songs
  • Dress up in a themed/ cultural outfits
  • Read themed/ cultural story books
  • Create a healthy themed recipe with children. You could ask parents to submit healthy recipe suggestions.

 

Some cultural celebrations and festivities we celebrate include:

  • Christmas
  • Eid, Diwali
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day
  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  • Easter
  • Queen’s Birthday / Queen’s Jubilee
  • Bonfire Night
  • Remembrance Day
  • Harvest Festival
  • Charity events: Red Nose Day, Christmas Jumper day and etc.
  • Leavers’ celebration
  • Other celebrations mentioned in children’s “All about me” book  by parents

 

All information and ideas will be shared with parents during their induction day and healthy eating Policy is on display at parents’ sign-in desk.

Food preparation, storage and food safety

Nursery Moksliukas is committed to ensure that safe and healthy practices around the storage, preparation and service of food are maintained throughout the setting.

 

It is the responsibility of the Deputy Manager to ensure that all members of staff, involved in food preparation, are fully trained in Food Hygiene and that all members of staff understand and implement the policy.

It is the responsibility of all members of staff to ensure that safe practices are maintained in the preparation and storage of food and that all food hygiene practices comply with relevant legislation, training and policy.

Personal Hygiene

The setting has set high standards of personal hygiene for all members of staff involved in the handling and preparation of food.

Members of staff will be responsible for ensuring that any children involved with preparation of snack follow strict hygiene procedures (e.g. hand washing before handling food). In addition, any person showing signs of ill health will not be permitted to handle food.

 

Food deliveries

Food for the Nursery is ordered and delivered twice a week to ensure freshness of meats and vegetables/fruit.

For main suppliers we are chosen ASDA and Lituanica.

Responsibilities:

  • Nurseries cooks are responsible for planning food orders- this is done very thoroughly to prevent food waste.
  • The Nursery administrator does orders online (ASDA) or goes to pick up and deliver goods from the shop personally (Lituanica).
  • Nurseries cooks, together with the Deputy Manager, accept deliveries, check dates, quantities and qualities of delivered goods.

Food deliveries to be left in front of the main entrance (office area). Catering staff to observe social distancing when collecting and signing for delivery.  Catering staff to wash hands with soap and water after disposing of the packing if required.

 

Temperature Control

It is the policy to ensure that any and all foods are stored according to safe food handling practices and at the correct temperature in order to prevent the growth and multiplication of food poisoning organisms, to reduce the rate of food spoilage and to ensure that food quality is maintained.

It is the policy of Nursery Moksliukas to check and record fridge temperatures on a daily basis to ensure that the correct temperature is maintained (reminder of correct temperatures is on the fridge door as a sticker) – this is done daily by cooks.

The Nursery Deputy Manager is responsible for morning and end of day checks.

 

Food storage

All food is stored in the kitchen, no other facilities are used.

The kitchen is supplied with a fridge for fresh, freezer-for frozen foods. High shelves and cupboards- to keep dry foods.

Cooks themselves are responsible for cleanliness of all storages- cleanliness must be maintained daily by cleaning any spills immediately. Twice a year the more thorough cleaning is advised.

 

Food preparation areas

All meals and snacks are prepared in the kitchen by qualified/trained members of staff.

All surfaces are cleaned before and after any food handling, colour coded chopping boards are used to avoid any food contamination.

If snack preparation is used as children’s cooking activity- strict hygiene rules are followed in the rooms too (tables cleaned, aprons, gloves and cooks hats are used).

Staff qualifications

Under the Food Safety Act, 1990, persons preparing food must hold Food Hygiene certificates or have been given initial training in the food hygiene procedures of the Nursery.

In October 2017 the Nursery was awarded a 5 Star rating given by Food Standards Agency for very good standards in food hygiene.  The rating is based on a review of systems and processes as well as the actual practice the inspector sees on the day of their ‘no notice inspection’.

