Healthy eating (Diet and nutrition)


Last updated 27 November, 2018

Principle and statement of intent

The U.N Convention on Rights of the Child article 24 (e) states – that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents. With this in mind, it is our policy to provide the children in our care with a well-balanced diet that promotes healthy eating habits. This is important because good eating habits that are formed when children are young are likely to be continued through life.

We adhere to HACCP principles – a system which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant for food safety. Food served in Bumbles Day Care is prepared on the premises and all staff preparing food will have their food hygiene certificate.

Allergy & Intolerance

A food allergy – is when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific foods. Allergic reactions are often mild, but they can sometimes be very serious. In young children, common food allergies include dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Symptoms of a food allergy can affect different areas of the body at the same time. Some common symptoms include:

  • an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat or ears
  • a raised itchy red rash (known as urticaria or hives)
  • swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue and roof of the mouth (known as angioedema)
  • vomiting

In the most serious cases, a person has a severe allergic reaction, (anaphylactic-shock) which can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is your body’s immune system reacting badly to a substance (allergen), such as food, which it wrongly perceives as a threat. The whole body can be affected, usually within minutes of contact with the allergen, though sometimes the reaction can happen hours later,

A food intolerance – is not the same as a food allergy. People with food intolerance may have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. This may be caused by difficulties digesting certain substances, such as lactose. However, no allergic reaction takes place. Important differences between food allergy and food intolerance include:

  • The symptoms of a food intolerance usually occur several hours after eating the food.
  • You need to eat a larger amount of food to trigger an intolerance than an allergy.
  • A food intolerance is never life-threatening, unlike an allergy.

All food provided in Bumbles Day Care is checked for known allergens and a record is stored in our file: Safe Catering – Our guide to Hazard Analysis. At Bumbles Day Care we operate a nut free zone.

On registration you will be asked about any special dietary requirements children have for medical, cultural or religious reasons and likes and dislikes regarding food, and these will be catered for.

Where a child has a diagnosed food allergy or intolerance we will formulate an individual management and diet plan (ICP). Children with a food allergen ICP, food intolerance or any special dietary requirements will have the details highlighted on My Nursery Pal, details kept in the kitchen, and we also use named placemats that include a photo of the child, to ensure that all staff are aware of these.

At Bumbles Day Care we operate a nut free zone, across all our settings although we recognise that this cannot be guaranteed. We check all food packaging for the following:

  • Not suitable for nut allergy sufferers
  • This product contains nuts
  • This product may contain traces of nuts
  • Any product with any of these notices will not be used in Bumbles Day Care. We ask parents not to send in any food from home, unless a child has specific needs for the food and Bumbles does not offer a suitable alternative. This would be agreed and noted on a child’s ICP plan

A copy of our 4 week menu is always on display in our kitchen for parents to view so that food provided at home and nursery can be complementary rather than duplicated

Children will be offered a varied well balanced and nutritional diet each day. Breakfast, mid-morning and afternoon snacks and a two course lunch are provided.

Apart from formula/breast milk which we ask parents of babies to provide, we do not require parents to send in any additional food.

Staff will liaise with parents of babies being weaned to make sure that foods offered in nursery are compatible with what the baby is being given at home.

In promoting healthy eating at Bumbles Day Care we ensure that:

  • no salt or sugar is added to food before or after cooking
  • fresh fruit and vegetables are provided daily
  • food is always grilled or oven baked and never fried
  • children are offered milk daily and juice or water
  • snacks generally consist of different types of bread, fruit, crackers and cheese
  • No food with nuts or traces of nuts will be used
  • Encourage no food sharing

Main meals generally consist of fish/chicken/red meat, providing the necessary proteins, bread (white and wholemeal varieties)/potatoes/pasta/rice, providing carbohydrates and of course, vegetables providing fibre and vitamins.

A comment on your child’s appetite is made in their daily notes on My Nursery Pal and we will notify you if your child’s eating or drinking patterns vary in any marked way. We believe, however, that children should be allowed to eat and drink at their own pace and we would not force a child to eat more than they wanted or make an issue of a refusal to eat a meal or a snack. A child should NEVER be refused a dessert because time has run out or they have not eaten the lunch as it appears on the menu. Remember food must never be used as a punishment or threat.

Apart from the babies and tots, who eat their lunch in their own room, children have their lunch in the kitchen. This gives them a change of scenery and our staff team try to make mealtimes a relaxed and sociable occasion, when staff and children can chat together about the day’s events. We always encourage children to serve and feed themselves, using a spoon and a fork. As they get older we encourage them to use a knife. These are important skills that your child will practise daily. Older children are also encouraged to help prepare their own snacks, e.g. spreading and pouring etc.

When cooking with children as an activity, the adults will ensure the children wash hands under running water and wear aprons and generally provide healthy, wholesome food, promoting and extending the children’s understanding of a healthy diet.

PARTIES AT BUMBLES DAY CARE

Birthdays – Bumbles celebrates each child’s birthday, with the emphasis on fun and making them feel special. Bumbles will supply cake and crisps for individual birthdays to be served during afternoon snack.

We would ask parents to refrain from bringing in a cake and party bags. If parents wish, a packet of ‘fun size treats’ for pass the parcel can be brought instead.

Other celebrations – As well as celebrating children’s birthdays Bumbles will have parties to celebrate other cultural and social events, such as Christmas, Summer Carnival and Halloween. We will make these occasions special with the use of decorations and ‘party food’ appropriate to the occasion.

Staff members are not permitted to bring in their own selection of party food for children who attend Bumbles Day Care. This is to ensure that the food given to children remains the responsibility of Bumbles Day Care and that no additional checks need to be carried out for appropriateness and suitability of food and to ensure that all allergies are considered.

Bumbles is a nut free zone.

Picnics – A risk assessment must be carried out before any outdoor parties take place. Any food items being transported, e.g. to a park, must be carried in a suitable container, such as a cool bag. When eating outdoors a suitable table/mat must be used to set out food, staff must ensure that no food or bottles are placed directly on grass.