Aims & ethos:
At Chingford House School we are aware of the importance of providing a healthy diet; nutritional meals are a contributory factor in thriving children and as such our aim is to establish healthy eating.
As an inclusive nursery, we acknowledge diversity of cultures; we bring awareness of these differences to the children through celebrating a range of festivals. We want the children to embrace their culture and that of others, some of this can be achieved through the varied menus that we provide.
We provide a pescatarian menu ensuring that meals are plentiful with fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, in addition to eggs and dairy.
We do not provide desserts for the children, but instead offer fruits or yoghurts.
Following recent parent surveys we have been revising our menus and we want to ensure that the meals that we offer have a good balance of healthy foods, meals that the children want to eat as well as incorporating their preferences; to this end, we name some of the children’s suggestions in the menus.
For health and safety reasons, children must be seated when eating; staff sit with the children to ensure this and to help promote social skills.
The menus follow a four-week cycle for a term; they will be emailed to the parents at the beginning of the term and will be displayed on the noticeboard outside the nursery.
We are happy to receive suggestions and encourage children and parents to be part of the menu planning.
Milk and water are the only drinks given at the nursery; parents are asked to provide a water bottle for their children who will be able to access water throughout the day (parents must not provide squash or fizzy drinks in the bottles).
We encourage babies to move from bottles to beakers when they are developmentally able, to support their oral health.
At Chingford House School, we have set times for meals:
- breakfast is served between 8-9am. We try not to provide breakfast after this time, so that children are sufficiently hungry to eat their lunch
- Lunch is provided at 11.30am
- Tea is served at 3pm.
- An afternoon snack of milk/water and fruit is served at 5pm.
We recognise that more and more children are becoming susceptible to food allergies as well as other allergens in the environment. We want to provide a safe environment where staff are vigilant to the children’s dietary needs without making the child feel overly self-conscious; where possible, we will find an alternative which is close to the food that they are not permitted to eat. Our focus and aims are to help the children to understand that there are foods that they cannot eat, yet empower them to make the best choices, whilst limiting the possibility of them eating the foods that they should not.
All children with a known allergy are included on an allergy list which is displayed in all rooms; further to this there is a photo display of the child, outlining their allergies and the days that they attend the nursery. All the children have a table mat and the children with allergies have a red mat, signifying that they have an allergy and that staff must check before giving them food.
Procedure for an allergic reaction:
Children who are intolerant of certain foods or environmental allergens may react adversely if they eat or come into contact with them, therefore staff will do the following:
- Look for possible reactions which may include hives, itchy/blotchy skin, vomiting/nausea, tummy pains, watery eyes, swelling to the mouth, wheezing or in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.
- Remove the child from the allergen (food, pollen etc.)
- Allow the child to drink some water and give them antihistamine (if consent has been given and parents have provided medication)
- For more severe cases (anaphylaxis), ensure that the child is sitting up and administer their auto- injector (i.e. epi-pen) into their thigh
- If the child has 2 auto-injectors, then administer the second one if necessary
- Ensure that the emergency services have been called
- Monitor the child until help arrives
- Ensure that parents have been notified
- Ensure that appropriate documentation is taken to the hospital with the child
- Key Person/familiar adult will accompany the child to the hospital if the parents do not arrive on time
The Manager will carry out an investigation following the event and will report back to the parents. Any recommendations and actions will be shared with the staff to limit the possibility of it happening again or to improve practice.
Policy Created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: August 2020 Date of next review: August 2021