Infant Feeding Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all staff at Nursery Moksliukas understands their role and responsibilities in supporting expectant and new mothers and their partners to feed and care for their baby in ways which support optimum health and well-being.

Nursery believes that breastfeeding is the healthiest way for a woman to feed her baby and recognises the important health benefits known to exist for both, the mother, her child and society.

Nursery recognises the importance in helping parents develop close and loving relationships with their babies to optimise infant brain development.

All mothers have the right to receive clear and impartial information to enable them to make a fully informed choice as to how they feed and care for their babies.

Nursery Moksliukas staff will not discriminate against any woman in her chosen method of infant feeding and will fully support her when she has made that choice.

This policy aims to ensure that the services and care provided improve outcomes for children and their families with a particular emphasis on delivering:

  • increases in breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks
  • safe bottle feeding amongst parents who chose to formula feed, in line with nationally agreed guidance
  • an increase in safe and responsive feeding in babies who are formula fed, in line with nationally agreed guidance (UNICEF 2015)
  • increases in the proportion of parents who introduce solid food to their baby in line with nationally agreed guidance
  • improvements in parents’ experiences of care

The Nursery uses displays and Start4Life booklets to promote breastfeeding and safe formula feeding.

Nursery avoids promoting formula-milk and promotional materials from infant formula companies.

The children’s individual needs will be discussed with parents to ensure that they are met. Feeds will be prepared when they are required by the babies and not as part of the nursery routine.

 

Welcoming Atmosphere for Breastfeeding Families

Breastfeeding will be regarded as the normal way to feed babies and young children.

Mothers will be enabled and supported to breastfeed their infants in all public areas of premises whilst acknowledging that some mothers may prefer to feed in private. For private breastfeeding we have a cosy sofa room by the kitchen and main hall.

Posters in all public areas of the facility will inform users of this policy and of them welcome to breastfeed.

Employees of Nursery Moksliukas, who return to work whilst breastfeeding, will be supported in the continuation and maintenance of their lactation via expression of breast milk within a safe environment.

 

 

Breast Milk Policy

Nursery Moksliukas participates in the active encouragement of mothers to breastfeed their babies. Therefore, the Nursery has put into place a Policy and associated Procedures to detail those arrangements necessary for the safe storage and use of breast milk.

Containers

  • Breast milk should be brought to the Nursery in a sterilized bottle or in a sterile breast milk bag, suitable for the purpose of refrigerated storage and clearly marked with the infant’s full name.
  • Bottles will be returned to parents/carers at the end of each Nursery day. The containers will be washed, but not sterilized.
  • Parents must ensure that the container is sterilized before reuse.

Storage

Breast milk should be provided on a daily basis, unused milk will be discarded at the end of each feed.

Carers will ensure that the following Policy is strictly adhered to:

  • Breast milk is to be kept sterile at all times
  • DO NOT leave breast milk at room temperature for more than 1 hour
  • DO NOT heat breast milk on the stove or in the microwave

Nursery Breast Milk Procedures

The following procedures are to be used by all staff handling, storing or using breast milk to feed an infant:

On Delivery:

  • Ensure that the parent has provided the breast milk in an airtight bottle clearly marked with the child’s name and dated.
  • Breast milk is to be placed at the back of the fridge where it is the coolest prior to feeding an infant with breast milk.

Before feeding an infant with breast milk, ensure that:

  • A positive identification of the child is made, the date is checked and the correct breast milk is be fed to the correct child.
  • Staff to ensure that they put on gloves and an apron when feeding a child breast milk

Warming Breast Milk

  • Breast milk is to be warmed to a suitable body temperature by placing it in a bottle warmer or bowl with hot water.
  • The milk is then to be checked for temperature to ensure that the milk is cool enough for the baby to drink, using a temperature probe (should be around 37’C).
  • DO NOT HEAT breast milk on the stove or in the microwave.

