Food, Nutrition & Health

At Pals we are fully committed to raising the children’s awareness of the importance of healthy living. We offer wholesome healthy snacks each day including such things as wholemeal bread, pitta bread, bread sticks and a choice of fruit or vegetable pieces. We provide accurate allergen advice by displaying a notice informing parents of all known allergens in our provided snacks. All staff are made aware of kitchen hygiene rules and guidance and we are aware of the Food Standards Agency publication “Safer Food”. Fresh drinking water is available throughout each session and we do not offer sugary drinks at snack time but offer milk or water instead. We believe it is important to provide positive role models for the children and staff members always sit with the children during snack time. In the summer we grow some crops such as potatoes, carrots and lettuces and the children are always delighted to eat “their harvest” at snack time. We keep a list of the children’s dietary requirements at all times, and all staff are aware of children’s individual needs. We do our best to provide for each child’s needs wherever possible. For example: by providing dairy free spread or goat’s milk. However, if a child requires an item that we cannot readily obtain ourselves, then we may ask the carer to provide this. One of the aims of our lunch club is to further our promotion of healthy eating. Our Lunch club theme tune encourages the children to think about healthy food and they bring their own packed lunches but we ask that all lunch boxes contain a healthy balance of food and once again we offer the children milk or water to drink.

Some parents choose to celebrate their child’s birthday by bringing in sweets for the children. However, if you would prefer a healthy alternative then may we make the followings suggestions: bread sticks, rice cakes or dried fruit (to be eaten after a meal).

We also incorporate healthy eating into many of our themes and back up the need for a healthy lifestyle with a variety of books and activities. We explore different cultural foods. For example when we are talking about different countries we may eat noodles and more exotic fruit. When cooking we also experiment with a number of recipes. One popular recipe is vegetable soup. We frequently talk to the children about the importance of eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. We encourage them to remember this by putting their hand up and saying “Give me five”. We believe it is equally important to make the children aware of the importance of washing their hands after going to the toilet and before they eat. We therefore ensure that all the children have washed their hands before snack time. Although this is time consuming, we feel it a vital aspect of the children learning to care for themselves. We are also committed to helping the children understand the importance of exercise current guidelines recommend that children under 5 spend 180 minutes a day being active. This includes such things as walking up and down stairs, scooting to school, jumping on a trampoline (or bed!) and walking to pre-school. At Pals we have daily opportunities to exercise, and endeavour to make the children aware of how their bodies work at this time. For example: encouraging them to feel their heart before and after exercise. Once again we aim to be positive role models for the children, as we participate in many exercises with them.