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Hi,

 

For the first time since opening our snack bar system (7 year ago!) we are having problems with 3 children eating their way through all the fruit! They all have additional needs but no 1 to 1 support as yet. Although their is a member of staff in the vicinity in case of choking, these little lovelies manage to sneak up and take a bite! One also takes the fruit out the bin and has also bitten through the skin of a banana!!

So...I'm thinking of going back to having a snack-time together, which would mean that they can't sit at a table (we'll make a circle with the chairs instead) but the children do still tend to have sit down meals with their families and all children stay for lunch so I'm not too concerned about them experiencing sitting at a table. I feel like I'm going backwards but I think it will be the best thing for this particular cohort.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Green Hippo!

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Do you have a member of staff at the snack table - if not, that might be the answer.

We do cafe style snack but there is an adult there at all times who sits with/talks to the children (we talk about what they have been doing - healthy foods, how they grow etc.,) as they eat - they choose their snack, pour their own drink etc., but the adult is there in case they are needed and also to encourage others to play for a while and to come back when there are no spaces at the table.

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so just to play devils advocate!

does it matter if they eat all the fruit?

could you put out less..or remove the plate and replace when someone wants some

what are you trying to teach through this area?? if these children don't eat well...or don't eat fruit at home then maybe this is a good thing??

why are they doing it? hungry? bored? attention seeking??

 

as for the bin i'd put a lid on it and make it more tricky to get in!!!!

 

if all else fails then it wouldn't be the worse thing to change it until these little ones find their feet. I just hate the disruption it causes to stop everyone and spend lots of time in the middle of the session sorting it but if it was the best thing for the children then that's fine IMO :1b

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For my two pennorth, I would say stay as you are. Everyone, including the staff are used to the way it works, changing it and then changing back is so confusing for all. Stick with what you have and make it work. I'm sure you have thought already of lots of things you could do to counteract what's happening.

 

Get your tricky ones first to the table, take the edge of their hunger perhaps begin to work with them in sign language that snack is finished now for them, anyway . Have a person there or thereabouts keeping a strict eye to what is happening, portion controlled pots may help, so your tricky ones get what's in their pot and the rest stay out of reach until they begin to sit down. This has to be one of your adult learning opportunities for a while at least. A good system of logging in, i.e. we use their name cards and once they have "paid" for their snack that's that, unless we are struggling with leftovers at the end of the time then we ask if anyone would like more,

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Hi

we also do this however we do have a staff member manning this. We also place numbers at the side of the snacks to help the children realise that they can only have a certain amount, This helps the children to incorporate maths in to the snack area and the staff member can support the children with this aswell as talking about healthy snacks,

 

Our childrens ages are 2 - 5 year olds. The staff member will support the two year olds more than the 3 or 4 year olds and are at hand if there are any choking incidents.

 

Every setting will be different but I truly believe that this is the best way for snack time to make the children independent, At this time of year with new starters and so many of ours are two year olds it is hard however we will definately be persisting with this,

 

Hope this helps

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Thanks for all your advice and thought-provoking questions!

We have 1 piece of fruit per child which are providing whole so if 1 child has more than 1 then there's not enough! We have a system where the children took their name cards off the board, stuck it on the back of their chair, washed hands, took fruit and milk/water and tidied up after themselves. Usual culprits for taking extra always came first anyway! So they have lots of time for extra! We have a couple of tricky children this year so although we can be right next to the snack table, our attention is diverted - time for a quick sneak in and a bite!

Therefore, (don't shoot me down!) we have decided to do snack altogether. I intend keeping it like this for a good period so won't be swapping and changing. We still expect the children to choose and tidy-up, also gives us a chance to give some children jobs. The additional needs team were very pro-snack-time and encouraged us to work that way to support our children with additional needs.

 

I love rolling snack but we have to go with our children. They get lots of other opportunities to be independent and snack in the rest of the school is done altogether!

 

Green Hippo x

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Thanks for all your advice and thought-provoking questions!

We have 1 piece of fruit per child which are providing whole so if 1 child has more than 1 then there's not enough! We have a system where the children took their name cards off the board, stuck it on the back of their chair, washed hands, took fruit and milk/water and tidied up after themselves. Usual culprits for taking extra always came first anyway! So they have lots of time for extra! We have a couple of tricky children this year so although we can be right next to the snack table, our attention is diverted - time for a quick sneak in and a bite!

Therefore, (don't shoot me down!) we have decided to do snack altogether. I intend keeping it like this for a good period so won't be swapping and changing. We still expect the children to choose and tidy-up, also gives us a chance to give some children jobs. The additional needs team were very pro-snack-time and encouraged us to work that way to support our children with additional needs.

 

I love rolling snack but we have to go with our children. They get lots of other opportunities to be independent and snack in the rest of the school is done altogether!

 

Green Hippo x

You have to do what's right for the children....there are lots of times I've had to do things differently to get things going forward. I've taken one out of the morning story time at the moment as he just can't do 2 sitting groups a day...when he's got it a bit more i'll re-introduce it for him. It means he's getting a good result and the others are getting a bit of respite from his interruptions!! ;)

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Hi there Green Hippo. No one will shoot you down, what you are doing is reflecting on what you do, hearing the views and opinions of others and then making a decision that suits your children. I've seen very good snack times done cafe style and group style and equally some pretty terrible ones too. Both have their strengths and weaknesses in my humble. Sometimes you even do it one way one year but it just doesn't flow the next. The important thing is to support developing independence and use it as a social interaction opportunity, however you do it.

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