Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Policy and Procedure
At Bright Comets Day Nursery we work inline with the Children’s Food Trust to encourage all children and families to eat well, learn about food and exercise and keep themselves healthy.
By doing this we have developed a whole setting approach that aims to set the foundations for all children’s future health and wellbeing.
Our menus can be viewed here:
- Autumn lunch and tea menu for children aged 3 to 18 months
- Autumn lunch and tea menu for children aged 18 months+
- We regularly discuss healthy eating and menu planning, food activities and physical exercise as part of team meetings.
- We regularly consult our parents about menu planning in person, through interactive displays and group email chats, and take on board suggestions for improvement.
- We display useful information about healthy eating, weaning and dental care around the nursery and support and encourage breast feeding.
- We display our menus in a focal point of the nursery where all parents, carers and visitors can access copies of the menus as well as allergen information. Parents can also access the menus via the nursery website.
- Any changes to the menus are based on health and nutrition, parent feedback and working around the children’s likes, dislikes and particular food phases.
- We encourage working parents to attend stay and play sessions that involve them taking part in cooking activities with their children and organise food events with parents such as Pizza Party days.
- Meals and snacks are provided every 3 hours, are planned rotationally for 4 weeks in advance, changed seasonally twice a year and include a variety of tastes, colours and textures.
- Our menus are planned to include, wholegrain and white starchy foods, a wide variety of proteins, (meat, fish, eggs and pulses) fresh and frozen vegetables, fresh and dried fruit and dairy products including full fat and semi skimmed milk.
- Each meal includes a main along with a dessert which provides an additional source of calcium or fruit.
- Canned products i.e. bake beans are limited and are reduced in salt and sugar.
- Canned pulse’s i.e. chick peas and kidney beans etc are reduced in salt and sugar.
- Vegetarians are provided with meat alternatives daily, including quorn, lentils, beans and pulses.
- Children with life threatening allergies are provided with a personal menu that suits their individual nutritional needs; this is formulated with the child’s parents prior to their start date.
- Milk and water are the only drinks encouraged within the nursery however, juice can be provided by the parent if requested.
- Children have access to fresh drinking water throughout the day
- Salt is not added to any meals
- Cakes are homemade, reduced in sugar and provided as part of a dessert once per week.
- If a child refuses their dinner an alternative is offered, equally, if a child falls asleep before or during their dinner, their meal is saved, cooled correctly and given to them when they wake up.
- If it is a child’s birthday, parents are very welcome to bring a cake in to sing happy birthday, but the cake will be cut up and sent home with the children rather than consumed at nursery.
- Parents are welcome to supply sweets for a birthday or other occasion however these will be sent home at the end of the day and not consumed at nursery.
- We use stickers and positive reinforcement as a way to encourage and reward children, never sweets.
- We ask parents not to allow their child to bring sweets, crisps or biscuits into nursery as they will be stored away from reach until it is time to go home.
Learning about Food
- We regularly plan activities involving food such as; making smoothies, fruit kebabs, bread, cakes, savoury scones, cheese straws, pizzas, biscuits and apple pastries etc
- Children are encouraged to cut and peel their own fruit for snack
- Children are encouraged to serve themselves at meals times
- Children are encouraged to make their own sandwiches, wraps and rolls as part of tea time
- Children learn about cooking methods such as weighing ingredients; kneading dough and watching it rise; exploring hot and cold and freezing and melting etc
- Children are given many opportunities to plant, care for, grow, dig up, cook and eat many fruit and vegetables in the nursery garden such as; berries, peppers, potatoes, spring onions, carrots, chili’s, green beans, tomatoes and herbs etc.
- Children are given the opportunity to visit the local supermarket to look for, collect and buy food ingredients as part of cooking activities.
- We have a “free flow” system in place meaning all children can access the garden throughout the day to gain physical exercise during all months and seasonal weather.
- We have a wide variety of outdoor resources for children to access and have a large space for running games, bikes and cars.
- We have outside agencies such as “Tiny Mites” and “Super Sport” visit the nursery once per week to further promote physical activity.
- Children participate in music and movement on a daily basis.
- All children participate in an annual summer sports days with several months of preparation.
- Children regularly go for outings outside of the nursery to the local park where they can access large apparatus as well as, learn about nature and transport.
- Children participate in indoor physical activity during very poor weather such as parachute games, soft play and sticky kids etc.
In addition to the above we also:
- Encourage children to wash their hands frequently while at nursery through practitioner support and visual aids.
- Carry out discussions around toileting and hygiene throughout the day as well as part of a twice daily circle time for children age appropriate.
- Encourage children to brush their teeth once during their nursery day through practitioner support and visual aids. Older children are encouraged to learn about dental hygiene including having visits from a local dentist.
- Learn about parts of our body both inside and out and what each part does.
- Take part in activities that enable the children to learn about the effects that exercise has on their bodies.
- Provide children with role play opportunities where they can act out what they have been learning such as; doctors surgery, vets, hospital, fire station and police station etc.
- Promote topics such as “People who help us” and “Superheroes” whereby doctors, nurses, fire fighters and polices officers are invited into the nursery to give talks on how to keep safe.
- Encourage children to participate in “Relax Kids” on a daily basis as a means of winding down.
- Have cosy areas in every rooms and designated rest and sleep times to enable the children to revitalise.
We encourage all staff, children, parents and visitors to become part of our approach to healthy eating and exercise and continuously review and monitor our policies and practices to ensure a better start for all children in our care.