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To snack or not to snack?


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Does anybody not supply a snack during the three hour morning session? I am toying with the idea to stop snack all together. Lets face it, as long as the children have access to and are encouraged to have a drink throughout the morning is it really that important to have a snack? I am just thinking out loud and would love some comments from you lovely people.

I just think that a member of staffs time could be better spent with the children rather than faffing around with snack and all that it entails. We currently provide cafe snack but it does take away a member of staff for quite a long time (and in some cases when they think they can get away with it, two of them, but don't get me started on that.) My other option I am thinking about is to provide a fruit basket and they take a whole piece of fruit to eat rather than faffing with lots of smaller varied pieces of fruit, raisins and crackers. As I said I am just thinking aloud and would love to hear your thoughts, good or bad.

Should add we only run for three hours and all our children live close by so haven't even got to travel a while before they have lunch. I am a firm believer in learning table manners and social skills and am saddened to see these are rapidly declining and I know this may be an area that we would have to look at if we did get rid of snack. We do have one lunchtime session that we could really work on this.

Edited by zigzag
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My other option I am thinking about is to provide a fruit basket and they take a whole piece of fruit to eat rather than faffing with lots of smaller varied pieces of fruit, raisins and crackers.
This is something we've discussed as a team a few times and have always come up with carrying on with snack so will watch with interest.
The bit about just offering fruit is something again we keep going round in circles with as well as it would certainly cut down the amount of prep time in the kitchen (I feel your pain!) - but about 3 Ofsteds ago (and i know that is a long time ago!) we were pulled up on not supplying anything other than fruit because of those that don't eat it, so that keeps making us stick with everything else, plus it is a great social time.
Also unfortuately fruit is really expensive these days and it would make our snack bill go up!!
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It does seem a bit of a faff when only there 3 hours but the children might of had breakfast at 7ish and the lunch will not be until 12.30ish, so their little stomachs need something in between.

 

We have started expanding our selection to include more veg (peppers/ carrots) and pieces of cheese, natural yoghurt. We also have a soup maker so once a week, chop up onions, etc and the children eat the soup. Too much fruit isn't great for them. Most days there is normally a rice cake or cracker as well.

 

I don't think it's time wasted, but learning skills, sitting at the table, using utensils, pouring drinks, chatting the friends (facilated by the adult) thinking for themselves.

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We have some children that come in at 8.30 so we have snack time at about 10.15.the children sit in small groups with their key person. I feel this is a very important part of the day not only for the children to have a drink and try different foods but to chat to their keyperson and maybe listen to a story or sing.Its up to the key person do an activity to support different children throughout the week. The whole activity takes about 15-20 minutes.

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We provide half slice of toast and choice of slices of fruit or small piece of cheese. They dont have loads, it is a snack and not a meal. It takes 45 min to an hour to feed approx 16 children.

I am always trying to preach this to staff .... I'm aware of the children who don't have breakfast but staff fill the children's plates up with so much snack and then th children who stay for lunch and eat there lunch two hours later aren't hungry. Staff think I'm being difficult.

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I think of it as more of a learning and social opportunity as well as re-fuelling. I understand the bit about taking staff out of the room (to faff around endlessly!) so we bring everything into the room before the session as part of our setting up. We leave fruit whole until snack time, then someone cuts it up quickly in the room. We try to involve children as much as possible so it doesn't end up as an activity for adults! Children clear away themselves and sometimes wash up themselves.

 

I can completely understand where you're coming from in wanting to abandon it, but I do think most little ones need to eat between breakfast and lunch, especially if their busy and/or outside a lot.

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Hello lovely people and thank you so much for all your replies. We have decided that each key person will have snack with their children. This also gets around the problem of a certain staff member who is not a key person using snack as a get out clause. Started it today and was actually really lovely. Thank you all for your comments.

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I am always trying to preach this to staff .... I'm aware of the children who don't have breakfast but staff fill the children's plates up with so much snack and then th children who stay for lunch and eat there lunch two hours later aren't hungry. Staff think I'm being difficult.

 

 

 

You sure your not me Smiles !

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The children could help prep snack as ours do whether cutting , baking or counting out cups etc .

 

We now have ' snack attack ' twice a week when our ' kitchen staff is there ' , children take it in turns to make and cook a snack for all to share so a cooking lesson really.

 

This has worked well and that member of staff is engaging with the children.

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All my 'keypersons' (am I the only one who hates that word :ph34r: ) work every session - the staff who aren't keypeople don't do every session

No I too hate the word but have only just got it ingrained in my brain that it's not key worker any more!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

ideally children of this age should have something every two hours ...boys especially tend to have issues with low blood sugar which can effect their behaviour (!!) It's a good idea to have a carb and some protein ...we also provide fruit to increase vitamins but also to challenge those children who say they don't like something...but have never tried it! We have a food phobic child at the moment...for the first time yesterday she ate a cracker and a slice of apple happily!!!

Edited by finleysmaid
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  • 1 month later...

We are considering removing afternoon snack but now on reflection and reading some of this posts maybe not , those that come in all day or morning plus lunch club , have snack and lunch , some of the slower eaters don't finish lunch until nearly 1 and afternoon session finishes at 3, those coming in at 12 have lunch , wondering whether to trial just giving milk ? Or bowl of fruit to help themselves ?

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