This Nutrition Policy forms a part of the overall policy for delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum at PasturesWayNursery School and Children’s Centre. Related policies include: Policy for Mealtime Supervisors, Policy for Physical Development, and Policy for Personal, Social, and Emotional Development (PSED).
This policy was written by the Senior Leadership Team. It has been approved by the whole school staff, wider school and children’s centre community and the governing body.
At Pastures Way we believe that it is important to provide an environment where children have an opportunity to develop healthy eating practices from an early age. We work together with the school cook, staff, parents / carers, dieticians, the oral health team and other professionals to engender a positive approach to food. The basis of healthy eating is to provide a balance, give opportunities to explore different tastes and textures, without any pressure, and to offer a range of foods from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
We also believe that good nutrition and a low sugar diet makes a difference to the oral health of the children attending our setting. In Luton children have the highest levels of tooth decay in the East of England region. On average 5 teeth are decayed out of the usual set of 20 teeth that children have. 72% of children nationally are registered with a dentist. This number drops to 50% in Luton. Those from deprived backgrounds are worst affected because of poor diet, lack of dental education and never being taken to see a dentist by their parents. As a result, about 80% of all dental disease in children occurs among those in social classes IV and V. Children in poorer areas can have eight times as many dental problems as those in better-off families (Guardian 11.1.11)
Studies have shown that children who attend a dentist surgery have better oral health and their families are more motivated to keep better oral health at home. Some parents believe that children do not need to brush their teeth until their first birthday, but children need to brush with fluoride toothpaste from the emergence of their first tooth. This is particularly important in Luton where fluoride is not added to the water supply. The worst incidences of oral health are found in the West of Luton where our Nursery School and Children’s Centre is based. At Pastures Way an oral health survey in 2010 showed that 42% of our children are registered with a dentist.
- To meet nutritional guidelines for snacks, meals and drinks as produced by the Under-5s Healthy Eating Award Group, and in line with Bedfordshire Health’s ‘Taste For Life’
- To provide a low sugar diet in line with recommendations from the oral health team
- To educate children towards becoming healthy adults with a healthy lifestyle
- To give children and adults the knowledge to enable them to make appropriate choices regarding their own health
- To encourage good hygiene practice with children and adults
- To involve parents / carers in positively promoting and establishing healthier eating practices
- To encourage healthy options when food based activities are being developed
- Children will have a period of relaxation and play after lunch (outside whenever possible) as set out in the Children’s Act 1989 so that they are refreshed and ready for the afternoons activities
- Lunchtime supervisors will follow this policy and the guidelines for mid-day supervision
- One new food and fruit per month will be offered at snack, lunch and tea
- We grow food in our kitchen garden so that children can learn about the food chain / cycle
- Offer a diverse choice of food, at snack time and during other food based activity
- Offer low sugar choices at snack time and during other food based activity
- Offer milk and water as the drink options
- Set good examples for the children and act as positive role models
- Provide opportunities for new taste experiences, giving children time to explore and experiment with different foods
- Show respect for cultural differences
- Provide opportunities for children to experience food from different cultures
- Allow children to express their likes and dislikes without undue pressure
- Teach children appropriate ways to request and refuse foods
- Encourage children to use an open top cup from the age of 6 months
- Work with parents to discourage bottle use over the age of one year
- Encourage children to use appropriate cutlery
- Ensure children do not move around with food and sit in an appropriate setting to eat eg at a table, on a picnic blanket etc
- Ensure children are given the opportunity to share mealtimes or snack with other children and adults
- Give positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviour during mealtimes
- Offer support and training to all adults working with children to ensure a positive and consistent approach
- Plan food activities in line with the guidelines produced by the Under-5s Healthy Eating Award Group
- Work with parents / carers to promote healthy eating, including giving information in our prospectus, this policy and at home visits
- Parents of children who are on special diets will be asked to provide as much information as possible about suitable food and in some cases may be asked to provide the food themselves
- Children will be encouraged to play outdoors every day. This will ensure that they have an opportunity to be exposed to sunlight which helps their bodies make Vitamin D
- Have a range of real cooking and kitchen role play equipment from different cultures
- Have role play areas to support educating children about healthy eating choices eg a dentist, a Chinese restaurant etc
At Pastures Way we celebrate children’s birthdays by:
- Lighting candles on a pretend birthday cake
- Singing Happy Birthday
- Offering the opportunity to wear the birthday hat during the celebration, then for the whole day if desired
- We give the child a birthday card and sticker to take home
At Pastures Way we often taste food during our celebrations
- We have cooking activities using traditional recipes and if possible have parents, staff, volunteers etc showing us how to cook and eat the food in a traditional way
- Sometimes for big celebrations we have buffet food set out in classes 3 and / or 4
- The food we provide for celebrations reflects the culture being celebrated and will follow our healthy eating and low sugar guidelines
For all breastfeeding mothers (mothers of nursery children and visitors), we provide a comfortable and private area for them to feed their babies. Debra King, our Children’s Centre Coordinator is also our breastfeeding counsellor, able to offer support and guidance with any issues surrounding breastfeeding, as well as lend breast milk pumps and books on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers are welcome to attend any of the Children’s Centre activities including our new baby, baby massage and PEEP groups.
We will actively promote an awareness of cultural differences and respect the views and practices of others. Staff will differentiate food related activities through resources, support or expectation to meet the needs of the individual children. We will ensure that all children have equality of opportunity and access to food based activities.
The individual needs of all children will be recognised. The SENCo is responsible for ensuring all staff dealing with children with SEN are aware of their difficulties and needs and to ensure that appropriate differentiation strategies are employed to ensure their inclusion in food based activities.
Recipe books, crockery and cooking ingredients and utensils are kept in Class 4.
Lunchtime mealtime boxes with crockery for each class are kept in the kitchen and brought into each class at the start of lunchtime.
Staff may order food for snack, cooking and other food based activities from the weekly Tesco order. The order form is kept in the office. Food needs to be ordered by a Thursday morning and arrives on a Monday morning.
KUW resources include relevant books, games and activities, and are stored in Class 2 and the Central Store. Adult information books about nutrition, PSED and Physical Development are kept in the staff room library and the parents’ library and may be signed out to borrow by staff.
Staff CPD opportunities
We want to ensure that all staff feel confident and comfortable to
support food provision and activities. We will do this by providing:
- Well organised, labelled and easy to use books and equipment
- Staff training opportunities in planning meetings, staff meetings, INSET days
- Relevant books, early years professional magazines to borrow, handouts and information displayed on staff notice boards
- Opportunities to observe other staff facilitating food provision and activities in story / group times and during nursery activity sessions
- An environment that expects staff to work together as a team and to be supportive, respectful and caring to each other
Responsibility, management and coordination
- The Head teacher has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy, along with the Healthy Eating Co-ordinators
- The midday mentor will supervise staff and deal with emergencies
- Please note that all staff are expected to take responsibility for the care and tidying away of equipment
Agreed by Governors: Jan 2012
Review Date: Jan 2014