Nutrition, Mealtimes and Allergy Policy

Mealtimes should be a happy social occasion for children and staff alike. Positive interactions should be shared at these times and enjoyed. Chingford House Nursery School is committed to offering children healthy, nutritious and balanced meals and snacks which meet the individual needs of the children.
We will ensure that a balanced and healthy breakfast, midday meal and tea are provided for the children.

Menus are planned in advance, rotated regularly and reflect cultural diversity and variation. The menu is on display daily in the entrance to the nursery and circulated to parents. We provide nutritious food at all meal times, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.

Individual dietary requirements are respected. We gather information from parents regarding their children’s dietary needs including any special dietary requirements before a child is admitted to the nursery. Where appropriate, we will carry out a risk assessment in the case of allergies and work alongside parents to put into place an individual dietary care plan for their child. We do not use a child’s diet or allergy as a label for the child, or make the child feel singled out because of his or her diet.

Staff set a good example. They sit at the table with the children and use these meal times so that they are social occasions. Staff encourage children to eat and give them choices about eating food. During meal time and snack times children are encouraged to use their manners and say “please” and “thank you” and conversation is encouraged.

Fresh drinking water is constantly available and accessible. It is frequently offered to children and babies and intake is monitored.

Staff use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making healthy choices and understand the need for healthy eating. Any child who shows signs of distress at being faced with a meal he/she does not like will have his /her food removed without any fuss. If a child does not finish his /her first course he/she will be offered a portion of fruit.

No child is left alone when eating /drinking to minimise the risk of choking.

We promote positive attitudes to healthy eating through play opportunities and discussions.

Allergy and Nut-free policy

This policy is concerned with a whole nursery approach to the health care and management of those children suffering from specific allergies. Chingford House Nursery School is aware that children who attend may suffer from food, bee/ wasp sting, animal or nut allergies and we believe that all allergies should be taken seriously and dealt with in a professional and appropriate way. Chingford House School does not guarantee a completely allergen-free environment, rather to minimise the risk of exposure and plan for an effective response to possible emergencies. The Statutory Framework states that the provider must obtain information about any dietary requirements/allergy. As such, we ask parents to provide details of any allergies in the child’s registration form, which is submitted before starting nursery.

As part of our strategy to reduce the risk of exposure, we request that no food products containing nuts are to be brought into the building. We hope this will reduce the risk of any child, who may have, or develop, an allergy to nuts coming into contact with a food product which could potentially be very harmful to them.

We realise that many foods are labelled as having ‘traces of nut’ or ‘cannot guarantee nut-free’ which are very difficult to avoid. We will speak to parents of any children who join the setting who have a nut allergy to establish the severity of the allergy and put in place a risk assessment. In order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction for a child in our care, we will:

• Make sure cooking ingredients do not include nuts
• Inform all new parents of this policy
• Remind families periodically in our newsletters

We ask parents:
• If bringing a cake/biscuits/cookies into the nursery to celebrate your child’s birthday to ensure that the list of ingredients does not include nuts.
• To not bring in any other products that might contain nuts, such as snacks or milk.

Policy Reviewed: 9th April 2019