Support Children and Young People at Meal or Snack Times

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29.5.1Describe the setting’s code of conduct and policies for meal and snack times.

When it is snack or lunchtime, the children is asked to visit the toilet as well as to wash their hands, before coming to the table for their meals, in an orderly fashion.

The setting used meal and snack times to encourage the children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.

To protect children with food allergies, sharing or swapping of food between children are discourage.

Staff joins the children during lunch, and tries to make the occasion an enjoyable and sociable time for everyone and at the same time ensure there is not any rowdiness.

The children is encourage either by words or action by the staff how good table manners are. For example, not talking when our mouths are full or stretching across the table to get something.

When packed lunches are brought into the setting for lunch, parents are informed about our policy on healthy eating and is encouraged to put healthy items in their lunch boxes. The setting reserve the right to return food considered unsuitable, to the parent as a last resort.

19.3.2Describe with examples ways of encouraging children and young people:

Present food attractively
Involved children in growing food
Serve realistic portions
Encouraging children to eat food provided for them
Eat with children
Respect reasonable likes and dislikes
Negotiate realistic expectations
Involved children in the shopping, making menus and preparing of food

A colorful collection of fruits on a white plate, for e.g. contrasting strawberries against avocadoes, will present a more attractive display.

In the summer where space allows it, children can grow vegetables e.g. potatoes, carrots and radishes. It is also possible to grow salad indoors during the winter months in window boxes.

Adults should eat with the children during lunch, making the meal an enjoyable and sociable occasion. This does not mean loud and noisy.

Another way we could encourage the children and young people to eat the food provided for them is to involve them in all the stages it take for the food to get from the shop to the table. For e.g., take the children shopping (maybe not literally) – set up a pretend shop in the setting and let the children have a go at ‘buying’ the things they might need to make, a muffin, perhaps. Once the children have all the ingredients for the muffin, they can then start to cook/prepare it.

If the staff in a setting has talked with the children’s parents regarding their dietary needs, they normally have an idea about the children’s likes and dislikes. The children should be encouraged to try new food but not if it becomes an issue. The staff should learn to respect the children wishes to a certain extend.

If a child balks at eating his or her food, try to negotiate with them, encouraging them to take another bite or finishing her sandwiches before starting on her ‘sweets’.

Serving smaller portions seen to encourage children to finish what is on their plate. A plate pile high with food tends to put them off even before they start to

19.3.1Describe the food policy of the setting

Before any children start attending the setting we check with their parents, their dietary needs, in terms of their religious belief, any allergic or intolerance to specific food or if they are vegetarians or vegans.

We record all the information given in the children’s registration record and parents check it and sign that the information given is correct. The record is regularly updated.

Information concerning any child in the setting that has special dietary needs is displayed and every staff and volunteers is informed about them.

The snacks menus are on display, for parents to see.

The children are offered food that is considered healthy i.e. without excessive saturated fats, sugar, salt or artificial additives, preservatives...
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