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Snack Time Policy?


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Guest Wolfie

Our children sit on the floor in a circle and take pieces of fruit from a bowl passed around- no plates!

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Our children help themselves from a plate in the centre of the table. They don't have serviettes either. Sometimes they have a serviette if we serve them with banana so that they can have their safe knife and cut it up. Other than that we make sure we keep wiping the table with anti bacterial spray between children. Adults also use alco gel to keep hands clean whilst topping up plates.

 

Who needs plates, food never gets as far as the table. Straight from plate to mouth - no messing!!! :o

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In the 11 years that our nursery has operated we never used plates for snacks, sandwiches etc. probably because that was the way it had always been done!! This was until our Ofsted inspection in February this year when the inspector stated it was unhygienic and made a recommendation that plates should always be used, regardless of what food it is.

 

Oddly enough a parent came to discuss the very same subject on the day of the inspection. She was concerned that her child refused to eat anything from a plate at home. After tipping his food onto the table for the 4th time at home, mum questionned why and he replied that we eat our food from the table at nursery :o

 

Just giving my experience really, not really sure on where i stand on this one!!! xD

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hi

 

we were also told by ofsted that we should use plates at snack time, the only time we don't do this is when the children are sat on the floor at our mini snacks where they have a breadstick or slice of apple

 

Dawn

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Our children (preschool) bring in their own snacks (fruit), in a lidded dish, we provided with their names on

They recognise their name, some with help,and bring the dish to the table and eat the snack out of that

I wouldent let them eat straight from the table, at lunch they have plates

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we feel using plates one way of teaching children etiquete and good manners , not something they all find at home in our area. We often have to teach a child to sit at a table to eat as they want to walk around with food while they play.

In our case children sit at a table and help themselves to toast and fruit putting it on the plate, when finished they return the plate to the kitchen hatch. If we had space they would wash them up, but not able to.

 

as said We feel you would not eat off the table at home so why at pre-school.

 

Inge

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Our tables are cleaned with a suitable sanitiser before snack. We occasionally use plates/serviettes if say we were serving something messy, make a sandwich or chop up some fruit but more often than not the children take a slice of something and eat it straightaway. If not it goes on the table.

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Ofsted and the environmental health recommend that you do risk assessments for the most part to assess the needs of the children. and then develop your own policies. Do you have snack with mulitple items? e.g. slices of fruit where the children may have a couple of items and would put them down? as this would be classed as unhygenic with a few possibilities: you could wipe with anti-bac spray between each child.

 

We provide a snackbar with a selection of items for the children to choose. with the following rules for adults and children:

  • What you touch you eat so no handling everything until you find the one you want!
  • If its more than one piece e.g. fruit salad then we serve it prepared and in a small bowl with lid e.g. salad, fruit, cous cous, small servings of left overs from lunch sometimes too.
  • there are a stack of bowls or plates available in case a child would like one e.g. catching crumbs
  • water bottles are avaiable at all times
  • snack bin nearby for unwanted items

Hope this helps.

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We all sit together for snack at a table with tablecloth, fresh flowers and use plates, knives, or spoons, cups for water or cartons of milk.

 

We don't have a policy, but we do have three different snacks, depending on which week it is: cheese and crackers, then fresh and dried fruit, and the third week, toast. Children serve each other and themselves, butter their own toast etc.

 

Just goes to show how differently we all do things!

 

Maz

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  • 3 weeks later...

We use a snack bar system where we have a shelf with their indivdual water bottles which are named and they all have their own small plastic bowl with their name on with either fruit/cracker/cheese/cucumber/raisins/breadsticks xD obviously not all at once!!!!!!!!!! :o

 

they are able to have their snacks at anytime during the morning provided they sit at the snack table

 

we feel this prevents pulling the children away from their busy activites and we see how some childrern can learn to have little and often and also can create good socil development with casual conversations.

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Half way through last year we set up a snack station. During each session the children find their names and put them into a basket. They then collect their milk and fruit and take it to the snack table where they eat it on a clean wipable table cloth before putting all rubbish in the bin. We also have a menu with velcro cards so that the children can slect the snack avilable that day. This snack time encourages independence and makes it a good social time. I thnk that I will look into using plates or napkins though as this also seems good practice.

Jayne :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a snack bar but segregated as we have severe milk allergy issues so have a milk table and separate water area. Snack is always served from a central plate from which they help themselves but we use the table unless they have made an individaul portion of something.

 

The table is wiped between users with anti bac spray.

 

At lunch club we always provide plates and encourage the chidlren to put their sandwiches etc on the plate rather than eating from packets / lunch boxes. They seem able to distinguish the difference.

 

At home would a parent give a child a biscuit on a plate or just in its hand - sitting down of course!?

 

Ofsted visit in May did not highlight any cause for concern over this procedure.

 

Breedon

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Our children help prepare snacks, a variety of foods are placed in a round container which has different compartments and a lid, each compartment has a serving spoon. The children wash their hands, get a plate and cup from the nearby cupboard, select their food using a spoon and place on their plate. Pour their own drink, choice of water or milk. Once finished there is a bowl of water and drainer on a table nearby for them to wash up their cups and plates. These are then washed 'properly' by us afterwards!!

