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Do you have to offer snack in the afternoons?


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We have been doing a snack in the morning and a snack in the afternoons and it does sometimes feel that the afternoon is all about feeding them when they only had lunch an hour and a half ago. It would be nicer to just offer a drink.. or a biscuit outside if that's allowed nowadays since we have such a healthy snack every morning and concentrate on great afternoon activities, especially as we have less children in after lunch. We were thinking we could let the children have longer for their lunch to ensure they aren't hungry but not sure if serving afternoon snack is an eyfs requirement or if any other pre-schools have thought about this?

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we are a sessional preschool so think our situation is differentwe offer snack am and pm - this is fresh fruit / vegetables etc - i think it is part of nursery funding agreement but not sure.

we do find that afternoon children tend to bring lunch - sandwich yogurt etc - but we do say that it needs to be only a snack and lunch should be offered at home before they come in so we only let them eat a snack or would spend all pm at snack come lunch.

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We offer snack in the morning, during the afternoon we ensure they have all been to have a drink from their water bottles. we tend to offer a small snack (plain biscuit, bread stick, raisins etc) after tea time about 5ish to the children who are with us til bang on close and we know some of them are not fed when they go home.

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We offer crackers/breadsticks etc with drinks at about 2.30 while all the children are having a story, if there is lots of fruit left over from morning snack then that will be eaten too but we don't actually prepare a second full snack :1b

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All the groups in our area are being checked by "The eat better feel better programme". Just having a quick read through their audit and it states that children should go no longer than 3 hours without food. We do not have a snack in the afternoon because all pm children bring their lunch. we do have a snack in the morning because some children do not eat breakfast.

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We open 9-3, and don't usually offer snack in the afternoon. We have a light breakfast at about 9.15 toast or porridge etc, as we know some of our children don't have breakfast at home- and we feel that waiting until 10.45 for snack is a little long.

We then have snack at 10.45/ 11am.......lunch is about 12.30, we usually have a sit down and drink at about 2.30, just before they go home at 3.

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I would suggest that snack is important as it is not only about the food offered, This area provides a wealth of learning opportunities, for example counting fruit, problem solving, engaging in conversation, improving fine motor skills and developing independence. This area is set up to encourage social interaction between the children. It is a place that they can sit and talk with their friends.. Experiences in this area may link to play opportunities in other areas of the classroom e.g. messy play based on textures of food that the children have had for snack or exploring fruit with magnifying glasses.

  • Do the children talk about foods that they like and dislike, making links with their previous experiences?
  • Can they access the snack area independently?
  • Do they manage their own hygiene e.g. washing their hands before having a snack?
  • Are they confident to try new foods?
  • Can children use tools safely and with control when helping to prepare snack?
  • Do they understand why we need to eat and drink?
  • Do they show an understanding of which foods need to be eaten in moderation?
  • Do the children join in with counting when eating their snack? Can they help to solve a problem such as how to share food or plates between children?

Edited by Guest
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We have a fantastic snack table and routine in the morning, ticking all of the boxes above. The few afternoon children left have already had this opportunity in the morning, and eaten their lunch in our lunch club, which also provides a wonderful social area. After reading the posts, I am feeling much happier about milk and a cracker out in the garden :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Strawberryserge, would you mind sharing your snack table and routine in the morning? - we are having issues in our setting with "snack bar". Thank you

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Our children also eat at 12 and finish at 3.. I think one of our thoughts was that parents might not supply a snack after school. Goldilocks, our morning snack is prepared mid morning then the snack person calls 3 or 4 children at a time and they come up to the hatch and choose (only normally a choice of 2 things or a small variation) then they take their snack to the table, where another member of staff is sitting to remind table manners and encourage independent pouring etc. Children take their own plate and cup back to the hatch, making room for another couple of children. Other children around these continue to play.

 

The snack itself is well planned with lots of exciting variations as we allow a generous budget to go on the food. Our kitchen person is fantastic at making a food rota along with photos of the food on offer and a lovely sign to show the parents what they ate and who tried/liked/didn't like what.

 

Since starting this post, we have been taking the leftovers on a tray out the the outdoor children so they don't have to come in and in the afternoon we have tried having a mini snack outdoors and the children loved it. Still discussing whether this can be a biscuit and drink of milk rather than our well planned snacks though..

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