Feeding an Infant with Breast Milk

  • Feed the baby as normal using a suitable bottle and teat.
  • Ensure that the baby is ‘winded’ correctly.

After feeding an infant with Breast Milk

  • Unused breast milk (in that bottle) is to be discarded after 1 hour
  • Record feed time and amount taken by the infant
  • Discard gloves and apron
  • After final feed or at the end of the day discard all thawed and unused breast milk stored for that child

Hygiene

Breast milk is a bodily fluid, which carries with it a (small) risk of infection and/or disease.

The Nursery Policy is to advise staff handling or carrying out the feeding of breast milk to protect themselves against the risks of infection by:

  • Implementing good hygiene practices
  • Using the PPE provided (advisable but not mandatory)
  • Avoiding actual contact with the breast milk
  • Only employees that hold a level 2 food hygiene, and have been trained in Safer Food Better Business or have undertaken training by management will undertake feed preparation duties.

 

Formula Milk Policy

On Delivery:

  • Provide either: a carton of ready to use formula milk, a sealed pre- prepared formula powder as originally purchased or prepared formula powder in a sealed airtight container (with suitable pre-measured compartments which is named) alongside a suitable named bottle
  • Provide suitable ready-made formula milk in cartons, which can be opened at Nursery then discarded at the end of the day. The Formula Milk carton is to be warmed as advised on the carton itself.

 

Formula Milk Procedures

The following procedures are to be used by all staff, handling, storing or using formula milk to feed a baby:

On Delivery: Ensure that the parent has provided the powder in an airtight container /or a carton of formula milk and bottle/s clearly marked with the baby’s name prior to feeding a baby with formula milk

Before feeding a child with formula milk, ensure that;

A positive identification of the baby is made, and the correct formula milk is fed to the correct baby

Preparing Formula Milk

To prepare a babies formula milk staff must:

  • Put on a disposable apron (advisable but not mandatory).
  • Read thoroughly the parents instructions to indicate the amount of water that is to be boiled.
  • Boil the kettle and leave to cool slightly.
  • Wash hands.
  • Measure the correct quantity of water into the bottle.
  • Allow the water to cool for at least 20 minutes so that a reaches a temperature of approximately 70’C degrees.
  • Mix into the water the correct measurement of formula powder from the pre-measured powder container.
  • Attach the sterilised teat and shake the bottle vigorously.
  • The milk is then to be tested using a temperature probe so that it is at body temperature (37’C).
  • If the milk is still too warm to feed the baby with, hold the bottle under cool running water until it cools.

Feeding a baby with Formula Milk

  • Feed the baby as normal using their bottle and teat.
  • Ensure that the baby is ‘winded’ correctly.

After feeding a baby with Formula Milk

  • Discard any milk that has not been used within 2 hours
  • Record feed time and amount taken by the baby

Sterilization of bottles teats:

  • Wash the bottles and teats with warm soapy water and put in a bowl with warm water (5 litres) in which 1 Milton tablet was dissolved- keep in it at least 15min.
  • The equipment is ready to use. No need to rinse.

Staff Responsibilities

  • Staff will follow the correct procedures for handling either formula or breast milk and will adhere to both Food Hygiene standards and Health and Safety guidelines.
  • Staff will adhere to this policy and its procedures.
  • Staff should record the amount of formula or breast milk consumed by the baby in the Baby’s Diary so that the parent can be informed of the child’s intake for that day.

During a feed:

  • Babies will never be left unsupervised. A member of staff (if possible their key person) should hold the baby and sit on the armchair in the baby-room.
  • Staff are not required to wear gloves or aprons when feeding bottles to babies as it is important to make them feel comfortable and to feed them in a ‘home like’ environment.

 

Introducing solid food

All mothers will be encouraged to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and then as a complement to appropriate solid foods until 2 years or beyond, as mother and baby desire. They should be informed that solid foods are not recommended for babies under six months (UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative 2008).

All information and resources about the introduction of solid foods should reflect the Department of Health recommendations.