 

The spoons for serving is to reduce the risk of 'worms', which are easily transferable due to eggs under finger nails. We use a wipe clean table cloth but anti bac is only used to prepare the table prior to opening and before and after lunch. We do not spray anti-bac around the children. Would you spray anti-bac into your mouth? I personally feel that any residue of what is a chemical shouldn't be used at the same time as serving food. You should have the COSHE analysis for any cleaning sprays used.

 

We haven't got a seperate policy as such, our snack bar policy is included in our Health, Hygiene and safety policy.

 

As others have said there are many ways of doing snacks, decide which suits your setting including risk assessment.

Just out of curiosity has any Ofsted Inspector given their reasons for requiring the use of plates??

 

 

Peggy

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Hi

 

Some of the ideas I've read for snacktime are great. I'm a volunteer and my setting is very rigid about snacktime. Yes we always have plates but there is no opportunity for the children to choose when or what they have to eat. We always stop for snacks at the same time and we always have toast. We are in quite a deprived area so the idea is that some children may not have had any breakfast. I do feel however that toast is great but more choice for the children and the chance to help prepare the fruit etc would be wonderful and contribute to their learning as well.

I think the snack bar idea is a really good one. I am going to suggest we try it when I go back in September. Don't know how well it will go down. As a volunteer, I always feel as if I'm overstepping the mark if I suggest anything. Previous reaction to my ideas has not been good.

Does anyone have any advice about setting up a snack area where children can access it as and when they want? If I get some info I may be able to pursuade my manager to give it a go. I mentioned it last term and the reply was "how are the children going to know what they want?" I thought that was the idea of having a choice!! I work with 2-4 year olds and they are very good at letting me know what they want. I think this is such a good idea that I'm not going to let it go without a fight.

 

Sally

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Hi,

we are a pre-school (a.m. and lunch club only) we do not have a rolling snack bar but do give the children choices each day. We plan a menu for the term with 3 or 4 different options for the children to choose from each week. we can then also include food items linked to a theme e.g. noodles or pitta etc.

We find the children love the ability to choose and, just like every other part of our practice, you notice what they really like or dislike through observations.

We had our Ofsted inspection the week before we broke up for summer and she was very happy with the system. Liked the idea of all the children sitting together and socialising. She also like the use of bowls/plates and the fact that we provide the children with named water bottles that they can access at all times.

Basically we have a serving table that the children come up to 3 or 4 at a time and choose their snack, pour their milk if they want it and return to their seat to eat. When all children have been we then put what's left on the tables for them to help themselves. Their water bottles are placed on the tables while they are at toilets. We find this effective as 1) it helps them to begin to recognise their names etc. and 2) we can move the children about!... i.e. not have 2 certain individuals next to each other or to put a less outgoing child next to someone who encourage/support them. We also ensure that children of differing ages are mixed together on each table.

 

You should definately push for more choice! if only to give them the opportunity to try new things and healthy things at that!

Andy

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Hi Andy

 

sounds like you've got it sorted with snacktime. I think the idea of letting the children go to the table a few at a time is a really good one. I would love to see something along the lines of what you do at my setting.

I'm sure there are things we could do to gradually change our snacktime even if it is only a bit. I feel it is really important to let the children have a choice and some independence as this boosts their self confidence. We all see the beaming smile from the child who has just mastered something new.

Thanks for the info - I'm certainly going to suggest this again when we get back and focus on the positives for the children. I really liked your idea of linking snacks to current themes as well.

 

Wish me luck

 

Sally

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Guest Rouse1
Hello everyone!

Does anyone know of any official policy that say that children should NOT eat snack directly from the table? Just something I am trying to find out about!

Anyone offer any suggestions?

Matt

ithink plates are necessary or bowls so that its the same as home. we practice using plates and cutlery in the home corner, not from the table.

each to their own i suppose. :o

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When i'm doing snack I like to place an object of interest on the table to stimulate conversation.examples

Conch shell

Extra large pine cone

a concave mirror

a single seasonal flower

sprig of holly

x-ray

bus ticket

string of beads

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thanks :o

 

a single item works the best.Tickets are a good one-bus, train, cinema

Who's left it?

Where have they been?

Who went with them

Have you..?

Shall we..?

What if..?

 

Dog lead, shopping receipt, feather, ball of wool (once out a crochet hook with it and made a square while the children watched)

 

Preaching again xD maybe I should just shut up and write that book.....

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thanks :o

 

a single item works the best.Tickets are a good one-bus, train, cinema

Who's left it?

Where have they been?

Who went with them

Have you..?

Shall we..?

What if..?

 

Dog lead, shopping receipt, feather, ball of wool (once out a crochet hook with it and made a square while the children watched)

 

Preaching again :( maybe I should just shut up and write that book.....

 

 

Great open ended ideas Biccy, xD definately not preaching so please don't stop sharing, but as they say everyone has a book inside them so why not get going on writing yours too. :(

 

Peggy

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