Food and drink provision at Acorns

  • The food and drink at the setting is prepared and cooked on-site by our nursery cook.
  • The menus are designed using the Eat Better Start Better Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for the Early Years Settings in England (2012), offering a variety of different foods with different textures and tastes appealing to young children.
  • The menus are on a four week rota and the food is sourced weekly from a local greengrocer, butcher and a supermarket.
  • We recognise that children have high energy and nutrient requirements but only small stomachs, so they need little and often. The meals at Acorns are timed so that the children eat regularly with breakfast at 8.30am; Morning snack 10.30am; Lunch at 12 noon; Afternoon snack at 2.00pm; and Tea at 4.00pm.
  • The children have access to fresh drinking water at all times.
  • All dairy products are full fat for children aged under 2 years.
  • Children are not rushed at mealtimes but given plenty of time to eat as much as they choose.
  • Staff will sit with the children at mealtimes encouraging the children to try different meals by being a good role model. Staff also encourage mealtimes as a communication friendly time. A child will never sit alone to eat their meal.
  • Staff will speak with parents at the end of the day about what their child has eaten throughout the day, this is also displayed on white boards.
  • Withholding food will not be used as a form of punishment.
  • Children will be offered an alternative of sandwich and raisins if they choose not to eat their main meal, the child will still receive pudding (however practitioners will discuss this with parents in more depth).
  • We reserve a 20% proportion of a child’s daily eating allowance for at home therefore, teatime at the setting is a lighter meal than lunch time and does not feature a pudding.
  • The menu is on a 4 week rota displayed throughout the nursery.  Copies are available on request.
  • The menu is adaptable to meet individual children’s dietary needs and in line with parents wishes.  This includes adapting for small babies during the weaning stages.