All parents, during their induction to the Nursery, will have a discussion (provision of booklets) about when and how to introduce solid food including:

  • that solid food should be started at around six months
  • babies’ signs of developmental readiness for solid food
  • how to introduce solid food to babies
  • appropriate foods for babies
  • where to access additional information about the introduction of solids

Procedures:

Babies are introduced to solid foods no earlier than 6 months.

When your child is ready to start weaning, the team will allow them to experiment with different flavours and textures, based on their nutritional needs

Food for babies through the weaning stages will be provided. Child’s key person will discuss with parents the individual needs for their child and a Nominated person for Healthy Eating will be sure that the child receives individualised meals.

The Nursery will prepare formula milk and endeavour to follow baby’s home feeding routines. The Baby Room has a dedicated milk preparation area and we can also store and prepare bottles of expressed milk if you’re breastfeeding

Food for under 1’s is freshly prepared on site, following National health guidelines. Salt and sugar are not put into dishes prepared for babies.

All staff introduced through the training about Nurseries intention to work towards The Nutrition and Wellbeing Bronze Award and are encouraged to take part by attending trainings relevant to their role.

Staff is informed, encouraged to attend training, review information on booklets about benefits of breastfeeding, bottle feeding and terms of introduction to solid foods (healthy weaning), fussy eating and menu planning.

Staff is encouraged to promote a welcoming social environment during the meals’ time, be open to answer to parents’ questions and postpone to GP or local Children Centres.

The Nursery will inform parents who provide food for their child if aged under one year that:

  • Food provided is labelled with the child’s name, description of food and date of preparation. Unlabelled food will not be accepted.
  • Food can only be reheated once to a temperature of 83°c and that this is recorded on the Babies Food Temperature Log. Rice products cannot be reheated.

How does the policy link in with the curriculum and EYFS

Learning about food is integrated into our educational planning in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. Staff are encouraged to attend training (Nutrition and wellbeing award) about healthy eating, also participate in staff meetings where practical ideas and encouragement is provided.

Practitioners are encouraged to use every opportunity to talk about healthy food and lifestyles during the day- during the free play, meal times or planned activities.

  • PSED (Personal, Social and Emotional Development)
  • Meal times offer children experiences to taste different foods, overcome dislikes and learn how to share.
  • Cooking activities offer opportunities for learning through working with others and increasing self-esteem
  • PD (Physical Development)
  • Fine and gross motor skills can be developed through activities such as gardening, using knives and forks, preparing food and washing up.
  • Mealtimes can be used to help children make healthy food choices.
  • L (Literacy)
  • Many stories involve food. We use these to learn about ingredients, where food comes from (growing in the garden, harvesting and cooking and eating), and about food for special occasions from different cultures.
  • Language can be developed and senses explored through discussing and describing the taste, texture, size, look and smell of food.
  • M (Mathematics)
  • Activities such as counting out spoons or pieces of fruit when setting the table at snack time can support numeracy skills.
  • Sorting and matching foods into different types can help promote organisational skills and reasoning.
  • CL (Communication and Language)
  • Sitting together around the table is a good way to teach conversation and social skills such as looking after neighbours.
  • UW (Understanding the World)
  • Food tasting activities teach children about ingredients, the seasons and where food comes from including food from different cultures.
  • Growing fruit and vegetables teaches children where food comes from, life cycles, about gardening and looking after plants, and it’s a good form of physical activity.
  • ExAD (Expressive Arts and Design)
  • Art activities can encourage children with food and alert them to colours and shapes.

 

 

 

Cooking with children

Cooking with children is an enjoyable activity and an effective way to encourage all children to try and eat a wide range of foods. Practitioners are encouraged to do cooking activities at least once a week.

Recipes are chosen to promote and encourage healthy diets, and extend family experiences. All recipes involve mixing, combining and assembling activities such as dips, cupcakes and scones, layered fruit and yoghurt pots.

