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C10.1.2 Food

Food

Introduction:

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.

Menus:

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.

Portion Sizes:

The portion sizes offered to children at meal times are in line with the governments 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.

Drinks:

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. Other milk alternatives can be provided if children have allergies or intolerances.

Allergies:

Greenfields works within the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014 (EU FIC) this 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. Parents may not bring in cakes and treats for their child’s birthday as a cake is provided by the nursery at meal times that will meet all children’s dietary requirements.

Training:

All nursery and kitchen staff are trained in food hygiene to ensure appropriate standards of hygiene and food preparation at all times.

Food Storage:

A suitable space should be established for each food type and suitable storage containers should be obtained for all foods requiring containers. All food containers must be securely sealed at all times. If food is removed from its original packaging and stored in containers, the containers must be clearly marked.

Storage advice according to manufacturer’s instructions should be adhered to at all times. Stocks of dry goods should be rotated and placed on shelves and any food which has passed its ‘use by date’ must be discarded. A cleaning schedule for storage areas should be in place and followed.

Health and Safety:

In the interest of health and safety, the kitchen door should remain closed. In order to reduce hazards, staff who are not employed to prepare meals or assist cleaning the kitchen should only go into the kitchen when absolutely necessary. All staff must complete a course on basic Health and Safety and Food Hygiene.

A risk assessment which includes the kitchen and food service area will be kept on file and reviewed annually.

Kitchen windows may be open during the preparation of food only if insect screens are in use.

All electrical equipment should be checked annually (PAT) and labelled with the date of the last check. Larger electric and gas appliances should be kept clean and in good repair. Any problems should be flagged up immediately and maintenance/repair records retained by the centre management.

Hygiene:

All staff preparing food must wear aprons and have hair tied back. They must wash their hands before any food preparation The kitchen will be cleaned according to a cleaning schedule detailing daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

All unused food must be disposed of immediately after the meal for which it was intended. Fridges must be kept at below 5ºC which should be checked daily using fridge thermometers.