Greenfields regards snack and meal times as an important part of the day and use this opportunity to support and promote social development and for children to learn about healthy eating. Nutritious food and drink are essential for children’s wellbeing. We encourage children to gain an understanding of how food and water is essential to their health. Our aim is to meet individual dietary requirements wherever possible to promote children’s healthy growth and development.
At Greenfields we provide a meat-free menu to all children. This serves the majority of dietary requirements in the communities that the nurseries are based. Where there are dietary requirements outside of this we aim to be flexible and provide alternative foods wherever possible. We provide a balanced menu that contains carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables and fat within our meals and snacks as recommended. Meals are repeated regularly to encourage children to learn to enjoy a healthy diet. Menus are displayed for parents on a weekly basis and are available on request.
The portion sizes offered to children at meal times are in line with the government’s guidelines. Children are offered a second helping at meal times and are encouraged to try all food on offer. Independence is encouraged at meal times and wherever possible children are given choices and the opportunity to serve themselves. Children of all ages are taught the skills to feed themselves wherever possible.
There is fresh drinking water available for all children throughout the whole day. This is positioned so that they can help themselves at all times and is labelled with their picture. Additional water is made available at snack and meal times and children are also offered whole pasteurised milk with their snacks.
Greenfields works within the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014 (EU FIC) which outlines that all consumers of food provided on the premises should be made aware of any allergens contained in the ingredients. Weekly menus are displayed in each room and also on the parents/carers notice board to ensure that parents are informed of what children are eating each day. Information regarding the allergens contained in this food is also displayed on the parents/carers notice board and copies can be provided upon request. If a child has an allergy, it is the parent’s responsibility to inform the staff of this so that they can make adjustments where necessary. During induction parents are asked to complete personal details forms and they should give allergy information at this time. If any of this information changes the parents should inform the nursery staff so that they can continue to meet the child’s needs. The kitchen staff will have a detailed list of any children with allergies and will provide suitable alternatives. They will also pay close attention to ensuring that food is not contaminated as this may cause an allergic reaction. We refrain from using peanuts or nut products within the nursery due to allergies. No products containing nuts are allowed into the nursery due to the possible risks that this could pose to a child or adult with an allergy.
Food that is not provided by the centre may not be given to the children as it is not always possible to check and provide the allergen information. This means that parents are not able to bring in alternative food for their children. Treats such as birthday cakes can be brought in if they are shop bought and sealed in the original packaging so that the staff can check the ingredients and allergy advice. These will be given to the children as they leave nursery with the parents’ consent and not served whilst at nursery.
All nursery and kitchen staff are trained in food hygiene to ensure appropriate standards of hygiene and food preparation at all times.