Activities are well planned to be as safe as possible. Children may need help from their adult and the activity is carefully supervised by staff. In the event sweet foods such as cakes or biscuits are made these are eaten here as part of a meal, or taken home to do so, to best protect dental health.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, early years providers should use reasonable endeavours to meet the existing learning and development requirements, instead of this being something they ‘must do’. What this means in practice: The most important thing is that children of critical workers and vulnerable children are cared for within settings. As far as possible, children should also benefit from a broad range of educational opportunities. In our Nursery – as early years providers, we  should try and meet existing requirements as far as is possible during the COVID-19 outbreak, we recognise that these are extraordinary times and there may be occasions where it will not be possible to provide activities and experience across all seven areas of learning for all children all of the time.

 

Protecting children’s health- being active

The nursery takes seriously a responsibility to protect children’s health, including helping children to maintain a healthy weight as they grow, and encouraging breastfeeding and good dental practices. We are working towards Baby Friendly Initiative and have a clear policy about infant feeding.

Nursery promotes health and development in relation to diet and being active in relation to maintaining a healthy weight. We signpost to health professionals if there is a known concern that children are gaining weight too rapidly or are growing too slowly, or if there are concerns about a child’s eating behaviour for dietary advice.

We promote by giving leaflets about Healthy Start vitamin drops containing vitamins A, C and D for children aged 6 months until their fourth birthday, and for adults who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Regular physical activity during the early years provides immediate and long-term benefits for physical and psychological well-being. We actively and through displays promote that all children aged under five years should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (being restrained or sitting) for extended periods (except time spent sleeping).

We include physical activity in all sessions, e.g. walking, active play and games, and offer some purely physical activity sessions too. Children are more likely to maintain a healthy weight if they are physically active for at least 180 minutes (three hours) each day, as recommended for children aged under five years in the UK (Department of Health). The nursery encourages practitioners to use outdoors areas as much as weather permits by promoting a free flow between the room and outdoors or organizing outdoors’ time at least for 2 hours per day in colder seasons.

 

Provision for staff

Staff is encouraged to eat Nurseries food (by making it at low cost and affordable) sitting together with children and showing a good example of table manners and supporting them to try new foods and learn about healthy eating.

Of course, if staff prefers to have their own meal- it is allowed in rooms if it still promotes healthy eating. No nuts.

If staff prefers to have meals in peace-there is a staff room, which they may use during their break time. There is a fridge, kettle, sink, Britta water tank, and microwave for them to use.

During Covid-19 outbreak, we aim to ensure:

  • Staff should not group together at breaks or lunch times.
  • Staff should use staff kitchen facilities one at a time.
  • Break times will be staggered as much as possible.
  • Staff should wash their hands on entering staff spaces and on returning to their bubbles.
  • Staff should cover their clothes if leaving the setting during a break and should maintain social distancing during this time.
  • It is recommended that staff bring food to work, rather than purchase it from local shops.

 

 

Communicating the policy to parents

Nursery strives to promote healthy eating habits and good nutrition amongst children and their families by creating displays, offering leaflets, by daily chats and organised parents’ evenings, where we share Nurseries philosophy and explain how healthy eating and good nutrition are integral part of the curriculum for children.

Time to time, Nursery invites other professionals such as a paediatrician, nutritionist or dentist, to speak at parents’ evenings for families to promote healthy eating and lifestyles.

Nursery displays weekly menus where families can see them (in every room and copies may be obtained in the office to take home) and highlights the nutritional value when and where possible.

Nursery actively offers information to families, and anyone entering the setting, about local services, agencies and other resources in the community which promote a healthy lifestyle.

Nurseries healthy Eating policy is on display at Parents’ signing in place, where parents may become familiar with content and make suggestions.

 

Policy review

The policy first time was updated, following Early Start recommendations, in March, 2019.

The first update will be done for September, 2019, after that- every 3 years.