Food and nutrition
At Early Years we provide food and drink throughout the day for the children, including a morning snack, lunch and a light afternoon tea. This equates to approximately a third of the children’s daily diet. We ensure that this is balanced and nutritious whilst giving the children a wide variety of tastes.
As a guide to our planning we use the ‘Eat Better Start Better’ voluntary food and drink guidelines for Early Years Settings in England, this is published by the ‘School food trust’.
Our menu is planned by a qualified and experienced chef and we ensure that the food we provide is prepared and cooked from freshly purchased and seasonal ingredients. We use the four food groups to ensure that a variety of nutrients are included daily:
- starchy foods
- fruit and vegetables
- protein sources such as fish, meat, eggs, beans and non-dairy sources of protein,
- milk and dairy foods
Salt is not added to food and sugar is kept to a minimum.
The menu contains a variety of food from different cultures so that children experience different tastes, in addition we celebrate festivals from different cultures and religions.
Children are given mainly water and milk to drink; where juice is given it is diluted with at least 50% water.
We take into account when planning the menus, children’s diagnosed allergies and a vegetarian meal is also available for those who cannot eat meat.
As well as being inspected by Ofsted, we have regular inspections from the Westminster Environmental Health team and all requirements are met to the highest of standards. All team members are trained in Food Hygiene awareness and we have a food handling policy for the staff. In addition several senior members are trained in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. (HACCP).