It is important to acknowledge that healthy eating habits in the early years are very important because they influence children's growth, development and academic achievement in later life.
Eating well, growing food, cooking, planning for meals and shopping for food will support children and young people to develop skills needed throughout their lives.
Food allergens pose a significant risk to consumers with allergic conditions, which may even be life threatening. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their reduced level of control over the foods they eat. Childcare providers are responsible for making sure that they have allergen information to provide for the food they serve and that this is accurate, consistent and verifiable. The Food Standards Agency provides free online food allergen resources and training.
The EYFS requires providers to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well and those staff preparing and handling food must be competent to do so.
A Food & Drink Code of Practice for your setting could include;
- A Food Policy
- How your setting communicates with families about their child's diet
- Planning varied menus for snacks and meals in advance
- Planning meals and snacks to meet national voluntary food and drink guidelines
- Catering for the dietary requirements of all children
- Having a positive and welcoming eating environment to encourage children to eat well
- Ensuring staff are appropriately trained