Food and Drink

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Health

Where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, they must be healthy, balanced and nutritious

Please read COVID-19 update along with this policy.

Policy Statement

We regard snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults, and helps children to learn about healthy eating. We promote healthy eating. At snack times, we aim to provide nutritious food.


We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting.

  • Before a child starts to attend the setting, we ask their parents about their dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies. (See the Managing Children who are Sick, Infectious or with Allergies Policy.)

  • Each child's dietary needs and allergies are recorded in the Registration Form and parents sign the form to signify that it is correct.

  • Parents are expected to inform us of any changes.

  • We display current information about individual children's dietary needs on the fridge door so that all our staff and volunteers are fully informed about them.

  • We implement systems to ensure that children receive only food and drink that is consistent with their dietary needs and preferences, as well as their parents' wishes.

  • We provide nutritious food for all snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.

  • We include:

  • Plain biscuits

  • fruit and vegetables.

  • A list of the 14 major allergens and the foods that they are likely to be found in is displayed on the notice board in our cloakroom, along with the food we regularly provide for snack and any allergens they may contain are printed in ‘bold’.

§ All packaging will be checked for allergens by staff and made available for parents to check if they need to.

§ We take care not to provide food containing nuts or nut products where we have a child who has a known allergy to nuts.

§ Through discussion with parents and research reading, we obtain information about the dietary rules of the religious groups to which children and their parents belong, and of vegetarians and vegans, as well as about food allergies. We take account of this information in the provision of food and drinks..

§ We show sensitivity in providing for children's diets and allergies. We do not use a child's diet or allergy as a label for the child, or make a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.

§ Lunch times and snack times are social occasions in which both children and adults participate.

§ We use snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.

§ We provide children with utensils that are appropriate for their ages and stages of development and that take account of the eating practices in their cultures.

§ We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children about how to obtain the water and that they can help themselves or ask for water at any time during the day.

§ We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in our setting.

§ We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food.

§ In order to protect children with food allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping their food with one another.

§ For children who drink milk, we provide semi skimmed milk.

Packed lunches

Where children are required to bring packed lunches, we:

§ ensure Ice packs are put into the container before the children’s lunch boxes are stored inside.

§ encourage parents use individual ice packs inside children’s lunch boxes to keep food cool;

§ inform parents on healthy eating;

§ encourage parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based deserts, such as yoghurt or crème fraîche. We discourage fizzy drinks and can provide children with water if needed.

§ ensure that adults sit with children to eat their lunch so that the mealtime is a social occasion.

Legal framework

§ Regulation (EC) 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs.

Further guidance

§ Safer Food, Better Business (Food Standards Agency 2011)

This Policy was adopted by Sparklers Pre-School


Lynn Mcmahon

Role of Signatory:

Pre-School Supervisor

Issue Date:

Under Review

Next Review Date:

Under Review

This Policy was approved by Sparklers Pre-School Committee


Role of Signatory: