Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Biscuits At Snacktime ?


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Just wondering what other settings offer at snacktime. I have just started as leader of a sessional pre-school and they offer a piece of fruit followed by a plain biscuit everyday. I would prefer not to offer a biscuit everyday, maybe just once a week, but when I mentioned this to the other member of staff she was shocked and said they have to have a little treat each day. I am also concerned that changing this would upset the children as 1/2 of those attending were there last term and will expect a biscuit. I would welcome other people opinions on this matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya

we use to be the same however we now have crackers,bread sticks,cheese,toast,small sandwich as well as a piece of fruit. Use the giudelines in the new welfare requirements in the eyfs document a good excuse for change. If you are the leader you need to be assertive. are you committee run? could you get them on your side or use them as an excuse!!! We do still have a biscuit occasionally usaully a plain one especially when really busy with new little ones. good luck :o

Andrea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

we have a different type of bread each day (only a small piece). Could be warm naan, garlic, fruit loaf, pancake etc plus a slice of apple or orange etc and a bowl of raisons is passed round and the children help themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We offer milk and water as drinks only. Breadsticks are a favourite along with rice cakes, naan, toast, plain biscuits only and pancakes . Whole fruit is offered and the children soon become adept at peeling those little clemintines when started by an adult. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only have biscuits occasionally... and have done for years now.. toast, fruit, bread, crackers, sandwich they made etc etc milk and water to drink..

Parents provide the fruit, and we supply the bread etc.. works well,

 

Children adapt quickly and if you have some interesting alternatives really don't miss the biscuit..

 

A 'little treat every day' to me is not reason enough to stay the same.. Isn't that what lots of parents do on collecting ...............

 

More of a treat if occasional anyway..Ours is usually for birthdays.. and parents supply them, parties, end of term, etc etc.

 

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one of my pet subjects! I am all for healthy eating and we have a free access snack table with lots of different healthy things that the children can access at will plus the water dispenser we have discussed before. When we sit down in our keyworker groups at 11am the children have a choice of milk or water and a biscuit or cracker or breadstick type thing. I firmly believe there should be a carbohydrate on offer particularly for the very energetic boys whose energy levels definitely flat at that time of day and sometimes their behaviour deteriorates too. They just have one plain biscuit, no custard creams!!!! I really don't see a problem and would urge you to think creatively. Toast or a sandwich would be great but we don't have time, plus they'd have to wash their hands afterwards, messy lot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cassiem,

 

We have a termly snack menu, which includes, plain biscuits, cheese and crackers, various fruit, vegetables, raisins and bread sticks. When we do have a plain biscuit it is accompanied with raisins.

We have the 'snack attack award' which shows we promote being healthy, when we sent our snack menu away for the award it included a plain biscuit. We don't have plain biscuits every day, it might work out about once a fortnight.

 

I don't envy you the job of being the new leader. I have had my share over the years of being told, "oh no you can't do that, we have always done it like this".

 

It takes alot of hard work and getting a team on your side to be able to make changes, even very small changes. I learnt this the hard way, thankfully things have settled down now and the changes I made quite a while ago are starting to come together and all the team are benefiting from them and of course the very reason we do this job, the children.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rosepetal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your replies, it's nice to hear that it's not just me who thinks it's unnessary to have biscuits everyday. The only problem with offering breads, breadsticks, cracks, raisons etc is that we are a committee run pre-school and money is tight, not sure they would approve. They have never asked parents to provide snack but do charge 25p a week towards snack (20 children on the roll).

 

Does everyone give the fruit whole? We still have to cut it into small pieces which is very timeconsuming.

Again this would not go down well with other staff. I have already upset them in the last few weeks by introducing observations (yes- they didn't do any), opening the door to the outside area on cold days!, making them keyworkers (last leader was keyworker to whole group), agreeing with committee to pay them an extra hour to discuss next weeks planning, expecting then not to leave 10 minutes before they are paid to leave!, the list goes on.

Anyway rant over, I will just have to perserve and hopefully they will see my reasoning in the future..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used to only offer a biscuit (!) but a few years ago moved to having a lot more variety. I have this week bought some digestives for two days this week as I really fancied some myself and you can see all the staff looking as if to say "Is that ok?"

 

Anyway we changed our snacks to more varied part way through a year so all the children were very used to only biscuits and we were worried they might be upset but they all took to it like ducks to water. We don't have rolling snack and the children eat in small groups which they stay in to do a focus activity after snack time. Many of the staff in charge of these small groups took the opportunity to extend the learning opportunities in snack time at the change over by helping the children to complete simple bar graphs showing how many liked the various different items. This was then fed back to me as chief shopper (I say I am in "procurement" if asked!) and I worked out which foods were working well and repeated them, skipping those that most did not like. It was some trial and error. In fact the parents were the most trouble. They had similar attitudes to your staff member and argued that it was only a little snack, did it matter if it was healthy, etc. However when their picky eater came home asking for homous and pitta bread for lunch they changed their tunes and are now very supportive.

 

One thing I would support from the above comments is the idea that you do need some fats/carbs/etc in the snack. There was recently some research in nurseries, I think in Essex, which looked at nutritional levels in settings. They believed they would find the food was full of fat, sugar, etc and unhealthy that way, but actually discovered most settings had gone too far the other way and the food was lacking in fat and carbs as mostly what was on offer was fruit and veg, with little else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I typed my essay above a few more posts appeared. In answer to your question about costs - we did not charge extra for snack before, but have started to ask for anonymous donations from parents. This was well supported so long as we didn't ask too often. We decided to ask once a term and put the money away to last all year. We also leave the donation box all the time so pepole can slip some loose change if they wish. We tend to buy Tesco Value products, which I would prefer not to but cost is an issue, and we also look for whatever is on offer. We are looking into seeing if we can have a delivery of seasonal fruit/veg delivered by a local grocer and see if they will do a deal on cost for us. One economical snack we have tried is cereal. The more shapes and textures in a bowl the better so we use Cheerios and cornflakes and rice crispies say mixed together, with or without milk, and sometimes chuck in a small amount of raisins too. It is surprising how far that can go. Do watch portion size as it is only a snack!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand in day nurseries and full day care that carbs should be present in the children's meals, but I feel that a piece of fruit or two for a mid morning/afternoon snack is plenty, especially if they are to eat their '5 a day'. We found on lunch club days if we offered carbs at around 10 - 10.30 they didn't want to eat their lunch at 12 - 12.30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your replies, it's nice to hear that it's not just me who thinks it's unnessary to have biscuits everyday. The only problem with offering breads, breadsticks, cracks, raisons etc is that we are a committee run pre-school and money is tight, not sure they would approve. They have never asked parents to provide snack but do charge 25p a week towards snack (20 children on the roll).

 

Does everyone give the fruit whole? We still have to cut it into small pieces which is very timeconsuming.

Again this would not go down well with other staff. I have already upset them in the last few weeks by introducing observations (yes- they didn't do any), opening the door to the outside area on cold days!, making them keyworkers (last leader was keyworker to whole group), agreeing with committee to pay them an extra hour to discuss next weeks planning, expecting then not to leave 10 minutes before they are paid to leave!, the list goes on.

Anyway rant over, I will just have to perserve and hopefully they will see my reasoning in the future..

 

are you sure you have not taken over the same pre school I took over last term!!! same problems!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you make changes with confidence you should be fine. I came into a 2.5 hour session as the new leader, the session began with half and hour on the carpet doing phonics. That lasted that first morning as someone else led the session to show me the ropes! I completely changed everything. Our parents bring a piece of fruit everyday wihc is shared at the snack table, water si also available and that is it. We ask for "special" fruit for a birthday, we have biscuits when it is a staff members birthday, only 3 staff so not very often!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all,

Just wondering what other settings offer at snacktime. I have just started as leader of a sessional pre-school and they offer a piece of fruit followed by a plain biscuit everyday. I would prefer not to offer a biscuit everyday, maybe just once a week, but when I mentioned this to the other member of staff she was shocked and said they have to have a little treat each day. I am also concerned that changing this would upset the children as 1/2 of those attending were there last term and will expect a biscuit. I would welcome other people opinions on this matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

we have a rota for snack and offer a variety of things, different types of fruit, cheese and crackers, breadsticks , croisants and jam, sandwiches which the children can be involved in, weve even done toast with butter /fillings. our treat day is always a friday and the children now know this as cake day, its their treat and ours at the end of a busy week.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MrsW, does it get any easier? At the moment I feel it is such an uphill stuggle, I'm only paid 4 hours a week over the session times of 9-11.30, at the moment I am working until 4 or 5 , coming home and starting again. Hubby is moaning but what can I do, staff won't work over their paid times if that. Plus OFSTED are overdue so that's hanging over my head as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi cassiem i too have been on the end of making huge changes to the staff, planning, setting etc. bear with it and be strong, if you want snack to be different you enforce it your way, things can be done gradually but to your way of thinking!! as with snack and fruit i posted about this a while ago on here and was offered loads of great tips including parents providing fruit, i have adapted this for the start of term by writing to the parents saying that in order for their chidren to understand and feel apart of healthy eating and awareness would they like to choose with their child 1 piece of fruit each week (not per day) to bring in with them to add to our basket for snack time it has proved very popular and we are getting enough fruit to cover the week, we tend to write on the board outside thanks to Freddy for bringing the melon in today the children realy enjoyed it etc etc. we added to the letter that we will provide other snack including most of the above ie breadsticks etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MrsW, does it get any easier? At the moment I feel it is such an uphill stuggle, I'm only paid 4 hours a week over the session times of 9-11.30, at the moment I am working until 4 or 5 , coming home and starting again. Hubby is moaning but what can I do, staff won't work over their paid times if that. Plus OFSTED are overdue so that's hanging over my head as well.

 

It definitely gets easier. This term we have all settled down and are working really well together. In the first 4 or 5 weeks I wrote my resignation letter on many occasions but never quite got round to posting it. My committee are really good and pay me for hours worked at home (within reason). When I took the job on (came from school nursery) I didn't realise just how much admin there was going to be. My hubby has given up and realises that he has lost me to the pre school! Have you told your committee how much work you are doing at home/out of school hours? have you worked in a pre school before or are you new like me? Does your deputy work extra hours? Sorry so many questions.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MrsW, does it get any easier? At the moment I feel it is such an uphill stuggle, I'm only paid 4 hours a week over the session times of 9-11.30, at the moment I am working until 4 or 5 , coming home and starting again. Hubby is moaning but what can I do, staff won't work over their paid times if that. Plus OFSTED are overdue so that's hanging over my head as well.

my advice would be take each day as it comes, take managable steps, don't try to solve staff problems over night (it has taken me 1 1/2 years!! and not quite there yet!) try to keep hubby happy (never easy at the best of times!!!!!) you know they are right to moan but if you have fire in your belly to succeed and turn the setting around you will need to go through this rough time!! as for ofsted have a plan of what you want to tell them where you can see yourself in 6 months for example and what i did was to lay my cards on the table and be honest, if you have started putting in place changes then they will see this and hopefully take all into account if you work under the PSLA get them involved with helping you change things but most of all try to enjoy lookiing after the children and keep smiling it will be worth it in the end and just think what you will achieve along the way! :oxD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my advice would be take each day as it comes, take managable steps, don't try to solve staff problems over night (it has taken me 1 1/2 years!! and not quite there yet!) try to keep hubby happy (never easy at the best of times!!!!!) you know they are right to moan but if you have fire in your belly to succeed and turn the setting around you will need to go through this rough time!! as for ofsted have a plan of what you want to tell them where you can see yourself in 6 months for example and what i did was to lay my cards on the table and be honest, if you have started putting in place changes then they will see this and hopefully take all into account if you work under the PSLA get them involved with helping you change things but most of all try to enjoy lookiing after the children and keep smiling it will be worth it in the end and just think what you will achieve along the way! :oxD

 

I agree completely. My problem in the beginning was trying to do too much too soon. It does take time and I know that me and the pre school I work in have a long way to go. I still have a huge long list of things I want to do but I am slowly beginning to realise that I can't do it all at the same time. I intend to do the same with Ofsted when they visit. I am going to be completely honest and show them our plan for the future. Hopefully they will see that the children are happy and enjoying coming to pre school and that we are working towards an end goal. What more can you do, we're only human (well I think we are, don't always feel human at the end of the day...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank for your replies, I have just gone back to work after 5 years bringing up my own children before that i worked in school so it is different and much more admin than I imagined. My deputy is really only deputy in name, she doesn't want involved in anything and often leaves 5 minutes after children have gone home, leaving me to tidy up myself and then begin sorting post, photocopying, returning calls, filing and planning. She keeps saying the EYFS won't work and we can't do it, she doesn't accept that we don't have a choice. I think I need to be more insistent, but that is not my nature, I like to work as a team which unfortunately she isn't willing to do. I really hope that it gets easier but I can't see her changing.

 

I will try and find the time to write a plan of what I intend to do over the next six months, ready for OFSTED

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank for your replies, I have just gone back to work after 5 years bringing up my own children before that i worked in school so it is different and much more admin than I imagined. My deputy is really only deputy in name, she doesn't want involved in anything and often leaves 5 minutes after children have gone home, leaving me to tidy up myself and then begin sorting post, photocopying, returning calls, filing and planning. She keeps saying the EYFS won't work and we can't do it, she doesn't accept that we don't have a choice. I think I need to be more insistent, but that is not my nature, I like to work as a team which unfortunately she isn't willing to do. I really hope that it gets easier but I can't see her changing.

 

I will try and find the time to write a plan of what I intend to do over the next six months, ready for OFSTED

 

i really hope it gets easier for you. If it helps I started a rota because some of my staff didn't like being outside, some didn't like tidying up and so on. When staff come in each day they now know exactly what they are supposed to be doing during the session.

Staff should be staying behind at least until everything has been put away! Has your deputy been on a course relating to the EYFS, it might help to motivate her? Wish I could be of more help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hasn't there been something recently from the government saying that children need a balance and that they do need carbohydrates too? We offer sliced fruit, a piece of cheese and a carbohydrate such as a cracker, breadstick, toast, muffin, brioche etc, hovis biscuit.

 

Cake is usually brought in by parents for birthdays etc. Children have a choice of milk or water to drink.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i too started a rota system to help staff have a role, and to help me to not run around doing everything and achieveing nothing!!! can you set up a rota for clearing up also so it isn't just your problem? how many staff have you got? are any of them supporting you? do you or can you have support from your committee? i will try to think of changes that i have found useful and pass them on. i was very fortunate and employed a deputy when i took over that helped me to build on the setting unfortunately she was so good she has now gone to run her own setting as supervisor! but with the help of someone in the setting it may give you the strength to make changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cassie

good advise about doing an action plan as this worked for us when i took over. so many things i needed to change but when ofsted came and saw it was written inot our action plan they were ok about it.

We ask for donations each half term from our funded parents for crackers,bread,butter etc Our numbers are usually sufficient not to have to ask parents more then once per 3 months and they are more then happy. however we do live in quite an affluent area!!

I understnd what has been said about children not eating their lunch we seem to have got it right now and give them just enough to see them through i do not feel fruit is enough for morning snack on its own as children very often have had their breakfast very early if at all!!!

It does get better honestly I am very lucky as i have an excellent committed team but once you put the changes in place staff who are not up to it will leave and you will replace them with staff who will share your principles and vision from the start because you will recruit them!

Andrea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. The number of staff I have is also an issue as most days it is just the two of us. I worry about this as we have to leave the room to get to our fridge, collect school dinners and change any nappies. . This leaves one member of staff alone with the children. It also makes observations very hard or as my deputy says impossible. How have others overcome this, we are committee run and I've been told their isn't the money to employ another staff member.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

are there any committee members who could come in on a voluntary basis or parent rota for helping even if it is for 1/2 a hour around snack or story time for example, with so little staff how do you cope if one of you is ill? having a committee member in could have an advantage in the fact that they would see how stretched you are and it may also have a positive effect on your deputy doing obs etc that she should be implementing according to the new EYFS wether she likes it or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just started a parent rota, however very few have put their names forward, so far we have 1 day a week for this half term, starting tomorrow!!. I don't think having a committe member present would affect the deputy as she has already told members of the committee that the eyfs is not right!! and impossible to acheive. I am still trying to recover from this mornings experience, we have a child that only attends one session a week, but he has developmental and behavioural problems, today was a nightmare. He has attended for 2 terms before I started in september but the staff didn't want to mention anything to mum!!. Today my deputy chose to wash paint brushes whilst I tried to read a story to the group before home time and prevent this child climbing on children and knocking over furniture. Then at end of session she followed the last child out of the door. I despair!! Feel like a stiff drink but must bath my own children, get them to bed and then start work again on the computer. And I thought I was taking on a part time position!!!!

 

Anyway rant over, will try and convince deputy to stay a little longer on friday and discuss the situation, if I have no luck I will have to speak to the committee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)