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we feed our children 3 times a day and do our best to give a good variety of foods including roasts,pasta, fresh veg etc.However some of our children do not stay for lunch and all they have from us is a snack am and pm.Up to now this might be bread stick and cream cheese,dried fruit,fruit,toast,plain biscuit,pop corn,cheese biscuit,crackers ,carrot sticks etc.

As we need to cut back on out goings at the moment what do you think about us only providing fruit,toast and plain biscuits at these times and saving the variety for tea time?

I hate counting the pennies but needs must.

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At the maintained nursery where I sometimes work, the children have fruit and milk/water every day as a mid-session snack. Although there are obviously benefits to providing more of a variety, you need to balance that against the needs of your setting and situation and you have financial needs to meet - you will still be meeting the children's needs of food and drink and you will be providing healthy choices so I don't see a problem. :o

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We're a sessional pre-school and we offer 2 snack opportunities: an ongoing self-service snacktime from just after Registration (did they really eat breakfast before they came?) which consists of 'healthy eating' snacks which the parents supply on a rota basis; and then as the beginning of keyworker time they have a drink of milk (refundable from Milk Welfare Scheme) and a plain biscuit or cracker.

We too are trying to cut back on our outgoings and find this works well for us. Incidentally we ask for a box of tissues per family each term as 'every little helps!' - no-one has objected so far. As some children would do nothing else but sit and eat every last bit of food we put out I have put up a little laminated sign encouraging them to take only 2 pieces each from each container we have put out. The intention is not to deprive the genuinely hungry child as they can return to the self-service snack table as many times as they want. It does seem to discourage the others so far! I'll attach the sign as well as my letter to parents about the healthy eating rota.

Good luck!

parental_letter_re_snack.doc

snack_table_sign.doc

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How about suggesting to parents that they could help you keep prices down if they occasionally donated food - e.g. if they grow fruit/veg they might be able to donate some, especially at this time of year.

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We thought about going down the route of asking parents to bring in a piece of fruit a week but decided on charging a small fee per child per session to keep it fair for everyone. We therefore charge 15 p per child per session and last time I checked this covered our food costs over the year (10p didn't when we first introduced a few years ago).

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we ask parents to bring in something, we have a list out each week and parents put name by what they would like to bring...this allows them choice of when and what to bring in, some want to help every week others can only afford once a term or less. we cut our food bill by more than half doing this last year and on first day back we had 2 parents bring in fruit as ' they knew we would need something this week'

 

we have such a huge variety of things supplied , mostly seasonal, but we have been given huge bags of raisins and sultanas this term by one parent.

 

we supply toast as well as the fruit and water, milk, and on occasions diluted fruit juice.

 

we thought about a charge but it also saves someone doing the shopping each week.

 

Inge

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we charge all parents a registration fee each term of £6.00 to help cover the cost of their child's snack which works well - although sometimes have to chase certain parents to pay!

Just done our shopping this week on line and had it delivered - wonderful! brought into the kitchen = less hassle lugging 8 x 6 pints of milk etc, from the boot of my car into our centre! recommend it - done it for my own shopping this week too - same delivery man!!! pity he wasn't nicer looking!

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